Using address verification to improve data quality for more effective direct marketing that maximizes your marketing budget
Data is king in the direct marketing arena, but data quantity isn’t as important as data quality. You don’t want to spend a good chunk of your marketing budget sending out direct mail campaigns to untargeted customers, so it’s vital you take the time to improve your data quality. Here’s how address verification improves data quality:
Cuts Down on Duplicate Records
Seventeen percent of Americans move each year, reports QAS, makers of Experian QAS address verification software. That’s a pretty big chunk of your database that is probably going to end up being duplicated. De-duplication is a process that gets a lot of use across various types of database technology, so there’s no reason not to use it within the context of address verification. You save database space, cut down on the amount of invalid mail you send out and save on mailing and processing costs.
Addresses are in a specific format for a reason, and while you might not know every detail an address needs to have to ensure it’s sorted and processed quickly, it’s good to have software that does. When you have employees who recognize proper standardized address formats, they’re more likely to be able to correct things as they’re entering information into the database, too.
Creates Single-Customer Marketing Channels
When you aren’t dealing with multiple records for a single customer, you can focus on single customer marketing channels that improve the focus and relevancy of your marketing campaigns. The data quality starts off high and allows you to target focus groups that are more receptive to your overall message. This allows you to determine whether your message would be best received through phone, direct mail or email communication; the correct person to contact to reach the decision-maker of the household; and at least some idea about the products they’re interested in. Marketing Charts reports 54 percent of businesses struggle with establishing a single-customer channel view, and address verification helps with this.
Different Industries Benefit in Different Ways
Data quality means something quite different for a medical clinic compared with an insurance office. The first one needs to ensure data quality to keep patient records organized, while the latter needs to make sure they can send claim information and insurance paperwork to the proper addresses. No matter what industry you’re working in, there’s a reason to ensure that your data quality is as high as possible. It goes far beyond marketing benefits, and into the realm of improving your overall business. Accurate data reduces your work load and keeps your workflow as streamlined as possible, which is excellent news for employees and manages who already have enough on their plates, particularly in retail environments.
How do you think address verification can improve data quality? Tell us in the comments.
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I guess the question that comes to mind is why any business would want to
risk using bad data. Is it lack of knowledge, laziness, belief that it will be
too costly or too time consuming to correct the problem? It would be great if
you could give us some of your insights on this issue in the comment section of
the BizSugar community so all our members could benefit.
Heather – unfortunately it’s probably a combination of all of the above (but hopefully more lack of knowledge than laziness)! I spent many years in direct marketing roles and it can be a tricky practice ensuring good, quality data. But the mailing and processing costs alone should be a motivator to get it right. I also think there are a lot of “tricks of the trade” like pre-sorting and standardization software that most small businesses just are not aware exists. (will post on Biz Sugar too – thanks for the comment!)
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