How Geographic Data Improves Direct Mail Marketing

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In this age of digital marketing, is direct mail dead? Not according to the Direct Marketing Association, which reports response rates 10 to 30 times higher for direct mail over traditional email. To boost those rates even higher, direct marketers are increasingly using geographic data. Information about locations, particularly when used in conjunction with specific details about the people within those locations, enable the kind of segmentation and relevance of message that can edge up your ROI.

Segmented Mailing Lists Are More Targeted

Blanket mailings - coupons, fliers and postcards sent to everyone in a particular area, regardless of how likely they are to be interested - are usually a poor method of customer acquisition. To increase the likelihood that your target will engage with your message, direct marketers use lists segmented by age, gender, race, education, income and other characteristic data. For example, with the right location data, a direct marketer could learn that folks in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, TX, tend to have bachelor's degrees, enjoy a reasonable amount of disposable income and are often raising families. This helps marketers determine which type of promotions make the most sense for this neighborhood.


Targeted Mailings Are More Relevant

The outcome of effective segmentation is sending relevant offers to the right people, which, in turn, means your marketing is more likely to generate results - and less likely to annoy recipients. Imagine you are a retired grandparent getting fliers for the newest “skinny jeans.” It’s clear that the business reaching out to you does not care who you are as a person – and now, they’ve lost your goodwill, making it much less likely you'll purchase from this business in the future.

More Segmentation Means Less Cost

Segmentation of target audiences and relevant offers helps save money in three ways:

  1. Segmentation helps to minimize postage and number of mailings because the target audience is smaller for well-segmented lists.
  2. Organizing direct mail campaigns by carrier route earns postal discounts, which lowers marketing costs.
  3. Segmentation also means more efficient tracking, measuring and monitoring of the mailing campaigns and leads to better business decisions.

Maponics provides industry-leading boundaries for Neighborhoods, ZIP Codes, Carrier Routes and Canadian FSAs. For lifestyle and behavior information, Maponics Context™ Demographics products offer insight from both Census/ACS and Nielsen PRIZM Lifestyle Segments.


Direct marketing companies like infoUSA, Melissa Data and Pitney Bowes use Maponics’ data. In fact, our ZIP Codes and carrier route boundaries are so accurate and easy to integrate that the US Postal Service refers companies looking for ZIP Code maps directly to us. To talk about how you can leverage geographic data to increase your direct mail ROI, contact us.