The Secret of High-Performance Mailing is here.
The most important component of successful mail campaigns, even before amazing artwork or offers is the data you are communicating to. Get it right and you’ll have precision-focused mailing that delivers results; get it wrong and money is thrown away in wasted print and mail. Poor quality data can sabotage the very best of campaigns and that’s why a thorough data audit is highly recommended.
Inefficient use of mailing data wastes time and money as well as the risk of irritating potential customers. So a good starting point for any direct mail campaign is a root and branch rationalisation of the content and appearance of your mailing data so that it makes the best impression for your company.
Specialist in-house software designed specifically for handling mailing data and used alongside other industry programs cleans your data into an efficient format:
• Remove duplicate entries, avoiding double mailing
• Remove in-line duplicates, where information has been repeated within an entry row
• Correct letter casing
• Eliminate bad characters and typing errors
• Generate salutations, including correct gender prefixes; Generate valedictions
• Suppress gone aways, the deceased and those on the Mailing Preference Service file
• Identify and remove obscenities, commonly seen in databases with direct input from a website
• Cross reference address fields for verification with Royal Mail’s PAF (Postcode Address Files)
• Format address fields to conform with country-specific requirements for international mail
A good data makeover will minimise postage waste, give your communication a professional appearance plus check that you are data protection and Royal Mail compliant.
Data suppression services are ideal if there are records in your database that you don’t want to use for specific mailings. There are many ways of suppressing data, the most popular options to choose from are:
• File Suppression. Excludes records from a new mailing list based on a file, e.g. your ‘Not to Mail’ file.
• Category Suppression. Excludes records based on category type, such as job title, e.g. removing people at Director level from mailings.
• Returns Suppression. Removes data on undelivered mail.
• National File Suppression. Removes registered deceased, removes registered gone aways, adds in new addresses for registered house movers.
National file cross referencing is highly recommended for avoiding wasting mail, reducing the chance of writing to anyone that is deceased, upholding data regulations and being Royal Mail compliant in order to qualify for the best postage product rates.
Did you know that every year in the UK 500,000 people die and 11% of the population moves home? No wonder that householder data very quickly dates.
Mailing data is constantly changing and this has costly implications for your business. Every week, hundreds of thousands of people move house in the UK – and over 1,500 businesses move premises. After just a month any mailing database can feasibly contain many dead ends, meaning wasted resources and expense mailing to people that will not receive the communication.
Mailing to the wrong people or some one that is deceased could cause upset. In addition, mailing to someone who’s signed up for the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) could break data compliance and even risk a fine.
This can be easily avoided.
More than simply an issue of good practice, careful data governance is an obligation for companies. Sharp Cat can deal with this in its entirety for you, ensuring your data is fully compliant with regulations and being utilised in a responsible, cost-effective fashion.
How Does This Work?
Sharp Cat will run your data through comprehensive database comparisons to ensure it is both current and compliant. We’ll remove the details of deceased contacts, update contacts with outdated addresses and remove multiple entries for the same person. We’ll also check your data against MPS lists to prevent you mailing to anyone who has stated they do not wish to receive marketing communications, unless they are opted in. This process brings many benefits:
• Reduces wasted mails to the wrong address, cutting print, mail and postage costs.
• Re-connects you with customers who’ve moved – pre-existing customers are more likely to buy from you again than new contacts.
• Protects your company from a poor reputation caused by inaccurate mailing.
• Keeps you compliant with data regulatory requirements.
• Helps qualify you for the machinable mail discounts available from all the major carriers and Royal Mail.
Most businesses have a core database of contacts for their mailing, but inevitably this can be limiting. Many successful campaigns have extended and carefully targeted mailing lists, maximising the chances of a boosted response. Supplementing your list with rented data can extend your reach.
Working with experienced and reliable data brokers with the right regulatory credentials Sharp Cat provides you with mailing lists which are:
• Competitively priced
• Up to date
• Checked against national databases for Mailing Preference Service opt-outs
• Effectively targeted for your campaign, so that contacts are more likely to respond to your message
Alternatively if it is a household and commercial property coverage that you need then the new and exclusive Geolist© data mapping could be the product for you. Superb if you want to write to a specifically located geographical set of properties, client’s are reporting that they really like this powerful marketing and communication tool.
Crime on the streets may be in decline, but online it’s soaring. Perhaps not surprisingly cyber-crime costs UK businesses over £20 billion annually, so it’s more important than ever to ensure your data is secure – a compromise in security could have consequences for your customers and is a breach of data protection.
Data security is very serious and you want to know that your database is secure. Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as data controllers, client data is stored within a central system upon air-conditioned, key-pad entry servers with approved back-up, destruction, risk management and disaster recovery protocol.
You may not know that your data is at greatest risk when being transmitted – email is not as secure as many businesses believe. That’s why Sharp Cat provides a file upload and download system which operates with total security, protecting your files from interception.
Your data is valuable. It contains contact information that can help you to sell or inform more effectively by communicating with the right people.
Targeting the right people with the right offer at the right time substantially increase the chance of success. As well as increasing the opportunities for promoting your message, careful targeting also saves you money by reducing waste, is a plus for saved resources and good for your reputation too.
There are many ways to target what are likely to be your best prospects.
One of the easiest ways is by replication – understanding your existing business customers. They’re the people who trust you and already buy from.
Another popular method is by geographic – selecting those within a specific locality. Ideal for retail stores, local businesses and development consultations.
Or perhaps your product is gender or age related – and so identification of the contacts in specific brackets will make your communication work harder.
The Sharp Cat data bureau can identify any of these selections and uniquely has a team of Developers meaning that any type of data analysis, extraction, coding or program can be custom created for you.
The right data in the right format is arguably the most important part of direct mail. If a brilliant communication with a relevant offer and sharp creative to sell it, posts to someone who is just not going to be interested in that subject, unless they pass it on it is not going to sell itself.
All data bureau services – cleaning, formatting
Encrypted file transfer
In house data analyst programming to cater for any file format or analytic requirement
Some of Our Work
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Sharp Cat is a tried and trusted provider of well supported print and mailing operations.