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We are committed to our client's goals, inspired by their customer's expectations, and driven by a passion to collaborate and innovate.
Direct Mail Marketing & List Consultation
For over 25 years, IDR's List Team has been an industry leader. We maximize our client's direct marketing results by combining detailed research with decades of experience. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to small-and-mid-size businesses to Fortune 500 Companies. No matter the size, all IDR clients receive the same services and have access to all lists applicable to their campaign.
We're structured so clients benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of our entire organization, providing support to direct marketing efforts and exceeding direct marketing goals.
Since 1984, we've been helping Direct Marketers achieve their prospecting and new customer, subscriber, policyholder or donor acquisition goals. Our clients have access to every commercially available B2B and B2C postal, telemarketing, and e-mail list (as well as a number of lists that are not on the market) local, state, regional, national, and international direct mail campaigns.
Almost Two Decades of Experience
Our veteran and dedicated team of list experts has an average of 16.5 years experience and are ready to work with clients on the research, selection, and acquisition of list media for Direct Mail and Opt-In E-mail campaigns. At each step of the way, an experienced IDR List Consultant will research and acquire the right lists for any direct marketing campaign.
IDR'S Unique Approach To List Management
By paying strict attention to details and providing customized, personal service versus a generic boilerplate list recommendation, we make your mailing successful. Our philosophy is, and has always been, to go beyond the "order taking" mode. At IDR, we don't just recommend lists, we explore the list market to bring you results. We investigate all the possibilities and take the time to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of our clients' customer, policyholder, subscriber or donor base -- enabling us to direct our efforts beyond the obvious primary markets, to secondary and tangential markets that few explore.
To achieve this, our List Team acts as the list arm of our client's business, working as an integrated partner providing research, recommendations, and processing with proven data that helps meet new customer acquisition goals. And, we strive to help clients get the most out of their marketing campaign from in-depth List Consultation to knowledgeable Direct Marketing direction to aggressive Cost/Net Name Negotiation to detailed Back-End Analysis.
Clients Receive a Partner in IDR
Bottom-line, our clients depend on our partnership for their direct mail success. As a result, when they choose IDR, they receive the benefit of our years of experience, expert counsel, responsive service, and quick, accurate processing of list orders. We are accountable and we measure the ROI for every campaign, helping clients maximize the lifetime value of customers. We achieve this by working harder, being creative, being responsive, and always going beyond the obvious. And we will always tell you what we think, honestly and without reservation.
We feature ...
- A Proven Track Record.
- An experienced Team of marketers.
- A highly knowledgeable support team.
- In-depth research capacities.
- Massive List Library with Usage.
- B2B and B2C Industry Wide List Research Capabilities.
- Aggressive List Negotiations.
- Back-end Results Analysis.
- Modeling & Trigger Programs
Just a sampling of IDR's Direct Mail List Marketing Services
Proactive Rather Than Reactive
Our goal, prior to mailing, is to eliminate any post-test "should've", "could've" "would've" questions, comments or suggestions. We strive to eliminate these on the front-end, so we don't have to address them on the back-end, where it is not only more costly but may also invalidate the test results.
In order to achieve this, here are just some of the services we provide ...
List Research We spend a great deal of time staying up-to-date with the whole List Industry as well as finding new lists for our clients review and consideration. In addition, we are constantly negotiating on the behalf of our clients with list owners to enhance lists that are already on the market, making them more valuable to our clients.
Act as Your Clearing House for List Data We save valuable time because we have a private, in-house, customized List DataCard System — which permits us to provide customized list recommendations by accessing every B2B and B2C list on the market, as well as a number of lists which are not. Plus, we have available a wealth of information resulting from our membership in various organizations (such as the Direct Marketing Association) as well as subscriptions to the List Industry's List Databases (such as SRDS, Nextmark, and MiN).
Screen List Owner DataCards We carefully screen the list information provided by the list owner and then update this information in our List DataCard System. This process enables us to provide clients with timely, accurate information without the "fluff" many sources list on their datacards.
List Performance We know list performance based on our in-depth knowledge of the industry and the list owners. Plus, we have extensive experience with many of these Lists. From a test and continuation basis, we know who has been mailing these lists. This list usage information can prove invaluable when developing a list recommendation.
Advise on Testing Whether this is recommending an A/B Split, an Nth Select, Test Cell Size, Target Market, etc., clients are able to tap our expansive knowledge, providing valuable insight into how to structure a test. For example, ensuring you eliminate any geographic bias by ordering a representative cross-section of the list, so you have the confidence to rollout after testing.
Check Instructions When clients place their list order, we double check the accuracy and completeness of the instructions to ensure that the instructions are clear, concise, industry specific, and that the list owner understands exactly what they are ordering This strategy avoids misunderstandings, miscommunications or interruption of the mail schedule or worse yet, not finding out an ordering mistake until after the mailing.
Clear The OfferWe clear an offer in advance of a mailing and supply the list owner with a sample of the mail piece or telemarketing script. By getting prior approval, we eliminate the chance of any later disappointments or changes in mail plans due to an offer being turned down.
Clear The Creative We clear with the list owner the particular type of mailing whether an envelope, postcard, or other material and present to the client any restrictions the list owner may have beforehand, again, eliminating any chance of later disappointments or changes in mail plans.
Clear The Mailing Date When contacting the list owner, we check on the requested mailing date Additionally, on request of a client, we will negotiate with the list owner a non-compete waiting period for the product or service. This enhances the potential for success by preventing the client's competition to mail at the same time. Although not all lists owners permit this, we will find those that do.
Work Out Timing & Data DeliveryWe arrange for the data to be sent to the lettershop when our client wants it, and in the specified format, enabling the mailing to stay on schedule.
Negotiating Volume Discounts and Net Name Arrangements With response information from clients, we will negotiate hard and fair with the List Owners to get the most aggressive list pricing and net names available, with "paying for names mailed" as our goal.
Back-End Analysis For each list, we work with our clients to analyze how each list performed, determine their ROI, analyze the life-time value of the prospect and/or customer, and help clients plan for rollout to the successful test lists.
Direct Mail Briefing
The Purpose of Direct Response Marketing is to deliver your marketing message to a precise audience in order to generate a sale or an inquiry ... right here, right now ... directly from the prospect. Direct Response Marketing typically uses a one-step offer to solicit an immediate response via an 800-Number, Web Site, Email, Mailing Address or Business Reply Card. It is an interactive process where information flows from the prospect to the advertiser (versus from the advertiser to the prospect as in a "brand" effort), allowing the advertiser to gather information about their prospects and customers for use in future campaigns, honing in on the perfect target market.
The direct mail package itself can be viewed as a three legged stool, with the three legs being the product, the direct mail package, and the mailing list. All three legs must be well tested and strong or the stool will tip over and fall, just as a direct mail campaign will fail if it is not tested and built on a strong foundation to roll out. Great creative to the wrong list is not a recipe for success.
The Mailing List
Let's first address one leg: the Mailing List. The Mailing List, in its most simple form, is the names and addresses of your prospects (your target market) ... whether it's an individual, a company or an individual at a company.
Prospects are targeted for a client's product or service based upon their demographic or psychographic (lifestyle) information that is garnered via purchase behavior, lifestyle behavior, self-reported information, an inquiry, compiled information or in some cases, credit information.
Here are the four major criteria of Lists:
- Demographic (age, income, gender, marital status, presence of children, etc.)
- Psychographic/Lifestyle Factors (areas of interest such as fishing, golfing, crafts, etc.)
- Physical Factors (universe, selects, usage, etc.)
- Relation to the List Owner (recency, frequency, dollar amount, source, method of payment, etc.)
Mailing List Categories
Mailing lists can be divided further into three major categories: Compiled, Direct Response, and Credit-Scored Lists. Each category has it's own subsets, such as telemarketing, controlled circulation, survey, etc., with Modeling services available for each category and Trigger Programs, which identify people on lifestyle or purchase behaviors, available for several categories.
A compiled list is generated from publicly available data and is not derived from a direct marketing purchase or other transaction. Compiled Lists are amassed from just about every source from Directories, White Pages, Surveys, County Court Records, Sweeps Entrances, and Take-Ones to Yellow Pages, Associations, and beyond. The compiled data is then put through a merge/purge to eliminate any duplicate and/or undeliverable records.
Often, the merge/purge, demographic and lifestyle characteristics as well as self-reported Direct Marketing activity is used to enhance compiled lists in order to make them more valuable from a list rental perspective. These lists can vary dramatically, based on the quality of the initial data gathered, how old the initial data is, how often the data is updated as well as the range of enhancements applied.
Because of the depth and breadth of compiled lists, they are often the best way to reach a very specific, narrowly defined market not readily available through traditional direct response lists.
Direct Response Lists are sourced from direct response buyers, subscribers, inquiries, and donors ... all of whom have take a direct action ... whether that action is responding via an 800-Number, Web Site, Email, Return Envelope or Business Reply Card. The key is, they have all responded to a Direct Mail offer, self-identifying themselves as being responsive to direct mail offers, and so are more receptive to receiving and responding to direct mail offers in the future.
Many Direct Response Lists are demographically and psychographically enhanced, which allows a marketer to identify segments by age, income, gender, marital status as well as lifestyle data, such as golfing and fishing interests, to better target their offer.
- Credit Scored and Pre-Screened Lists come from one of the Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) with detailed credit information about the individual prospect. A broad range of individual credit data selects, are available as well as credit triggers.
Credit-Scored Lists must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA, which has strict standards and, at a minimum, require a Firm Offer of Credit, Disclosure Language, and Consumer Opt-Out Information. Legal review of your creative by legal council familiar with the FCRA is highly recommended; in fact, proceeding without such a legal review is not recommended if you intend to use credit-scored data.
As stated previously, each Category of Mailing List offers the ability to model the database for better response, conversion, revenue or persistency.
The premise behind using a model is to target prospects who most closely match the client's best in-house prospects or customers. This gives the next mailing the best chance for success. Generally an in-house list of prospects includes: mailed, responders, and converts, which are needed. However, various models are available that can use some or all of these.
Modeling is a multivariate technique that uses customer information (demographics and lifestyle information). The model derived from the modeling process is a mathematical combination of these characteristics and is used to assign a score and to subsequently rank individuals based on a variety of behaviors, such as ...
- Most likely to respond to your promotion.
- Customers who generate the most revenue.
- Prospects who look like your best customer segments.
Modeling can help increase the efficiency of your marketing program by ...
- Identifying the most responsive prospects.
- Reducing marketing costs.
- Motivating less profitable customers to become more profitable.
Modeling today is based on regression modeling. Targeting at the individual level can increase response rates even further by selecting only those prospects with the highest receptivity to your offer.
There are three types of regression models currently used in the marketplace, they are ...
- Profile Modeling (Best or Good Customer Match)
- Mailed-Match Regression Model
- Response Model
Profile Modeling (Best or Good Customer Match) uses regression modeling to identify prospects on an outside database that look like a marketer's best in-house customers. This technique looks for differences in the attributes of the Best Customers relative to the attributes of a sample of "Not Matched" prospects.
The final model includes only those attributes that contain significant differences to maximize the differentiation of the two groups. Marketers can mail to those prospects that look most like their current best customers to increase overall response rates.
Mailed Match Regression Model uses regression modeling to identify prospect customers who responded to past mailings to identify likely prospects for future mailings.
This technique looks for differences in the attributes of the Non-Responders relative to the attributes of the Responders. The final model includes only those attributes that contain significant differences to maximize the differentiation of the two groups. The final model rank orders customers from best prospects to less likely prospects. Marketers can mail the better segments to increase their overall response rate.
Response Model Uses regression modeling to identify prospect customers who responded to a test mailing, defined and selected from the prospect database. The test is mailed and then analyzed.
This technique looks for differences in the attributes of the non-responders relative to the attributes of the responders. The final model includes only those attributes that contain significant differences that maximize the discrimination of the responders and non-responders. The final model predicts response rate for future mailings, as long as the offer and promotion remain relatively static. This technique provides the most reliable model to predict response.