Tis The Season For The Highest Opt-Out Rate Of The Year      

Tis the Season to be jolly, as non-profit marketers and development teams alike will be trying to get donors to give up some of their Yule Tide Treasure so they can continue to deck the halls for the upcoming year. But campaign conversations quickly take an Ebenezer Scrooge tone when the appeal campaigns involve blasting the entire database with messaging cheer.

Yes, this is the season or should I say reason for the highest opt-out rate of the year.  Mainly these year-end giving campaigns are rarely segmented in hopes to get anyone to respond. As I say, one size fits all – fits no one.

Here are a few hacks to consider for your holiday appeals campaign segments:

  • Determine the income level of existing donors using the wealth and income data from P360. Next cross-reference the donor’s giving level to determine who’s been a Scrooge all year and giving well below their means. Send them communication to encourage them to increase Yule Tide treasure.
  • Leverage age, income and wealth data from P360 to determine which existing donors would be good candidates for planned giving.
  • Create a cloned list of your best donors using the P360 machine learning model and target new donors.
  • Grow and nurture new givers by analyzing their income data to identify appropriate first gift amounts.
  • Create custom audiences leveraging the our insight reports and upload our clone lists into your favorite social media tool.

Get in the KNOW before they GO

Bust Out Some New Moves

Recently, the volume of “sales” emails have been proliferating my inbox. All claiming to help solve various business challenges from CRM, cloud computing to employee onboarding. Most frustrating me are the emails claiming to help me “solve” the problems that I solve on a regular basis for my clients. For example, I don’t need your data, we have our own. I don’t need your machine intelligence platform, we have our own. I don’t need your buyer list, we have our own and we don’t build our lists from bots that troll and scrap email and other data from the internet.

It has been several years since I wrote the book on Precision Marketing, and five years later, we are still in a cacophony of digital noise. Quite frankly this noise it is more annoying now because of the constant stream of irrelevance that continually invade my inbox. My junk filters, spam filters, and FCC complaints all seem to result in more irrelevant communication.

The foundation of Precision Marketing is knowing who to target but more importantly Who NOT to Target. There is an innate cost of losing loyal customers over irrelevant communications. In fact, for each email unsubscribe from your weekly “blasts” is worth $5 each. Think about the time and money it required to acquire the customer in the first place. Spraying and praying your marketing message is never a good strategy and let’s all agree, “one size fits all” really never fits anyone well.

Some tips to help you cut through the messaging mayhem:

Review your email lists from the past six months and group into three categories:

  • Category #1: Opens and engages (right product, right person, right channel)
  • Category #2: Opens and does not engages (wrong product, right person, right channel)
  • Category #3: Never opens (wrong across the board)

Get to know the buyer by conducting:

  • Survey
  • Phone call
  • Append with characteristics (age, gender, marital status, etc)

Review and enhance/enrich your Persona and content development

  • Does your persona or understanding match the insight you uncovered above?
  • How does your pitch, content, story, etc. match up with the insight you uncovered?
  • How can you improve your call to actions(CTAs) to drive relevancy?

Deciding who and who not to target is a complex task that takes diligence. A rule of thumb to consider when you are acquiring a new prospect is that it takes seven interactions before they begin to engage with your brand and your products. This takes tenacity and persistence to finely hone your messages and targets. In fact, I have several email campaigns that have been continually honed over one year and is yielding high returns.


Relevance = Response = Revenue


Facebook shares plunged today when CEO announced shift in goals from relevant content to meaningful interactions. Mark Zuckerburg said new algorithms will prioritize more posts from friends and family that spark conversation resulting in less paid for content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses. Why the seismic change? He cited Relevance.

These new modifications will significantly change the way B2C marketers promote products and events, as well as influence, gain and retain their target markets. Many companies have shifted marketing dollars away from traditional channels to Facebook and invested greatly into video and content resources. Organizations have reworked their reporting dashboards to capture FB’s influence on it top line results. Social media vernacular such as “likes”, and “pages” have finally made its way to boardrooms. And now, after loyal marketers have spent years legitimatizing FaceBook as a viable channel,– Facebook has officially announced to the world your are un-friended.

Now that your paid for posts, dark posts, campaigns and videos will rank lower than a snake’s belly, here are a few tips.

  • Understand the new guidelines and how your organization may be impacted.
  • Determine how much revenue could be at stake.
  • Have a strategy to contact those hard-earned followers. (e.g. opt in give-away)
  • You must know your customers demographics such as age, marital status, presence of children, education, as well as hobbies and interests. Collecting these data points will help you create more relevant messaging, promotions, personas that will enable you to cut through the clutter and increase your likelihood of being heard. Our software P360 provides this for functionality starting at only $99 per month.
  • Having a deeper understanding of your customers interest will enable you to shift your ad dollars away from Facebook and place your spend with brands, outlets that cater to specific interest such as style, food and wine, news, and outdoors activities to name a few. Our software P360 provides this functionality starting at only $99 per month.
  • Read my book, “Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance.”

Ironically, we are now faced by facebook to command a deeper understanding of our loyal customers and their interests. No longer will we have the luxury of marketing to them on a generic, community platform. Now we have to relevant to KNOW OUR CUSTOMERS or there will be NO CUSTOMERS.





Everyone should detox their data at least once a year. Today, with more marketing channels than ever, “it’s critical to detox.”

Symptom Checker: You probably need to detox your data if you have any of the following symptoms such as:

  • Uncontrollable spam and unsubscribe rates
  • Going postal over unknown mailing address returns
  • Sluggish open rates
  • Feeling unpopular on Facebook
  • Depressed click through rates
  • When asked, “how are sales?” and you respond, “In the toilet.”


First you must investigate the current situation. Gather up your household files, pour yourself some tea and find a quiet place to review past campaign performance, lists accuracy, open rates. Be positive, remember this is where you are now – not your future state. Keep a journal and share with your team members your goals and vision for a data driven marketing department. Now the hard part, assess where you are today.

  • Your mailing list should be 85-90% correct before mailing. This means deduped and standardized. Ask your printer for the average metrics on your previous mailing lists. If your lists are not hitting this metric, seek the advice of your printer because they have tools to remedy this situation. (NCOA) Your goal is to have the most accurate list of households in your file’s including address, city, state, zip, zip +4, and Delivery Point. (You must have the DP)
  • At least 30% of your email list should have home addresses. If not, and I am not a data scientist, but I would recommend a reverse append to see if your email list has a home address on file. Email lists should be cleaned not only to protect your reputation but before sending out for a reverse append.

At this point you should feel pleased that you have accomplished the foundation necessary to support your data divinity.

As my Italian mother used to say, “A clean home is a happy home.” Now you should have three, clean, crisp lists on hand.

  • List of mailing addresses with email address. (Cleaned)
  • List of mailing addresses with no email address (Cleaned)
  • List of just email addresses (Cleaned)

These lists will provide a baseline for your upcoming campaigns and reconciliation efforts.


Reconciling your conversions back to your list is the most time-consuming, yet necessary step that most marketers loathe to perform, and unfortunately, only a few do.

Back to the cleaners for a detox. Yup, back you go. In order to compare lists and accurately measure results we need all the conversions in the same format as the original lists.  Remember address, city, state, zip, zip four and delivery point barcode.  In theory, if an address appears on both lists, you had a conversion from your initial list.

Easy-Peasy Reconciliation Steps:

  • Upload your first list that had mailing address and email into excel.
  • Exactly cut and paste into the existing columns all your new and happy conversions.
  • Next highlight address, city, state, zip, zip+4 and delivery point
  • Find the excel tab “Data” and click.
  • Click “Remove Duplicates”
  • Next, Excel will count up the duplicates and those are your conversions!


Detoxing your data may be difficult, but it is a necessary first step on the road to a data driven marketing department. Now that you have recovered your data, next is creating healthy guidelines, lifestyle, practices, and standards to keep your data in its best shape. These could include a calendar on when to refresh your data or basic input guidelines. You are on your way to becoming a data diva.



How to Monetize Your Demographic Data!

P360’s Visual Report of your Data:

Why do we have a visual dashboard?

P360’s visualization dashboard was created with the marketer in mind. Today, a marketer’s world moves very quickly, I often say marketing is now “moment by moment” vs. the yesteryear of editorial calendars and six months for product launches.  Most of our clients, have products that change week to week, again another pain for our software to solve. P360 delivers instant insight for the marketer on the move while keeping a close eye on ROI.

P360s easy uploader and visual reports are based upon proven yet leading edge technology to deliver actionable insight in seconds. Previously, this process usually involved receiving the file from the ticketing system or IT, and then a person in the marketing department would have to create all the necessary graphs in excel. I have literally worked in marketing departments where this insight took days to weeks to generate.  P360 takes the time and mystery out of gaining deeper understandings of your ticket buyers.

Now here are a few tips on how to leverage the Visual Reports:

Understanding the Match Rates Mystery:

The data used for the visual representations are based on match rates. Meaning your file matched a certain percentage of what is in our consumer file for Age, Gender, Marital Status, etc. It is important to understand how many matches occurred for each chart. The actual numbers should appear as you hover your mouse over the pie chart.  (See Example Above) In this scenario, you may think that all of your ticket buyers have an interest in Books and Music, but once you compare the number of files matched (387) to the number of files that have an interest in Books and music (277), you determine the interest to be 71%.

How can I leverage and monetize these insights?


The visualization can be used to improve your retention marketing for your existing patrons by creating buyer personas. In using the graphs above, we determine that many of our buyers are 50-74 in age and have various interests in Books, Music and outdoor activities. Perhaps, this would be an ideal group to target your up-in-coming theatre in the park event.

Around the holiday’s or in summer, many marketers review the presence of children and save on their mailing by only targeting families with young children.

Some of our clients leverage the insight in the visual graphs to determine digital ad spend using the hobbies and interest charts such as cooking, exercise and travel. While others leverage the insight to build enhance their segmentation.

Business Development tends to focus more on the donor age and wealth/income brackets during their appeal season.

What about Facebook?

Many of our users are having great success leveraging the insight to create custom audiences in Facebook. P360 takes the guess work out of your audience and allows you to easily improve your Facebook targeting ads.

KNOW ME OR NO ME         

Today, as marketers we must know our buyers in order to remain relevant. Marketing a product with little understanding of the buyer usually leads to dismal results.  P360 enables you to gain this knowledge at an affordable price.




Precision Marketing: Three Easy Steps to Reducing Opt Out Rates

Opt-In Emails can be worth $2-$10 each. Do you have an Opt Out Strategy?

Marketers enjoy the affordability and access of email for marketing. Consumers on the other hand, guard their inbox like world leader protects his domain; armed with weapons of destruction such as automatic Spam Blockers, Ad Blockers, one-touch Spam reporting, and junk mail notifications. All designed to keep unwanted, irrelevant noise out of their otherwise quiet, invitation only, digital world.

Even with this arsenal of tools, consumers receive 100’s of marketing emails a day. Today, many experts speculate the value of a single, opted-in email, is anywhere from $2 to $10 dollars. Certainly considered a feather in the cap for hard working marketer that wisely ponders and spends on their cost-per-click Ad-words, likeable Facebook content, witty tweets, and irresistible Instagram pictures to woo potential suitors to opt-in to their company story. Losing this right to market in this channel certainly represents a cost, and at ten dollars a pop for unsubscribes and spam reporting, it is a expense that needs to be considered.

Clearly at this cost, unsubscribe rates cannot be ignored.

Here are a few tips to reduce your unsubscribe rates:

Carefully review your list – at the very least, segment the:

  • Non-openers: Let’s face it, after several weeks of courting, they are just not into you. Give that list a three month rest.
  • Openers but not clickers: Good sign, recognize more work is to be done. Okay, you have yet to inspire them to act but they have opened, keep this list and change up the offer or design.
  • Clickers but not buyers: Right product wrong Landing page? A great email, great call to action, then the clicker, trusted you enough to click and then landed on a website to confusing, different, outdated, figure out how to purchase.
  • Buyers: Do you have an upsell, cross-sell. A new benefit to share on the purchased product?

 The Reverse Append:

How much do you know about your opt-ins? Are they married, single, millennial, parents, wealthy, technology nut, and or educated? What data points would help create targeted emails? A reverse append of your email list may be a valuable investment.

What is a reverse append?

A reverse append will attached the correct US postal mailing address to your email list. The more address data on file, the better the email match rate. Expect about 25% match rate per list.

What does this cost?

Pricing on reverse appends can be as low as $55/1000 matches and up. Usually additional attributes such as age, gender, marital status, and others can be $4/1000 per attribute.

Let me know if I can assist you in any way. lee

Is your data clean?

This post originally appeared on ArtsHacker.com.  Head over there for lots of great tips, tricks, and information for arts administrators.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on talking about how to keep your email list clean.  It got me thinking that we really need to keep ALL of our data clean.  Now that season is over for most of you, it is the perfect time to do a little data maintenance.

Let’s all grab our tricorders and dive right in.

1. Go On A Data Cleanse

List hygiene is so important and can actually save you money!  If you have a nonprofit indicia with the USPS, you already have to NCOA your list yearly but let’s take it a step further.  (By the way, if you are not NCOA-ing your list each year for some reason, that should be the first thing you do after reading this post. Reach out to your local mailhouse and they can take care of it for you. Quick! Run!)

The next step is to append demographic information to your patron list can not only clean your list but also allow you to segment it so that you can make smarter decisions when it comes to mailings.

If you only have the time/money/energy to do one thing, I would find out who on your list is deceased.  It isn’t a particularly happy topic, but many of us have aging audiences and it is important to know who has passed away so you don’t continue to send them mail.

That said, I’d recommend that you get a good range of demographic data about them such as age, income, presence of children in the home, as well as any other information that is useful to you in future mailings.

In doing this, you are mining your own data for actionable information.  When you know who has kids, you can send them information about your children’s performance or education programming. If you know someone’s income, you can send them appropriate fundraising messaging.  When you know someone’s age, you can make reasonable assumptions as to whether or not they might be able to attend a weekday event during the day. See where I’m going with this?

2. All About That Database

Now that your data is clean and organized, you’ve got to get it back into your patron database.  You want to make sure that the new data you have is in your database so that, when you pull new lists, it is included.

Depending on the volume of information you have, you may be able to make it a summer project for yourself or your staff. If you’ve got thousands of records to edit, you’ll want to contact your ticketing software provider to determine how much can be imported in and the best way to do it.

Some data companies (like Arts & Analytics) offer assistance with this, especially when you are migrating data from one system to another.

I realize that not every ticketing CRM has the ability to store additional pieces of custom data.  If you can’t add in demographic data, at least update addresses that have changed and mark the people who are deceased so you don’t continue to pull out incorrect information.

3. Reactivation Nation

Now that your data is super fresh and clean, it is time to start engaging them by sending them the right messaging.

Those folks who you have just discovered have children at home can get communications about your next family event. Or maybe they should get a postcard encouraging them to attend your concert as a special “date night” without the kids.

Identify people who haven’t purchased tickets in a while and send them a simple series of direct mail postcards and/or emails featuring upcoming events and programs.

Now that you have some income information for your patrons, see which ones are current donors and determine if they have the potential to give more. You can also segment your current ticket buyers who aren’t yet donors to send them fundraising messages with appropriate suggested donation amounts for your annual appeal.

There are so many possibilities with what you can do with data. When you keep your data clean, you have to tools at hand which help you to make educated decisions.

Let’s get to work!

Precision Marketing Framework: Five Steps to Maximizing ROI

Countless case studies across multiple, industry verticals share one common finding: “Market Messaging” based upon customer insights, also known as Precision Marketing (data-driven customer insights), delivers increased ROI. Enhancing your data with demographics (age, marital status, education, interests and hobbies) help to grow deeper customer insights and assist in delivering relevant messaging that engage, convert, and builds brand attachment and loyalty.

Precision Marketing Framework – Here are the five steps to increased ROI as discussed in my book:

Step 1. Identify Your Problem (what are you tying to solve)

  • Are you trying to re-engage loyal customers?
  • Do you want to increase response rates?
  • Do you want to target customers with a new service?

Step 2. Evaluate Your Data on Hand

Marketers should leverage their available data and house files. Now don’t try to boil the ocean here, customer addresses and basic purchase history will suffice. Further inspecting the data for quality or hygiene, and understanding what information is missing can provide a valuable baseline. Once you have a better understanding of your data, you may decide to send out for address correction/standardization and enhancement. We recommend enhancing the data with affordable insight such as marital status, education level, and presence of children, income, gender, and home ownership. This is typically available from $10 per 1,000 addresses.

This process can take up to two weeks depending on your data vendor or if you decided to use our software, P360, it will take about two minutes.

Once the data is returned, it is always a good exercise to perform some basic segmentation for product purchases such as subscriptions, donors, genre, and or single tickets buyers. Trends or commonalities should surface when comparing purchased products and specific demographics. Think birds of a feather stick together. How old are the large ticket buyers and what is their income? What product are they buying and in what channel? Basic knowledge of your customer base will assist in matching the right, relevant communication to the right customer, in the right channel.

Step 3. Create and Implement Your Targeted Campaign

Once you’ve identified your target customer segments based on your requirements such as location, age, gender or other characteristics, you will need to tailor the marketing messaging. Remember, customers will tune out if the content does not speak directly to their needs or aspirations, so it is imperative to deliver highly relevant content. For example, imagine a potential subscriber that has many similar characteristics of your current subscriber, just in a lower income bracket. Maybe the messaging could highlight your payment plans.

Here is a little example from Italian carmaker Fiat.

How Fiat Used Data to Improve Customer Retention by 6-7%

Italian carmaker Fiat Group wanted to improve customer retention.  To do this, Fiat collected survey data from existing and prospective customers and bought third-party data on car purchasing behavior.  For example, Fiat gathered data such as how often people replace their cars.  Then, Fiat used software similar to ours to:

  • predict customers’ responses to the brand;
  • predict dealer actions;
  • and create effective online marketing activities.

“The main focus is how to be effective in managing the data and the brands,” said Giovanni Lux, Customer Intelligence Manager for Fiat. The results?  Using the data and modeling, Fiat made changes that improved customer retention by 6 or 7 percent.  Overall, 54 percent of Fiat owners buy another Fiat when they replace their car.

Step 4. Test & Measure

It is critical to set up your metrics to measure the success of your campaign.  Ask yourself, what percentage increase would be a success? Are you seeking a spike in product sales? Need feedback to a question? Increase sign-ups for a Newsletter?

Another suggestion is to track from the email, to a potential landing page, to your shopping cart. Tracking pixels, promo-codes, crazy egg, and many other app’s can help you achieve a 360 view of how your customer is responding to your message.

After the campaign’s been rolled out, measure the metrics established to determine what worked and what may need to be adjusted. Also, it is important to note what metrics did you wished you captured.

This insight can assist in the next campaign approach, design, and metrics. Did the customer’s convert as you thought? Did you see a trend in the conversion?

Step 5. Refine & Repeat

Finally, refine and repeat to generate increasingly positive results. Start with what you know and adjust or tweak as the campaign evolves.  By revisiting and leveraging the exercises and knowledge gained in Steps 1- 4 to build a better “next” campaign.  Now, go back to Step 1 and refine and repeat. Also this helps to optimize your marketing budget by delivering relevant content to the most interested clients. The bottom line is by evaluating and leveraging your data; you can increase the ROI by only sending out relevant communications.  No more spray and pray.

In summary, the quality of the conversation you have with your patrons determines the depth and duration of the relationship; remember, “KNOW ME or NO ME”.  As savvy marketers, we need to continually strive to deliver the right, relevant message, in the right channel to deliver results and maximize return on investment (ROI).

How are you planning to get your lapsed ticket buyers back?

You probably engage in lapsed subscriber campaigns to try and bring back former subscribers who haven’t renewed.  But, do you also do the same sort of campaigns for previous ticket buyers who haven’t been back?

Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than new customers.*

Imagine your average ticket purchase for a new acquisition is $50. That same ticket purchase for your existing ticket buyer goes up to $65.50.  And you’re a lot more likely to cross-sell them into that new show you have next month.

It is worth it to spend a little bit of extra time to communicate with lapsed ticket buyers.

Here are some tips to re-engage and reactivate lapsed ticket buyers:

  1. Identify and Segment.  The first step is to identify ticket buyers who haven’t returned within a certain amount of time and group them into a segment.  You can use this segment for a variety of communications such as direct mail, email, and Facebook advertising.
  2. Find The Clones.  Once you have your segment identified, create a cloned list of new prospects who match their demographics for your direct mail campaigns. (You can do this easily with our P360 software.) This will expand the pool of qualified people who receive your communications. You can carry this through in your Facebook advertising campaigns by creating a Custom Audience based on your lapsed ticket buyers.
  3. Create Compelling Messaging.  A lapsed ticket buyer may need slightly different messaging than your regular buyers.  Make your communications to them as compelling and easy to understand as possible.
  4. Make An Offer.  Offering a discount or other incentive can be very effective in winning back lapsed ticket buyers. Remember, the offer doesn’t always have to be a discount (although that would be a good option). You could also offer a backstage tour, a glass of champagne at the lobby bar, or free parking.
  5. Rinse And Repeat.  Just like with all marketing communications, it takes seeing your message multiple times to move forward with action. Include your lapsed buyers segment in future communications across all platforms including direct mail, email, and social media.

*Harvard Business School