printForum Blog

printForum Blog -

How Important is Your Data in Direct Mail

Dean Petrulakis     LinkedIn     Twitter

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Rider Dickerson

I don’t think there is a simpler way to put this- your data is THE most important element driving your direct mail responses.  Yes, there are many things that go into creating a successful direct mail piece such as; a great design, catchy wording, the right message, etc. but if you do not have accurate data that amazingly designed piece is worthless.  You may have seen the 40/40/20 rule established by marketing expert Ed Mayer.  40% of the effectiveness of your mailing is attributed to the data.  Today, I’ve heard it suggested that it’s now the 60/20/20 rule.  60% data, 20% offer and 20% everything else. 

Being able to get your message into your audience’s hands is half the battle.  This topic reminds me of story that a client once told me. This client spent mucho dinero creating an extremely high-end direct mail piece and didn’t bother taking the time or spending the money on making sure their mailing list was clean and accurate.  They mailed the oversized, beautifully designed piece, accumulating a higher postage rate because it was oversized, and much to their surprise received 90% of the pieces back in the mail because the pieces were undeliverable to the addresses they used, or the company had a new address, or the information was simply incorrect. All of the money they used on that beautiful design= a complete waste. The message never got to their audience.

Some people may read that story and think- why even use direct mail in the first place?  Well, studies show that marketers that used direct mail along with other marketing channels to get their messages across saw a 72% higher response!( In today’s world, everyone is constantly bombarded with emails, tweets and posts that it is refreshing when we receive a well-designed direct mail piece and we are more 10-30 times more likely to take action rather than just receiving an email only. (Adage)

One way that we at Rider Dickerson clean up our data list and help our clients do so is through our SmartTrack Technology.  With SmartTrack, you can drive visitors to a set of landing pages where you have the ability to ask them to update their personal information, address, phone number, etc. so that you have accurate information for your next mailing. SmartTrack software is extremely user-friendly and can be linked directly to your CRM so the updated information you receive on the landing pages filters directly into your database.  We also work with our clients at the outset of a mailing and help them secure the right mailing list.  Outside of your house list, there are many ways to target the right audience for your mailing.  Based on factors such as geographics, demographics and psychographics, we can pull just the right lists to help our clients’ message get to the right people at the right time.

printForum is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 11th 2014, “Made You Look! Made You Buy! The Secrets of Engaging Mail!” featuring special guest speaker, Trish Witkowski of  If you are looking for ways to improve your direct mail responses you won’t want to miss this free webinar! Register here!  Hope to see you there!


Dean Petrulakis

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Rider Dickerson