Database marketing can help drive circ

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Database marketing can help drive circ
Database marketing can help drive circ

Recently, I purchased some opera CDs. Frankly, I did not need the whole “Ring Cycle,” but it was a test — a data test. The results were beyond my best expectations.

I received my CDs the following week, and included in the package was an Opera News Magazine double postcard with an “Affix Sticker Here” involvement device, as well as digital four-color printing with variable data. I was thrilled, because Opera News Magazine used good database marketing techniques to get me to buy into a cross-sell offer soon after my initial interest in a similar product. A lot of magazines don't use this simple technique — it's sad, but very true.

It's not that hard to use your existing database to create a strategic plan that serves as your marketing dashboard. The piece I received was just a simple postcard, four-color/four-panel with an easy-to-detach perforation, but it showed great use of existing data and how that translates into better ROI, enhanced knowledge about your customers, maximizing revenue generation and getting your campaign out into the mail faster. Those are just some of the goals of targeted direct mail, aren't they?

The New Yorker provides another good example of database marketing. In the throes of their renewal series to me, I wait until the third level of renewals come my way — this is where their renewal offer is sweetened and the letter carries a stronger tone. Now I get the Holiday Calendar for free with a Holiday Gift order when I renew and give a gift. This is also a great way to use existing data, quick services and a great cross-selling effort — all from good, clean, data used in the right way: the ROI way.

Looking at your current data, review what your existing customers are interested in seeing and, better yet, purchasing. That is the treasure chest in your data files that is waiting to be opened. The New Yorker and Opera News Magazine are perfect examples of using good, clean data for cross-selling customers into a similar marketing product or service, and both campaigns came from keeping good records on household data. My name was spelled correctly, my address was correct, and I was pleasantly pleased with the results from Opera News.


James Sullivan is project director for Optic Nerve Direct Marketing. Reach him at  




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