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Get Your Pre-Game On! 4 Steps to Effective Targeting

When creating any direct mail or email campaign, smart pre-game strategies set you up for the win. While marketers tend to plan for great results by focusing on the right message, offer, and call to action, they can improve their results even more by planning even earlier. Here are four pre-game strategies for maximizing your efforts. 

1. Freshen up your insights. Think you know your customers? Don’t rely on data or customer profiles you developed last year. Customers and their needs are continually changing. Keep your data and profiles up to date, so you maintain a current picture. Make sure to track not just your customers’ lifestyles, demographics, and habits, but their preferred channels as well. 

2. Break down silos. Both online and offline data give you a picture of your customers, but it takes both types to make that picture complete. Offline data can tell you things like what your customers look like, what they buy, and how much they spend. Online data like activity on your website, interaction with your Facebook page, and click-throughs on product detail pages give you insights into why people buy and how they navigate the journey. You need both. 

3. Drill down into the details. Not every customer group acts the same way. Not every household with a $50,000-$75,000 income, for example, has the same needs. Nor does every age group. You want to know more than just the basics. Is the presence of children in the home a factor? What about the location? Life stage? Customers within similar demographic groups can think and act differently. (Think the difference between your grandmother and, say, Mick Jagger.)

4. Pay attention to timing. Understanding the “when” is as important as the “what.” One telecom company had always sent follow-up printed pieces after phone inquiries, but it hadn’t tested the timing. Once it decided to do some testing, it discovered that a two-stage follow-up was most effective: an email sent immediately (within the first 24 hours of the phone call), then a print piece two to three days later. After making the change, it saw a double-digit lift in its response rates. 

Even if you get great results from your multichannel marketing efforts already, don’t rest on your previous wins. Stay sharp. Always be reinventing, and you’ll run up the score. 

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