Data is what drives successful direct mail campaigns

2 minute read

So you’re thinking about creating a direct marketing campaign? Before you make your first move, we need to talk about data. Effective marketing starts with efficient targeting. Done right, data will help you connect your brand with the people who want to hear about it most.

Start with a picture of your ideal customer

The data you already have can tell you a lot about your best customers – and you can use it to find more of them. Use the data to paint a picture:

  • Who are they? Look at things like age, income, education.
  • What makes them happy? More time? A house or condo? Eating healthier?
  • Do they lead similar lifestyles? Empty nesters? Avid skiers? Loving dog owners?
  • Where do they live? Are you seeing patterns?
  • What do they do online? Do they buy books, travel, furniture?
  • How do they spend money? Shopping frequency, basket size, recurring purchases?

If you don’t know the answers to some of these questions, you can ask your customers directly. If you explain that their responses will help you bring them more of what they want, and are transparent about how their information will be used, they’ll feel more at ease.

With this information, you start to get a picture of your ideal customer and can begin to target real-life individuals who behave in similar ways.

Get the right data

You know that data is valuable. Now, how do you get your hands on it?

  • Use data you can collect. Conduct surveys, ask for postal codes, interact with clients online.
  • Use third-party data. Canada Post data combines proprietary operational data with intelligence from partners to create complete data packages detailing addresses, e-commerce behaviour and more.
  • Combine and conquer. Uniting third-party data with your own will help you to target the right customers, in the right places, with the right interests and attributes.

The Essential Guide to Direct Mail: Everything you’ve always wanted to ask.

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Direct mail knows birds-of-a-feather flock together

Direct mail takes advantage of geography to find new clients, based on the most valuable ones you already have.

It’s called the “birds-of-a-feather” effect. Chances are, people who live in the same neighbourhood like what you like, do what you do and are at a similar stage of life. Knowing this helps you target groups of people who are most likely to be receptive to your brand.

Postal codes hold valuable geographic information and can be used to target audiences respectfully. If your favourite store asks you for your postal code at checkout, that’s probably why.

Validate your data

Once you have your data, you need to make sure it’s optimized. You’ll need to verify that all addresses are complete and in a standard format. Don’t forget to check for and eliminate duplicates: They waste budget and resources, can be annoying to recipients and make it impossible to accurately calculate the value of direct mail for your business.

To learn more about the power of direct mail, dip into our white paper on neuromarketing.

Read more from our 'direct mail essentials' blog series

Direct mail can be a key part of converting your audience.

Let’s talk about making your next campaign a success.

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