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Better Ailment Targeting, Better Response

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


Ailment target marketing is on the rise with advances in technology that helps to create a more targeted mailing list.  Because direct mail marketers are becoming more and more sophisticated with their ability to identify and utilize the available mailing list data available to them, both response rates are increasing and more quality responders are on the rise.  And also because as more and more drug therapy solutions are developed, more and more opportunities to target the ailment suffer audience also increase.


So how are mailing lists getting better in this category of direct marketing?


Well, to answer this question we much review the ways this kind of mailing list data is captured, and then enhanced.  Ailment mailing lists are created by collecting self-reported information from a variety of survey based means.  Be it the internet, direct mail surveys, questionnaires related to other products or services, self-reported drug prescriptions, auxiliary products related to a disease, seminar attendee’s, or information requested about a product or service that would directly identify the sufferer, large databases of ailment sufferers are very available for specific direct mail campaign uses. These mailing list databases are continually added to as more self-reported data is captured. 


Traditionally, this has been the extent of the compilation. You want diabetics, you got diabetics, you want obesity, and you got obesity.  As of late, these mailing lists are improved, such as making the distinction of Type I or Type II Diabetics.  Further, the ailment database is bumped up against more mainstream consumer mailing list that already includes data elements such as age, income, and interest elements. 


Where there is a name and address match between the to mailing lists, specific demographic and psychographic elements are transferred to the ailment mailing list to create an enhanced database of ailment sufferers selectable by more than just the ailment and geography. With this new, more robust targeting capability, marketers are now able to draw conclusions on what these ailment sufferers actually look like.  From running counts on variety of elements now available, the direct mail marketer can now pinpoint “clusters” of people that look alike. 


As an example, if we found that male diabetics are more apt to follow a more regimented diet than female diabetics, the direct mail marketer could version the mail piece to speak more appealing to each gender.  Lifestyle and diet information can tell us more about various ailment sufferers, hence creating better direct mail piece versioning. In addition to the direct mail piece versioning, direct mail campaign measurement is also enhanced.  The direct mail marketer might test various offers and versions to various test audiences, measure the direct mail response, and conclude to mail more or less to a specific audience thus increasing return on investment.


Internal Database Enhancement


Most savvy marketers will develop and maintain their own prospect or customer mailing list or database.  This database of prospects and customers is a great resource to better understanding what their customers, prospects, and responders “look like”. 


For those marketers who utilize print, radio, television, web, event, as well as direct mail, their internal database of prospects become large over time.  By using nothing more than the mailing list information (name and address), the marketer can enhance their internal database with demographic and psychographic information and measure the effectiveness of their mediums ability to target the right audience. 


The direct mail marketer can also measure difference in responses between other mediums to again evaluate the most profitable ROI.  This information is extremely helpful in continuing with this effort to design more responsive campaign planning to target more qualified prospects.