If you’re a direct mail and e-mail marketer, and you worry about the possibility of your sales declining along with the current economic contraction, the key to maintaining sales growth may lie in the existing customers in your direct marketing mailing lists.

According to a recent article in Response Magazine entitled Overcoming Economic Struggles by Focusing on Customer Loyalty, based on a recent Customer Management Exchange survey conducted ahead of the Customer Experience Exchange 2011, “improving loyalty is now a key objective for 58.6 percent of customer-experience professionals.”

If you want to keep your existing customers and expand your share of their market basket, you need to offer them more products and/or services that meet their wants and needs, as well as a superior customer experience. The same holds true for increasing the business you get from converting prospects and suspects to customer. Because today’s shopper can go to the internet for instant price comparisons, customer experience becomes the only sustainable competitive advantage.

So how do you provide the customers, suspects and prospects in your direct mailing marketing lists with a superior customer experience? The answer comes down to learning more about them and using that knowledge for:

  1. Better audience segmentation and targeting
  2. Personalizing every touch-point
  3. Developing products and/or services to meet a wider range of their needs and wants

And, how do you learn more about them? Well, there are three main channels of information on the customers in your direct mail marketing lists:

  • Engaging them in an interactive dialogue by driving them to your web site and/or micro sites via direct mail, e-mail, on-line, print, etc.
  • Importing data from internal sources like transaction and customer service data
  • Data appending and other data enhancement services from external marketing data services providers

Data appending is a quick and easy way to increase your knowledge of the customers and prospects in your existing direct marketing mailing list. It’s the simple process of adding data to your existing direct marketing mailing list from an external data resource. Your database then becomes a hybrid file built from compiled and proprietary data sources. The added selection parameters could include demographic, geographic, lifestyle, interests, and behavioral data. The depth and breadth of our consumer data file enables extremely accurate customer profiling and granular audience segmentation which will help you to improve both your customer experience and your response rates.