DirectMail.com : The Masters of DataJune 2011 By Julie Greenbaum
Many printers would agree that embracing new technology beyond print is no longer an option, but a necessity. For Prince Frederick, MD-based DirectMail.com, combining ink-on-paper and technology is something the company has done quite well since it opened for business 41 years ago. In the past 10 years, its principals have fine-tuned their direct marketing approach by combining data and print with new digital technologies.
Upon taking over the helm from their fathers and previous owners, Joseph Salta and John Swain, Bob Salta and Kirk Swain began transforming the company from a fundraising agency to a complete direct marketing solutions firm.
"If it fits in your mailbox or inbox, we can produce and deliver it," jokes Salta. "All of our products are tailored for specific clients and their response needs, and we now have the capability to produce any type of direct mail package."
Today, the company serves both large-enterprise and small-business clients primarily in the education, non-profit, association, and franchise and retail segments. Combined marketing and print production solutions range from web and sheetfed offset printing to digital printing (including personalization); data analytics, mailing lists, response management and full mail shop services; and multi-channel marketing capabilities such as personalized URLs (PURLs), landing page design and customized Web-to-print portals.
The use of its patented GeoSelector technology, a real-time data analytics system with numerous marketing applications, has allowed the company to leverage data in a way it had never done before. The technology combines mapping functionality with a high-end, geo-coding program that is linked to more than 200 million consumer records.
"Users can draw on a map and extract the underlying data to analyze diverse market areas—irrespective of any geographic boundaries or ZIP codes, states or cities," notes Price Anderson, vice president of sales and marketing. "This technology also allows us to produce detailed demographic reports and analysis on-the-fly. It helps our clients mail more effectively, develop more relationships and acquire new clients through data visualization."
Mining the Mother Lode
Salta recalls a time when the only data available was purchasing- or donation-history information. "As more relevant data became available, we learned that a 'one size fits all' approach was not going to work for every client. As a result, we teach our customers that they have to dig deeper and combine transactional information with behavioral or attitudinal data," he explains.