Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Research Comes Together to Champion Direct Mail

Database marketing and direct mail are the focus of our business at DBM Designs, but we still encounter marketers who are dubious about fully embracing "junk mail." Our thanks to industry colleague UnitedMail for a handy infographic, just published in Target Marketing magazine, which uses research to make the case for direct mail in terms of its response, ROI and value in a multichannel strategy. Among the highlights: 70%-80% of consumers say they open almost all of their mail, including "junk mail," and 79% of consumers say they act on direct mail immediately (compared with 45% for e-mail). In terms of response rates, direct mail campaigns to customers average over 3% (e-mail campaigns get just 0.1%). Plus, combining mail with other channels significantly boosts marketing results; for example, research shows consumers who receive both direct mail and e-mail spend 25% more money. The infographic also offers insights on mail creative and print-to-online technology. See

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Why Digital Marketers Should Embrace 'Snail Mail'

As a champion of direct mail, it's great to find support from the digital marketing world where "snail mail" is sometimes dismissed as a "remnant of the past." So I'm happy to pass along this recent article from ClickZ arguing the core value of postal mail to digital marketing fans. In "Seven Reasons to Make Direct Mail Part of Your Digital Marketing Plan," Kevin Lee, a search engine marketing expert, highlights seven reasons to embrace physical mailings: Direct mail can garner true e-mail opt-ins via devices such as PURLs and QR codes; direct mail has a better chance to win notice and response as mail volume declines and digital inboxes crowd; direct mail has gained price advantages for digital marketers with U.S. Postal Service discount programs for use of mobile and emerging print-to-digital technologies; direct mail wins younger response, too, based on research showing millennials and younger age groups respond well to physical mailers; postal mail can be highly localized via the USPS "Every Door Direct Mail" local market saturation; unlike e-mail subject lines, a physical envelope has certain delivery of personalized creative; and, finally, postal mailing lists can be appended to digital contact points for an orchestrated multi-channel response strategy. And, of course, direct mail doesn't have to worry about viewability or bots. Read more at

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Study Shows Bad Data Undermining Marketers

If you worry that customer data problems are hurting your marketing results, join the crowd. Poor data quality continues to drag down ROI for the majority of U.S. businesses. In fact, the average U.S. organization believes that one-third of its data is inaccurate, and a whopping 91% of companies believe revenue is being negatively affected by inaccurate data in terms of wasted resources, lost productivity, or wasted marketing and communications spending, according to the Experian Data Quality study released this year. One of the most common culprits cited was poor address data quality. The study definitely reflects the kind of data quality challenges that direct mailers (and their list brokers, printers and agencies) bring to DBM Designs' database marketing services. What are the tasks that usually need to be tackled? Data processing prior to mailing provides address format standardization for proper mail sorting, postal discounts, avoidance of invalid addresses, and removal of wasteful duplicate records from all sources. And with 17% of Americans moving each year, a mailing list check against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database is essential to avoid costly wrong addresses and duplicates. Thorough data processing also helps to detect other data problems, such as missing, incomplete or miscoded customer information, and to create a single-customer view across channels for better segmentation, targeting by channel, and response tracking. For more on the results of the Experian Data Quality study, go to