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The Data Challenge in Marketing
Direct Mail
April 16, 2024

The Data Challenge in Marketing

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Direct mail is a crucial component of any well-rounded marketing strategy, yet collecting, maintaining, and using data is not always as simple as it sounds. Ample access to data is only half the battle, leaving marketers responsible for data analysis and implementation. In the Lob 2024 State of Direct Mail Report, a surprising 97% of respondents noted that they are satisfied with the data they have access to when it comes to executing direct mail campaigns effectively.

So what are these respondents' secrets? Marketing data and databases have been a challenge for many marketing teams who face problems such as stale data, bad data, or data that is not up-to-date. In this blog, we'll assess the common data problems marketers face and offer solutions to address them. Marketers can learn how to better collect, maintain, and use customer data to enhance ROI.

Common data problems marketers face

The success of your direct mail marketing campaign is only as good as the quality and availability of the data available. Many marketers face the same issues with data, especially when executing direct mail campaigns ineffectively. Data collected is most often used by marketers to help personalize mailings, optimize campaigns, and also analyze behaviors and actions of consumers.

One common issue is scattered data that's not located in a centralized repository. Having data distributed over multiple platforms or databases is certainly not optimal.

Another common issue with marketing data is spoiled data that is simply outdated or incorrect. In addition, many marketers in charge of direct mail marketing do not have access to a data analysis team with the skills to analyze the available data effectively. These common problems can impact the success of your direct mail campaigns.

Addressing common data problems

Although frustrating, addressing these frequent marketing data problems is not impossible. With some changes in practice and approach, you can put your data to work, leading to more effective direct mail campaigns. Marketing data problems can be fixed by:

  • Following data hygiene practices such as removing duplicate entries, using standard practices across all data, routinely updating data, etc.
  • Implementing proper data analysis tools and education to better understand your data and its relevance to your direct mail campaigns.
  • Investing in data infrastructure and sharing customer data; not keeping it siloed.
  • Using the right data and making decisions based on the right metrics.

Knowing what your data is telling you allows you to best use it to achieve your brand's unique goals.

Optimizing direct mail campaigns with customer data

Mail-based marketing campaigns require both effective data collection and management for optimal success. As found in the Lob 2024 State of Direct Mail report, an impressive 64% of respondents noted that they can use customer data to identify ways to optimize campaigns.

For example, analyzing data can help businesses provide better customer experiences by determining customers' preferred marketing channels. In the State of the Direct Mail report, findings indicated that 48% of marketers use data regarding communication channel preference.

Other ways to optimize campaigns through customer data include:

  • Personalization of marketing campaigns to create deeper, more meaningful connections with customers. Using personalization in direct mail campaigns can help you drive higher response rates and increase conversions.
  • Better targeting, which leads to optimized spending.
  • Improved A/B testing of direct mail campaigns, such as testing imagery, copy, CTA, or format to better understand what makes recipients take action or take notice of direct mail campaigns.
  • Improved response rates and conversions by analyzing previous customer behavior or actions, such as visiting a website or purchasing in-store.
  • Determining the best direct mail format (postcards, letters, self-mailers, etc.)
  • Better budget allocation, as marketers can best decide which form of marketing is most likely to result in conversions.

For example, if analyzing your data suggests consumers are more likely to convert with direct mail over social media, it's a sign your business can allocate more dollars to direct mail.

Automating the direct mail process

In 2024, direct mail as a form of marketing continues to rise. In fact, 82% of respondents in the State of the Direct Mail report noted that they are increasing budget allocations for direct mail, with a 58% average increase over spending in 2023.

If you're looking for a way to change things up in your direct mail approach, Lob can help you transform direct mailings with end-to-end automation. With the ability to analyze your data and use helpful tools like address verification, every business can benefit from automating the direct mail process.

Marketing data and databases do not have to continue to be a challenge for your business. Lob offers personalized demos that integrate with your CDP or CRM to help you automate your direct mail process and use data directly from the source. Contact us today to see for yourself how you can increase your ROI on your direct mail campaigns. We'd be happy to walk you through a demo of Lob and guide you on your journey to improving your direct mail marketing practices.

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