At first glance database marketing could be seen as either a very vague expression or a very specific one. Obviously in direct mail we are always using databases in our marketing, but that does not really identify which of the above we provide in specific mailings.
We define the difference simply based on volume and functions used due to the volume. For example, even thought it is rudimentary at best; in order for a mailpiece to be considered personalized there is at least one area where you refer to the person you are addressing by name. With database marketing we may not specifically call the person by name, but we will make sure the offer presented will likely appeal to the recipient based on mining, tiers and historical data.
So in many ways both of these can be considered “personalization”. However, when the audience gets large enough, we may have to resort to non-personalized printing in order to meet a large scale budget. This eliminates marketing directly to the person, and replaces it with marketing to a segment of people or interests. A quick example would be 20,000 pieces vs. 250,000 pieces. We can easily digital variable print (aka Variable Data Printing) anything from 500 to 35,000 pieces or more and keep costs reasonable and response rates elevated. But at 100,000 pieces it becomes much easier to reduce costs dramatically by breaking down the project into tiers and eliminating variables like “Hello, John” from the copy.
At 250,000 pieces we will have strategically separated the data into many tiers, some of which stay digital to maximize personalization and postage. The other versions are printed on a traditional press to maximize price efficiency and avoid paying the per-click charges that digital presses require. This is database marketing – the management of a campaign to optimize costs and response as well as postage cost and delivery balancing. This is one of the specialized services we are known for, as well as the actual segmenting and variable coding of the project. Much of this is accomplished with our proprietary programs to maximize flexibility.
You don’t get this done at a printer, this is direct mail and database marketing at its core and belongs with database marketing professionals so you get real results, real savings and a 360 degree understanding of the balance of all the above. This is where CSG Direct has earned much of our reputation!