When it comes to creating a marketing campaign, choosing your audience is a major step. There are three main ways to create your data list, and they range from a wide unknown audience to handpicked households. Each has its own drawbacks and benefits. Let’s take a look at the different methods for selecting your audience.
Saturation Mail Campaign
A saturation mail campaign delivers your advertisement to every address on a United States Postal Service’s carrier route within a specific zip code. This is the most cost-effective way of getting your direct mail piece in front of a widespread audience.
While it is the least expensive, you cannot choose which households receive your ad. This means you will be mailing more pieces than necessary and advertising to people who are not a great fit for your business, resulting in marketing waste. Another drawback to this method is you cannot personalize the mail piece. They will be addressed to “Current Resident,” so you won’t be able to identify which individuals received the mailing. However, if you have a business that appeals to the masses like lawncare, pest control, home repairs, etc. saturation mail campaigns can be highly effective.
Another way of selecting an audience is by pulling straight selects. With this method, you’ll start by choosing which areas you want to target. Do you want to mail to people within 5 miles of your store locations? Or would you like to choose households within a certain territory or specific states? Maybe you are looking for nationwide coverage.
After you know where you want to look for prospects, then it’s time to make your demographic selections. Most of the time, businesses will choose somewhere between 5-15 demographic data points that they would like to use to define their audience. An example might be targeting people within 3-miles of your location who are renters, have a combined household income of $75,000, are 25-35 years old, and have moved within the last two years. Each demographic you choose helps you narrow down your prospect universe, so you can select the people who look similar to your current customers.
Once you know how many households are available, you can take a random selection and mail pieces to those households. You can also personalize the piece for the recipient and include their name on the mailing. Having the prospect names is beneficial to running a campaign response analysis where you match up who was targeted and who made a purchase. Straight selects do cost more than carrier route data because you actually know who the individuals are that you are targeting and have used demographic criteria to finalize the data list.
While this method allows you to be more selective, the final records are pulled randomly from within your trimmed universe. Not everyone who fits within your chosen demographics will be a good fit for your offer.
The third method of selecting your audience is data modeling. This process starts by studying who your current customers are. Data scientists will look at thousands of data points from demographics, lifestyle and behavioral, to geographical data to get a full picture of who your top customers are. After they have built the model, they can run your prospect universe through the model and score and rank each record. A data model identifies who is most likely to make a purchase and become a customer.
Modeled data lets you select specific households and know which individuals you are targeting. It also allows you to choose the best records in your prospect universe. While this method has a greater cost investment, you are able to be more targeted in your marketing efforts and will see a higher return on investment. For some businesses, they even see their response rates go down but their close rates skyrocket because they are reaching the people who are most interested in what they have to offer.
Selecting your audience is important, and while there are different ways to choose, decide which method works best to reach your marketing goals and fit your budget. If you need direct mail lists or help finding your best audience, give us a call. We love helping our clients grow!