Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Direct Marketing Toolbox

I'm feeling generous today!

Today I'll share three resources that I go to on a weekly basis for data and information. These places make my life (and job) easier. Hope you, too, can use these resources to help streamline your direct marketing project.

1. Melissa Data's Look-Up tools. Melissa DATA provides a variety of easy-to-use, data quality solutions to help boost response rates, increase revenue, streamline CRM, data quality management and direct mail operations. Their website includes a series of look-up tools. For example, you can look up phone numbers, or income statistics, or demos within a zip code. Further, you can define a radius around a location or even produce a map with their tools. I go here to help define a target market, or to perform basic phone and reverse phone look-ups.

2. Direct Magazine's List Finder. This is a no-charge service where you can find virtually any mailing list (or e-mail list) that exists out there. List owners post information/datacards on their files and "Direct" has offered a nifty search engine tool to let you find the right list, just by typing in keywords. A great service!

3. US Census Bureau. Oftentimes, I question the quantities or counts from any given data provider and go to this site to validate commercially-available data. For example, I had a client who wanted to market to every homeowner in the country (oh, those good old days of heavy mortgage marketing....). When we ran counts of this broad select from the leading compilers, we felt that we were missing millions of homeowners--the counts just seemed too low. So, I went to the US Census bureau site to see how many homeowners there actually are in the country. Sure enough, the compiler was off by several million records and we figured out a work-around to identify more prospects (probable homeowners).

Hopefully, you'll make good use of these resources. And, if you have any more that help YOU in your day-to-day work, please share!

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