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It’s Time to Lead with Data

As we move into 2017 and beyond, data-driven marketing is going to get bigger, better, and more integrated into the consumer experience. Technology-savvy, data-driven marketers want to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time to drive the desired behavior. This article leverages information from InfoTrends’ latest Multi-Client study entitled Lead with Data: Follow with Print to explore some areas of key importance as we enter a new year.

By Barb Pellow
Published: January 5, 2017


This article is part of our premium member access. If this commentary & analysis is relevant to your business, please consider supporting us by becoming a member.



A digital printing and publishing pioneer, marketing expert and Group Director at InfoTrends, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave. Barb brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity.

Please offer your feedback to Barb. She can be reached at barb_pellow@infotrends.com.



By Eddy Hagen on Jan 12, 2017

You're absolutely right Barb that there is a big opportunity here. There are still gaps to fill, e.g. data quality/data hygiëne. Just a few weeks ago I got TWO direct mail pieces from the same travel agency, one adressed to Eddy Hagen, the other to HAGEN EDDY (all caps). This shouldn't happen. It makes a bad impression and it costs extra money (printing + postage).
Cleaning that data could be a nice offering for direct mail service providers. But you need the right skills for that: you have to be very consistent in checking/correcting. I know companies who have employees with a mild autism spectrum for that kind of jobs. Their 'disability' is in this case a very valuable asset...
BTW: the two direct mail pieces I got also had another issue: they didn't have a protective layer, the sorting equipment had damaged the print. Which leaves, once again, a very bad impression... That extra cost for a protective layer is a good investment. You can see pictures in the blog post I wrote about it: http://www.insights4print.ceo/2016/12/first-impressions-matter-good-data-hygiene-is-key-for-direct-mail-good-print-quality-too/


By Steven Rost on Jan 21, 2017

Dear Eddy Hagen and Barb,
Allow me to introduce myself and my company;
RightWayMail.com. When it comes to address quality, this is my specialty area in the Direct Mail industry and can tell you both that this issue of "Last Name First Name" can be a real issue as is the all upper case of a name and more. If anyone would wish, I do work off a published price list, but on a consultation basis, am perfectly willing to receive one mailing list for review only and return a critique of it at no charge as lists are different in many ways. If you send a sample list, the first 1K records, please send to S.Rost@RightWayMail.com and will return my critique. So you know, I have been in the direct mail industry for over 20 years, am listed on www.usps.com as a Full Service-Certified Mail Service Provider for going on 2 years of which only a handful of mailers across the United States have qualified (usually hovers around 60 to 70 mailers today, January 21, 2017) and is expected to grow as the acceptance of Mail.dat and Mail.xml grows as it represents many things, including access to Informed Visibility (tracking, expected in several incantations starting February 2017) and Informed Delivery (where snapshots of the day's mail is sent electronically...due to expand nationally this year, 2017, per Postmaster General).

Much of this happens when someone contacts a Mail List Provider. Another is when a company that works in all upper case; a very old and outmoded thing. When using any off the shelf mailing software package, one can set to change the case, but it also affects the suffix (for example, John Henry III, will become John Henry Iii) unless building a reference library to minimize such instances. Plus, there are companies who go by all upper case letters (for example ABC Widget, will become Abc Widget) and beyond all controls, we can hardly prevent such things from happening. The only real option is to select an "AsIs" option that will maintain the list integrity. Plus, though it is nice to receive John Henry III, it is important to note that the USPS actually prefers to use JOHN HENRY III whether we use IMb (Intelligent Mail Barcode) or not.


By Kevin Keane on Jan 23, 2017

Excellent thoughts by all.

a bit more whimsically, and perhaps a smidge ruefully too, I enjoyed reading in Printweek in the UK just prior to the end of the year holiday hubbub about this evocatively monikered firm:


It resonated with me as all of a sudden, my late wife Lorna is back on the rolls, getting catalogues for aftermarket auto parts and other ephemera, which would be OK I suppose, except she's been at rest for almost 24 years and is not so much a fan of hotrods unless perhaps of a celestial sort; and so too the direct mail my late son Kevin is now receiving. Direct mail rocks as we all know, but the issue of clean lists is still nettlesome.


Kevin Keane
General Counsel
FRSecure, LLC and FISA Score.com


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