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Getting the Most From Your Data

The key to successful data-driven marketing is in understanding your database information so you can utilize it to meet sales and marketing objectives.  What does your data show about your customers’ needs, preferences, interests and buying patterns?  How can that insight be used to create attractive offers that generate response?  The more you study your data, the more creative and effective your ideas will be – and the clearer your understanding of the data you need.


  • You don’t need a full-blown CRM software system to do successful, data-driven personalized marketing.  Your database can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet (though relational databases are ideal).
  • Data mining is the process of zeroing in on the database information most useful in sales and marketing efforts.  In particular, it is identifying customer similarities and differences that highlight who is likely to respond to which offers and when.  For example, if most of your customers who have purchased Product A have characteristics X, Y and Z, does your database contain people with all these same characteristics who have not bought Product A?  If so, what information do you have that can be incorporated into a personalized offer that convinces those people to buy Product A right now?
  • We offer merge/purge, change-of-address and data hygiene services to keep your postage costs low, avoid duplicate mailings and ensure that we mail only to current addresses.
  • Always consider additional information that could be used in future campaigns and new ways to collect it.
  • Variable-data print projects can be created using Quark or InDesign layout software.  If the design incorporates representative variable information in the page layouts and we receive hard copies highlighted to show the variable fields, we can take it from there.
  • The design of a variable-data digital color print project should take into account the “flow” of database information into the layout as the project is RIPped and printed.  For example, designers should take into account how many characters are in the longest and shortest names and how that variance interacts with the design.
  • Other technical considerations include consistently following image naming conventions, common image sizing (X pixels by Y pixels) and hyphenation rules that apply when copy length varies.
  • You should send only the database information that will be used (not the entire database) and we’ll help prepare and format the data for export.
  • Keep ZIP codes in a separate field to take advantage of lower “presorted” postage rates.



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