Not everyone bothers to update their address with the postal service when they move. As the current economic situation forces more and more people to relocate to find work, hotlines and recency selects will continue to be more important than ever.
When your campaign absolutely, positively, has to get there by a certain data, you need an accurate geographic select based on a short timeframe hotline or recency select.
Timing is Everything
Make certain to take the shortest time available on a hotline or recency select. Certainly, don’t go over a month or three months on data. And don’t use lists generated through public records. Rather, consider files culled from subscriptions, signups or anything that can place a specific person at their geographical location now. These can yield far better results.
Keep in mind that this is a new world and the delivery statistics enjoyed years ago are simply not possible today. But, if you’re realistic and smart about how you choose and count on your data marketing, you can still be successful—in present terms.
Global Positioning Systems
DNS (domain name system) and IP (Internet protocol) targeting is primarily a website function to determine the location of visitors to a site. If you are renting a list or building your own in-house database based on DNS or IP, geo targeting hotlines again cannot be over emphasized. You may know where that person was located today visiting a site, but they may be across the country at a later date.
Additionally, people are more frequently accessing their cellphones and while some do have GPS, not all are enabled with that function. Plus, while many people are using Wi-Fi hotspots to set up their web-enabled devices, that type of Geo targeting identifies the access point but not the actual IP address.
Check Against NCOA
For postal campaigns don’t stop at the hotline or recency select, be completely assured that the list is also being checked against the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) service and certified through its Coding Accuracy Support
However, keeping track of those who are picking up and moving due to business closings, foreclosures and the economy is a real challenge. Many who move won’t put in a change of address. Deliverability is never as high a percentage as anyone might like. The hard fact is that you are going to get a higher number of “nixies” or returns. This needs to be factored in to your pre-planning in terms of anticipated response profits and overall campaign expense.
Many lists over the years have used new phone hookups/disconnects as a sign of a new move-in or out for both consumers and businesses. However, many people are turning off their landlines and using either cellphones or voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices.
Carol Lustig is marketing director for Sonny’s Enterprises, a direct marketer of automotive aftermarket products.