Monthly Archives: June 2011

5 Things to Consider When Buying an Email List1:06 pm

By Stacey White

If you are in the process of looking to purchase an email list, there are many things to consider. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 established the first national standards for the sending of commercial email in the US. This post isn’t to go through each article of this Act (though if you are conducting your own email broadcast, you should be familiar with the CAN-SPAM laws), this post is to make sure you know what to consider when purchasing your own email list for your own email broadcast.

1. Make sure it’s worth it to deploy your own email broadcast.
2. Is the email list you’re purchasing opted-in?
3. Do you have “multiple-use” rights to the email list?
4. Is your “creative” optimized to get passed spam filters and CAN-SPAM compliant?
5. Do you have the proper Unsubscribe option in your email and are you keeping your Unsubscribe list updated?

Many people opt to have a marketing company do the broadcast for them because of all of the broadcast laws and the heavy fines assigned for Email Listbreaking those laws. A marketing company has relationships with the servers to which they send their email broadcasts so their emails are much more likely to get through the spam filters that will most likely block your email. If you decide it is worth it to purchase your email list, it’s imperative that your email list provider puts in writing that their email addresses are opted-in. Not only is this a part of the CAN-SPAM Act, but you also only want to be contacting people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.

As with many marketing approaches, the name of the game in email broadcasting is repetition. One of the benefits of owning your own email list is that you don’t have to pay a marketing company to send out your message a second or third time. Make sure the email list provider you choose offers “multiple-use” rights with your email list so you don’t breach the Terms and Conditions of your list contract.

If you hire a marketing company to broadcast your message for you, they will make sure your email “creative” is set up correctly to get through the typical spam filters and that it is CAN-SPAM compliant. If you purchase your email list, you may be on your own in this department. Click Here for more details on email broadcast guidelines. These guidelines explain the Unsubscribe requirements. It is imperative to update your Unsubscribe list before every deployment because one slip-up could cost you up to $11,000.

New US Data Corporation Blog!1:56 pm

By Stacey White

You may have noticed that we’ve been re-posting our older blog posts. We recently changed blog interfaces and we’re basically starting from scratch. So, in an attempt to keep all of that great information we’ve supplied in the past, we decided to re-post all of your favorite posts over the years. You’ll find great information on mailing lists, sales leads, email marketing, data hygiene and much more! If there’s a post that you particularly liked that you can’t find, please let us know and we’ll post it for you.

For all of your mailing list, sales leads, response data, specialty list, email broadcast, text marketing and data hygiene needs, contact US Data Corporation at 888-610-3282.
us data corporation logo

Cleaning your marketing list can make all the difference…11:02 am

By Stacey White

US Data Corporation’s List Wash Service

Use our Mailing List Cleaning Services to Optimize Your Database.

Does Your Data Work For You?

Data scrubbing – also known as mailing list cleanup, merge/purge processing, or data cleansing are all critical areas of database management. Does your customer database system drive your business to get the profits you deserve? Has it been neglected or otherwise left unattended? If you answered yes, you are not alone.

Less than 15% of companies keep their customer databases up to date and do not actively communicate with their customers.

Customer data that was once fresh can quickly become outdated, resulting in wasted marketing dollars. More importantly, past customers may be vanishing from your database resulting in lost revenue. In today’s economy, maximizing the relationship with your current customers is more important than ever.
marketing list cleaning
US Data can perform all the procedures necessary for smooth database list usage and maximum return on your marketing investment (ROI) by data scrubbing, data cleanup and mailing list cleaning.

The United States Postal Service states that 35% of all bulk mail mailed every year ends up in the garbage due to inaccurate addressing.

Before you launch your next campaign, let US Data clean your customer database with our List Wash service. US Data will address standardize, remove duplicates, and send the list through an extensive hygiene process providing you with a clean and up to date list allowing you to reach customers that may have been left behind.

This product may also be used with your prospect files.

Specifics:

Turnaround Time – 2-5 Days

Investment:

1-5,000 records – $750

5,001-10,000 records – $950

10,001-25,000 records – $1,200

25,000+ – $1,500

100,000+ – Call us for a Quote

Original File and new updated file will be returned to customer

Preferred Formats: Excel, CSV, Comma and/or Tab delimited

For all of your mailing list, sales leads, response data, specialty list, email broadcast, text marketing and data hygiene needs, contact US Data Corporation at 888-610-3282.

Photo by: Lise Gagne/iStockphoto

Apples and Oranges…data is NOT data!10:55 am

By Stacey White

I’m sick of people saying, “data is data” as if all data is the same. Data is NOT data! This huge industry of multi-billion dollar companies mining, maintaining and updating data isn’t around because “data is data”. There is a reason why companies spend millions of dollars on making quality data available to the public. Companies need to do marketing and they need a cost effective way to do it. If 50% of their mailing campaign is returned or only 20% of their phone numbers are connectible, this is not cost effective for most companies. They may have saved a few hundred dollars on their list purchase, but lost thousands more in the end.

marketing list
Time and time again I talk to companies who are so fixated on price, they lose sight of the big picture – making money. Maybe they have always gotten such horrible results with their marketing campaigns that they don’t know any better….they don’t know that a better, yes, more expensive list, can and will produce more qualified leads that will convert at a higher rate. Or maybe they are new to the list game and they haven’t been burned yet and need to be.

So, why do people continue to put themselves through the torment of purchasing that cheaper, less effective list? Maybe it’s my fault for not effectively explaining the difference between the apples and the oranges…or maybe these people live in a world where they have to see it to believe it. Either way, next time you are purchasing a marketing list, please do me a favor and make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Make sure that:

1. The list will be freshly updated when you purchase it

2. The source of the data exercises regular data hygiene updates

3. The source of the data is trusted (see http://www.usdatacorporation.com/info/2011/06/who-can-you-trust-in-the-marketing-list-industry/)

4. Other reputable companies are using the list company in question

5. The selects and output you are receiving with the sales list are the same

Thank you for listening.

For all of your mailing list, sales leads, response data, specialty list, email marketing, text marketing and data hygiene needs, contact US Data Corporation at 888-610-3282.

Photo By: stevendepolo

Who can you trust in the marketing list industry?10:50 am

By Stacey White

Let’s face it…the data industry is full of scammers. Data is an intangible product and unfortunately some people take advantage of that fact by reselling old, ineffective data that they claim is fresh and accurate. How do you know until you try it out? This leads to much time and money wasted on campaigns that are destined to fail because a crucial element of the campaign is faulty – the marketing list.

Now, even if you have found a quality marketing list company you can always go online and find negative comments about these reputable companies – so how do you know who is real and who isn’t? Here are five ways to know your list company is the real deal.

– BBB rating
– Local Chamber of Commerce Member
– Member of other marketing organizations like the DMA
– Compiler vs. list broker
– Guarantees

data industry trustCheck their BBB rating. Make sure that they are at least a B rating and that all of the complaints posted have been successfully resolved. Other things that affect a company’s BBB rating are:

– Number of years in business
– Employee Size
– Revenue

So, a smaller company will generally be a B rating, even though they are a quality company. Are they a member of your local Chamber of Commerce? Reputable companies will spend the extra money to be involved in local associations like this as well as national or international organizations like the DMA (Direct Marketing Association).DMA logo

Understand if they are a compiler or a list broker. List compilers are the source of the data – list brokers purchase their data from list compilers. Unfortunately for list brokers, it’s hard to distinguish between a real list broker and someone reselling the same old list to thousands of end users. The general rule of thumb is to work directly with the source of the data – you can avoid unnecessary price mark-ups this way, as well. Finally, what are their guarantees if something goes wrong? A reputable company will guarantee their data in writing. Make sure that they will replace the defective data at no cost to you.

Photo By: BBB
Photo By: DMA

For all of your mailing lists, sales leads, response data, specialty list, and email broadcast needs, contact US Data Corporation at 888-610-3282.

Mailing Lists, Sales Leads, Response Data…What’s in a Name?10:09 am

By Stacey White

If you’re doing a marketing campaign, you’ve certainly heard a variety of industry terms when it comes to a “marketing list”. Mailing list, sales leads, response lists, specialty list, email marketing…what’s the difference? What will work best for you?

First, let’s tackle the “list vs. leads” debacle. Leads are generally when people opt in to receive information – so these prospects are actively looking for your product or service. A list is a collection of names, addresses, phone numbers and a variety of other “selects” known about each individual or business that is used by companies or individuals to send marketing material to multiple recipients. Lists are less “hot” than leads, but with the targeting abilities of marketing list companies today, a list can be very effective and more cost effective.

Response data is similar to sales leads in that the prospect has recently made the effort to get in contact with the advertiser. In general, “response lists are the most effective if the prospects have made the request [for information] within the last three months. These prospects are ideal for highly targeted direct mail campaigns and are commonly referred to as ‘hotline buyers’.” (US Data Corporation)
gardener list
A specialty list is more like a boutique marketing list. If you’re selling gardening gloves and want to target gardeners, you’ll need a specialty list of gardening enthusiasts. Whether these are subscribers to the Garden Gate Magazine or members of the National Gardening Association, your specialty list will consist of people interested in gardening. These people haven’t necessarily been actively searching for gardening gloves, but they are the most likely audience to be interested in them. Generally, specialty lists cost more than a general marketing list, but the response rates are much higher and the extra investment pays off in the end.

email listIf you are looking to do an email broadcast, you have two choices. You can purchase the email list and do the broadcast on your own or you can purchase the broadcast from a marketing company and they will do the blast for you. With all of the CAN-SPAM laws in place and spam filters on computers, it is recommended that you have a marketing company do the blast for you. They will take care of the unsubscribes, they will make sure your mail piece is CAN-SPAM compliant, they will get your message past the spam filters and you avoid the risk of getting your domain blacklisted by your prospects’ servers. It may seem cheaper to just buy the email list, but when half of your emails bounce back because your domain isn’t white-listed on your prospects’ servers, or you get sued because you don’t have the correct information in your Subject Line, your campaign will get much more costly and less cost effective.

Photo By: Yuri Arcurs
Photo By: www.allspammedup.com

For all of your business list and consumer list needs, contact US Data Corporation at 888-610-3282.

Top 5 Keys to Ordering a Marketing List9:51 am

By Stacey White

After you’ve done the research and you’ve selected your list provider, now it’s time to place your marketing list order. Consulting your list expert will help you along the way, but the following five tips will help you succeed with your next list purchase:marketing list

1. Have a marketing goal
2. Know your customer
3. Know how best to reach your customers
4. Have a clear and concise message or offer
5. Set realistic expectations for your ROI

Without a marketing goal, how do you know if you’ve succeeded? A clearly defined goal is a necessary first step in your marketing campaign. It’s also imperative to know what type of prospects suits your product or service. Targeting the wrong audience is one of the most frequent mistakes marketers make.

mobile marketingKnowing your customer means knowing how to reach them. Would a postal campaign, telemarketing campaign, email broadcast or text message broadcast be the most efficient way to reach your target audience? Think of your market’s age and habits – if you’re targeting consumers under the age of 25, text broadcasts might be a good option, whereas if you’re targeting over the age of 65, a traditional mailing campaign or a telemarketing campaign might be more effective.

Make sure your mail piece clearly displays your offer or message. You only have a few seconds to grasp your audience’s attention and if they can’t find what you’re selling immediately, in the trash your mail piece goes! Finally, expectation setting is very important. Ask your list expert what response rates they typically see on the file you are using and then calculate your minimum CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) based on this historical evidence. It will be clear if it makes sense to move forward with the campaign or if you need to reevaluate your approach.

Photo By: cdeal101
Photo By: English106

Trust US Data Corporation for your mailing lists. Call 888-610-3282 or Click Here to submit a form for a free, no obligation quote!

Mailing List Purchase Tips for 20118:58 am

By Stacey White

The New Year is always an interesting time for a business. Everybody’s excited about starting fresh, motivated to work harder and devoted to make more money than last year.
mailing list
To help make your first campaign of the year a huge success, it’s important to think through every step of your direct mail campaign and make sure your mailing list purchase is well researched. The following are some great questions to ask a list company:

– How long have you been in business?
– How many employees work for your company?
– Do you have multiple branches?
– Where do you get your mailing list data?
– How often do you update your records?
– What is your BBB rating?

You want to work with a mailing list company that has been in the industry for more than 5 years, that has more than one branch office, and that has more than 20 employees. Working with a well established company of this size gives you a higher chance of success when purchasing a mailing list. They will have more to lose if they sell you a bad list and won’t disappear after they take your money.
waiting in line

You want to purchase a mailing list that is updated at least once a month. Most Do-Not-Call/Contact lists are updated every month so your lists must be as well.

Even though BBB ratings aren’t the only way to rate a company, it is a good way to see how the company deals with the customer service problems that arise. Every mailing list company has unhappy customers…it’s just the nature of the list industry…but it’s how they work with their unhappy customers that makes a difference.

Photo By Nieve44/La Luz

Photo By Steve and Sara

Trust US Data Corporation for your mailing lists. Call 888-610-3282 or Click Here to submit a form for a free, no obligation quote!

US Data Email Marketing Tips3:24 pm

By Stacey White

Email Marketing at US Data Corporation
Email Marketing Stats

From direct mail to billboard advertising, the results you see from marketing campaigns vary. Email marketing is continuing to gain popularity in the marketing arena and is proving to be one of the optimal means of connecting with large audiences and raising brand awareness. When email is the chosen method of contacting prospects, many variables can affect the success of the campaign. US Data Corporation has extensive experience deploying email marketing campaigns and the integration of our expertise into your next campaign can only benefit your results in the end.

Although US Data Corporation does not guarantee results, we have gathered the typical high and low ranges of opens and click-throughs for both consumer and business email campaigns, as well as the average opens and click-throughs our clients typically see from our single opt in campaigns versus our double opt in campaigns. This will give you an idea of what to expect from the average email marketing campaign at US Data Corporation.

Single Opt In Email Campaigns:

Consumers- Average Ranges:

*Opens 3% – 5%
*Click-throughs 3% – 5%

Businesses- Average Ranges:

*Opens 3% – 7%
*Click-throughs 3% – 5%

Double Opt In Email Campaigns:

Consumers- Average Ranges:

*Opens 8% – 11%
*Click-throughs 5% – 7%

Businesses- Average Ranges:

*Opens 11% – 16%
*Click-throughs 5% – 7%


How to succeed with email list marketing…

As with every marketing campaign, a well-defined, easily measured strategy is a requirement for a successful email marketing campaign. You must know, beforehand, what sort of response you are expecting and what is considered a success or a failure. Are you using email marketing as a lead-generating tool or are you looking at more of a branding strategy? Make sure, based on the averages above, that conducting an email broadcast is the best use of your marketing dollars.

It is necessary that your product and/or service are clearly defined in your message. There should be no confusion on what you sell when your prospect opens your email. Not only is this a good strategy for improving your conversions, it’s also a requirement under the CAN-SPAM laws. A single link to a landing page on your website that clearly explains your offer helps to ensure the best conversion rates, as well. Include clear call-to-action(s) on the creative design so your prospect knows exactly what to do when they glance at your message (i.e. “Click Here for More Info”).

Quality design is an integral part of your email list campaign’s success. It can be the deal breaker, either prompting your prospect to read your message or making them discard it immediately. Too much flash can be distracting and annoying to some, whereas plain text wouldn’t be enough to catch the eye of others. The general rule of thumb is that your creative should be clean and simple, limiting to fewer than 250 words, and it should clearly define the purpose of the email.

The Subject line is one of the first things your prospect will see, therefore making it one of the most important pieces of your campaign. Many recipients will delete an email based on the Subject line alone. Based on CAN-SPAM laws, the Subject line must explain clearly what the email is about and must not mislead the recipient in any way. Using a subject line under 70 characters in length is optimal.

The From line is almost equally as important. If your prospect does not recognize your From line, then they must at least be intrigued by it, or they will delete the email before opening it. The general rule of thumb is that you should not use an email address or a person’s name in the From line. Using your company name is optimal.

It is crucial to have a quality landing page that displays the same offer your email contains and clear call-to-actions so your visitor knows what to do once they get to your site. It would be a complete waste of an email campaign if your prospect got to your website and found no relevant information available. If you don’t have information about your promotion on your website, then using a landing page would be recommended. This page can link to your website, but the main goal of the page is to provide more information on your promotion and guide your prospect to whatever action you desire (i.e. filling out a form, calling your company, registering, etc.).

Make sure to analyze your results and learn from the stats you receive. Subsequent email campaigns can only benefit from your analysis. Above all, make sure to take care of the prospects that convert, follow up with them in a timely manner and re-contact them in the future with more promotions and discounts.

If you don’t have success with your first email campaign, test different variables to see what may not be working. It is very important to send your email broadcast at the most optimal time of the week. Our research shows that sending on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons is best for both businesses and consumers. Fridays can be good blast date for consumers but not for businesses. You want to get your prospects with a fresh, clear head and when their inbox isn’t cluttered with unopened emails.

Trust US Data Corporation for your mailing lists. Call 888-610-3282 or Click Here to submit a form for a free, no obligation quote!