Smart database use increases ROI

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Daniel Stepanic
Daniel Stepanic

Managing your data has never been more critical. Establishing a concept of data strategy and how it relates to your business can make all the difference in the world. While it can be hard to know where to get started, here are a few steps that can guide you along the way.

First, standardize and update your data, making it easier to manipulate and more com­patible with outside influences. Conforming to USPS standards can save large amounts of money by qualifying your mailing for postal discounts. With one in five Americans mov­ing each year, updating your addresses quar­terly will keep your clients in the fold.

Also, don't forget that it's important to run deceased coding before you mail. We've all heard horror stories about organizations sending mail to customers who have passed away. While the physical waste is obvious, the potential ill will and perceived insensitiv­ity to household survivors is incalculable.

Using custom logic to scan your database can identify duplications and make your mail­ings more economical and efficient. Doing this will help you save money on the most expensive component — postage.

Compile transactional data. Tying names to recent and historical transactions can speak volumes about how and when to contact customers in the future. What was your cus­tomer's last activity date and dollar spend? How many campaigns have lapsed since their last purchase?

Profile customer data for apparent trends. We all respond to different stimuli. Why not try communicating via e-mail? Why not append phone numbers? What's more, by adding information on income, education, age and family, you build a better under­standing of your clients.

By identifying trends in your customer profile, you can model groups of similar prospects; those just waiting to hear from you. Predictive modeling delivers as much as 7%-15% greater returns than standard prospecting alone.

One size does not fit all with data. Commit to establishing a set of routine updates to ensure consistent success in the long run. It takes dedication to keep your data in tip-top shape. Unlock your database's full potential and you'll witness staggering results.

dstepanic@ctrac.com

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