It’s easy to decide who you don’t want to mail to. There are the non-payers, the people who return or cancel every order, closed businesses, abusive customers – and the list goes on. But determining a comprehensive strategy for your suppressions takes more effort than it would first appear. For example, do you only want to suppress that “person” on your list, or their whole family/company? Do you only want to suppress that teacher at that school, or ALL 4th grade teachers? As you can see, there are a many facets to what is often seen as a simple, straight-forward process.
You may have a list of customers they would rather not do business with; but that list is just a starting point. How you utilize it should be part of an overall strategy towards more effective marketing. And it should be unique to your specific business challenges and goals. Listed below are six ideas that will help you get the most out of your suppression strategy.
Suppression Strategy #1
Define and identify your suppression goal. Understand and clearly state exactly whom you want to suppress from your mailings and why.
Suppression Strategy #2
Maintain your suppression file with the same diligence as your customer file. Keep it up-to-date, clean it, and regularly review it to make sure your suppression file is aligned with your current business practices.
Suppression Strategy #3
Develop rules of how you want the suppression handled during the merge/purge process. For example, do you want to just suppress specific person, his entire family (David Jones versus all the Joneses)? On a B-to-B mailing do you want to suppress by full contact name, company name, or just surname. As you can see, there are many choices available; and so it is imperative that you understand your options and how they will impact your marketing.
Suppression Strategy #4
Explore other suppression lists available to you. Talk to your service bureau about the Social Security deceased file, or the DMA Do-Not-Mail file, Prison Address suppression, and so forth.
Suppression Strategy #5
Communicate to your service bureau exactly what you are trying to accomplish with your suppression strategy. Make them a partner in the process of developing a strategy specifically for your needs. Your service bureau should be able to offer insight, options, and value to the process.
Suppression Strategy #6
Finally, evaluate your strategy on an ongoing basis. Nothing is ever carved in stone. As time goes by your needs evolve. Discuss this with your service bureau as there may be new and innovative way to address these new challenges.
In conclusion, a good and effective suppression strategy can save you more than just money on your marketing efforts. It can save your reputation, your brand, the hard-earned loyalty of your customers, and sometimes – even your sanity.