Direct Mail

Direct Mail and Target Profiling—Marketing Tools to Drive Response

Have you paid attention to your inbox lately? I’m not talking about your email inbox—I’m talking about your physical mailbox. You’re probably getting at least one piece of mail every day. This mail is tangible evidence that direct mail is still a valuable marketing tool. Not only is direct mail used, but it is also effective.

IBIS World reports that in November of 2017, direct mail advertising in the US accounted for $802.9 million of profit. Although the report does state that the industry is in decline, it also states correctly that direct mail allows clients to target particular markets.

So should you be using direct mail in your advertising efforts? The answer is it depends on your business needs. This blog post will help you better understand those needs. I’ll share three great tools that you can use with direct mail that can give your response rate a big boost!

ESRI Tapestry and Direct Mail

One of my favorite tools for learning more about a specific demographic or geographical area is an online tool called ESRI Tapestry. The free web tool allows you to look up specific zip codes. You’ll get an overview description of the demographic and socioeconomic information. Through their ongoing research, ESRI defined 67 unique segments with named characteristics about each.

A little time spent digging into the geographical areas can help you better understand the demographics and socioeconomics of the area. In turn, you’ll make better decisions on targeting for your direct mail campaign.    

Every Door Direct Mail

Did you know that you can get reliable information about specific postal codes from the United States Postal Service? Their Every Door Direct Mail tool is perfect for small business owners who want to run a targeted direct mail campaign. It’s beneficial and quite fun to use. After you arrive on the web page, you’ll see a big blue button that looks like this:

Image of EDDM mapping tool button.

This button takes you to the map tool where you can enter a zip code in the search bar. Here’s an example. Say you are a local real-estate agent in Utah and you are putting together a campaign with the goal of establishing more leads for your business. You want to send out a mail piece offer that incentivizes leads to talk with you. The target is first-time home buyers who are married and recently graduating from college.

So what do you do? Open the EDDM tool to look up zip codes near universities. You might look at Provo, Utah near Brigham Young University. As you hover over each route you see can see the route number, number of residential addresses, number of business addresses, the percentage of specified age demographic, average household size, and average household income.

Image of EDDM example.

As you select routes, the order calculator will tell you the approximate cost to deliver to every door within that route. You can select up to 5000 delivery addresses at a time. With EDDM you can choose to work with a direct mail expert such as ANS or you can bring your own mail piece. Next, you’ll select a printer and let USPS do the rest. You can then monitor your response rate as you see the results of your campaign develop.

Targeted Customer Profiling and Direct Mail

Now for the really good stuff. The above-mentioned research tools are helpful as you get started in understanding your target audience, but they do not compare with the amazing information you can get from a detailed customer profile report from ANS. These reports, combined with a well planned direct mail campaign, are especially potent in delivering results.

Here’s how it works. Start off with a free consultation with one of our marketing experts to define the business objectives of your campaign. We’ll help you analyze your product or service offering, identify a marketing plan that may include direct mail, and help you define your target audience.

After establishing your needs, we will take your business customer data and match it with either our consumer data or business data. You’ll get a detailed analysis of who your most valuable customers are. The report gives you specific insights about demographic and psychographic characteristics. You’ll also get valuable traits about their work and lifestyle habits. This information keeps you competitive in your marketing efforts. Read more about the full process of our customer profile reports here. By combining this customer profile report with a targeted campaign, you can deliver a specific message with higher response rates.

Wrapping It Up

The tools I mentioned above will help you execute a more successful direct mail or marketing campaign. Using the ESRI Tapestry tool will give you a good starting point into your research for specific geographic targets. The EDDM tool will help you establish an every door direct mail campaign using analysis from this tool and the ESRI Tapestry tool. Lastly, you can be even more specific in your targeting through a detailed customer profile report from ANS. The insights from this report will enable you to get more targeted delivery of your campaign with higher responses.

Blog post by Michael Peterson, Social Media Marketer at American Name Services


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