Do More for Less - the Power of Email Marketing

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According to recent studies, 91% of US adults like getting email promos from companies they follow, and email itself is nearly 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter marketing combined! Plus, email marketing is cheap or free in many cases (if you already have an email list, for example). So, how do you leverage this affordable platform and do more without spending more?

 

Here are five things to consider to help boost sales for your next campaign.

 

1.  Target New Prospects

The main reason you market is to get more customers, right? Well, email marketing is a great way to do that. You can target prospects based on any number of factors--including age, date of birth, and even Zip Code! So, even if your business is a local pizza place, email marketing makes it easy to ensure your customers (and potential customers) are always in the know about promotions, events, and new offers.

 

2.  Reignite Your Postal Database

Already have a list of customers and their physical addresses? Want to get their emails based on that information so you can reach them on two fronts? An email append service can breathe new life into your customer lists. All you need is a customer name and address, and you'll get a corresponding email addresses to match. From there, add them to your email list, and voila--instant email marketing!

 

3.  Cut Down on Marketing Costs

Marketing is one of the most powerful tools for your business, but if you're spending more than you make in return, is it worth the cost? Probably not. Luckily, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg on email marketing campaigns. The biggest costs associated with running this kind of campaign are found in templates, buying email lists if you don't have them, and purchasing a service that sends your campaigns, too. To save money, find a provider like that offers a full-service email marketing tool to do all the design, implementation, and tracking for you, saving you time and money.

 

4.  Strengthen Relationships

Reach out to your customers early and often, keep them at the forefront of everything you do, and include them as much as possible. With email marketing, this is easier than ever. You can connect with your customers directly, offer them insight into your company and new product offers, or even send them coupon codes that give them a special deal they can't find elsewhere. By bringing the conversation  to their inbox, you'll strengthen your relationship with every customer.

 

5.  Improve Communication

In 2017, "Hello, Customer" just doesn't cut it. To improve communication with and understanding of your customers, implementing personalization tactics can work wonders. If you know the customer's name, address the email directly to them. If you know they bought a pepperoni lover's special from you a month ago, remind them how delicious it was and offer them a coupon for their next purchase. Being personal and communicative goes a long way with every customer, and a good email marketing solution will target by age, income, gender and/or home value, and more.

 

Now that you're prepared, give it a shot with a free trial of Melissa's Email Marketing Service! We design, send, analyze, and track, for an all-in-one solution to help you reach your customers more effectively.

 

 

5 Ecommerce Issues You Forgot--And How to Fix Them

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Want to increase conversions, provide customers with a better shopping experience, and cut down on cart abandonment? Check out these five ecommerce issues you probably forgot and how to fix them to solve these problems and more.

1. The Fat Finger Syndrome

Customers are terrible at typing--especially when it comes to filling out incredibly small contact forms on their smartphones. The fat finger syndrome accounts for many name misspellings, incorrect addresses, email bouncebacks, and invalid order submissions. To take the burden off the customer, try implementing a real-time autocomplete solution. By automatically showing verified addresses and emails as the customer types, you'll help alleviate fat finger syndrome and cut down on form abandonment.

 

2. International Postal Standards Vary

Did you know that in Japan, the last name goes first on shipping labels? And in Canada, the postal codes consist of letters and numbers arranged in a specific way? Those are just two examples of how address standardization can differ from country to country. So, if you're planning to go international, be mindful of varying postal requirements and make sure you have an address verification solution that can verify, standardize, format and transliterate. Solutions like Melissa's Global Address Verification do all of this and more--like adding precise lat/long coordinates to addresses for 40+ countries.

 

3. Upfront Shipping Matters

Amazon has shown the way towards better conversions, more sales, and cost-effective shipping with upfront shipping costs and delivery dates shown at every step of the order process. Now, you can, too! With Decimal, a comprehensive shipping rates manager and delivery dates predictor, you can provide your customers with calculations for shipping while they shop, without interrupting their purchase. That means more customers hitting Submit Order without delay.

 

4. Clean Data Affects Everything

Are you sure you're only storing accurate customer data? The data you collect directly on your site, via call-in orders, through internal systems, and mobile all need to match to show accurate customer records in order to better know your customers, increase upsell opportunities, and provide good customer service. By cleaning data before it enters your database and maintaining it after, you can ensure that every customer's name, address, phone, and email are accurate and verified.

 

5. Fraud Costs More than Lost Sales

Let's look at some stats--every year, businesses lose $3.5 trillion in revenue to financial crimes, and 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft in 2016 alone. Don't let fraud and chargeback costs steal your bottom line. Instead, use an ID verification solution like Personator®, which combs through 2.1 billion records to match name-to-address and verify that every customer is exactly who they say they are.

 

Need the Name of the Property Owner? Find It In Seconds!

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The TopConnector app is the easiest way to find the owner of virtually any property in the U.S. - just touch a house or a building on the map. It's as easy as that!

The Basics & New Additions

When you touch a property on the map, a callout appears and shows key info about the property - including the name of the owner. In the latest TopConnector version, we've also added the property owner's absentee status to the callout. Now you'll know it right away whether the owner is absentee or not.

To get more information about the owner, tap on the callout. TopConnector provides owner's mailing address, demographics, how long they have been living there, and more. If the owner has made their phone number available in the public records, TopConnector will provide that, too.

The latest TopConnector version also shows the boundaries of most U.S. properties. Now you can see where a property begins and where it ends.

To make researching and comparing properties even easier, we've added the following info to the callout:

·      Property address,

·      Property value,

·      Bedrooms & bathrooms,

·      Last sale date,

·      Owner's name,

·      When the owner is absentee, this info is also shown on the callout.

 
property-data.png

 

How to research properties using TopConnector app:

1.  First, center the map on the neighborhood you are interested in. There are four easy ways to do that:

·      You can use My Location to get info on the properties around you.

·      You can search by an address to get info on properties around that address.

·      You can select from the photos on your phone to get info on properties at the photo's location.

·      Or you can just drag your finger along the map to explore any area.

 2.  Start touching the buildings you see on the map.

 3.  Tap on a callout to get all available data on that property and its owners.

 

TopConnector gives unlimited access to data on over 120 million residential and commercial properties, regardless whether they are for sale or not. No account is required in order to use the app, and no memberships of any kind are necessary.

Wherever you might be, the entire TopConnector property database will always be with you - right in your hand.

Need the name of the property owner? You can find it in seconds.

TopConnector app is in the App Store http://topconnector.us/

For more information, visit TopConnector web site at www.topconnectorapp.com/

 

 

 

 

 

How to Know Customers Are Who They Say They Are

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In 2015 alone, 62% of companies were targets of payment fraud. As customers increasingly conduct their financial affairs online and via mobile devices, risk management and fraud prevention become more and more difficult. So, how do you know customers are who they say they are?

Short of reaching through the computer, tablet, or smartphone screen and verifying a customer with your own eyes, there are a plethora of ways that help you better know your customer, manage risk, and even prevent fraudulent transactions.

Age & National ID Verification

The first step to customer authentication is to match a customer's national ID (for example, their social security or driver's license numbers) and date of birth. Better authenticate a customer's ID documents and simplify compliance with any age restrictions or purchase laws, while improving customer service at the same time. Instantly verify that the customer purchasing your age-restricted goods is old enough to legally make that purchase.

Name-Address Matching

The second step is to match name to address to confirm the person buying your product or service isn't giving you false information. Personator leverages a comprehensive dataset containing billions of records to confirm and match current names and addresses with the highest degree of accuracy. Our powerful, real-time tools and services help you achieve entity resolution and compliance, as well as better know your customer and reduce, or even eliminate, the need for manual review.

Address Correction & Formatting

Next, you'll want to add in what's missing from customer data entry, legacy systems, sales input, and anywhere else your records come from. Add missing street suffixes, state/province/administrative area info, and standardize addresses to specific country formats using Advanced Address Correction (AAC) to verify that addresses are accurate and deliverable to real locations.

Contact Data Validation

Validation concerns more than just a name or address - it needs to look at all aspects of people data, from names and addresses to phone numbers, email addresses, geocodes, IP locations, demographics, and more. Determine that the given postal address for every customer is deliverable, the email address exists, the name associated with a mobile device and whether the phone number is active and callable, and the given name is in a valid format. You can even trace customers with geocodes and IP locators to manage risk and ensure compliance.

Melissa's Personator® World Edition can help meet all of these needs. Personator is a customizable web service that fits all your ID verification process and risk management requirements. It can help optimize onboarding and fraud detection in Ecommerce, AML Compliance, Customer Due Diligence, Card Not Present, Know Your Customer (KYC), and FinTech/RegTech arenas.

Try Personator free for 30 days to see how it can transform your business's safety and compliance.

Melissa provides numerous APIs to handle the standardization, cleansing and verification of various data elements such as addresses, names, phones and emails. Often times we get asked by our customers as to what are some ways to improve the speed when processing records using our APIs. Below are some performance tips to consider when implementing our APIs:

 

Storage

The type of medium where the data files are stored may have an impact on processing speed. We recommend the use of solid state drives to store our data files as they have faster seek & read times compared to spinning disk drives.


We have also sometimes seen clients store the data files on a network share which we definitely don't recommend. Typically, trying to access the files over a network introduces latency which impacts the processing speed when blocks of data need to be fetched quickly. Data files, therefore, should often be stored locally on the machine.

 

Memory

The amount of memory available and speed can also affect processing. While using the APIs, once data is read from the hard drive, the data is cached and stored temporarily into memory in case the data needs to be accessed again shortly.

 

A simple example below, we have a list of phone numbers that were verified using our Phone Object API along with the times in milliseconds indicating the amount of time to verify the phone number.

 

When the Phone Object API encounters a phone number in a new area code, there are spikes in the verify times as the Phone Object now has to go back and fetch a new block from the data files stored on a hard disk and cache it into memory. The more memory available on the system, the more that can be cached into memory as the API reads more blocks from the data files on the disk. And, as discussed in the previous section, having a faster hard drive will help keep those disk read times low when those data file reads occur.


tips-phone.png

Multi-threading

Processors with more than a single core are now common these days. If multiple cores are available on the system, we highly recommend that developers take advantage of that. When multithreading with our APIs, we suggest having each thread contain its own object instantiation for our APIs. 


For example, if you have 8 cores, you may want to create 8 threads with our API instantiated 8 times: once per each thread. Ideally, you would want to create a pool of threads that have our API instantiated already, and therefore ready for processing. If you keep reinitializing/instantiating our API, that will introduce some overhead in the processing.

 

The graph and table below shows some multithreaded testing of our own with our Global Address Object® API with UK addresses and, as shown, there as substantial speed increases that can be obtained through multithreading:


tips-phone2.png


The last major update to the Business Coder Web Service includes the addition of employee contacts for the entered business, allowing for the retrieval of employee names and their respective titles. The next major update to Business Coder will feature an upgrade to the employee contact list returned. Aside from the name and title, contacts will now also give back both their email address and phone number if available. 


This is what the contacts array used to return, versus what it returns with the latest update:


businesscoder-input.png
businesscoder-output.png

Make sure to take advantage of these new fields in the next Business Coder update in order to enrich and improve your business contact information. Leveraging additional contact information will certainly allow for new opportunities with business prospects and allow for better marketing segmentation.

 

Try our Business Coder API now.

Melissa's Improvements in Dynamics CRM

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Dirty data, in all forms, is bad for business. Here at Melissa, our primary concern is cleansing it from all of your platforms, including Microsoft Dynamics® CRM. Melissa currently offers many solutions for Dynamics CRM in order to combat problems with bad data.

 

We offer the Personator® solution in order to cleanse and enrich your U.S. and Canadian data. We offer the Global Verify solution to correct and verify your addresses, phone numbers, names, and email addresses on an international level. Soon, we will release the Express Entry® solution in order to prevent bad data from entering your environment. As we strive to offer you the best solutions, Melissa constantly seeks to improve its solutions to better suit your needs.

 

Coming in a future update, we will offer the following new features to our Express Entry service:


•          Personator Workflows

•          Reverse Lookup for Express Entry

•          Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Personator Workflows

Dynamics CRM is utilized in many different ways in the business world. The creation of contact, account, and lead records is handled through many different environments that may not leverage the standard form. In addition, sometimes users may forget to use our services to cleanse and correct information before saving and storing a record. 


To address these issues, we have created workflows for the Personator solution for the currently supported out-of-box entities. These workflows can be activated to leverage our Personator service on records automatically, such as upon creation of a new record. This will allow users to create records from a different environment, such as a separate portal, to have their information automatically validated through our workflows.

 

Reverse Lookups for Express Entry

Different users enter address information in different orders. With Dynamics CRM's ability to customize forms, it is apparent that not everyone will start by entering a street address. With our new feature, Reverse Lookups, users can enter information starting from the most general piece of information down to the most specific. For example, now a user, after entering his or her default country, can begin by entering the postal code to determine the city and state of the particular record. After filling out these fields, the user can then enter in the street address and select from a list of addresses only in that particular city, state, and postal code.

 

Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Many customers require different methods of verification. In order to address these concerns, we have integrated our Express Entry service into our Global Verify solution. Now, you can utilize the Express Entry service to autocomplete addresses when entering data as well as verify phone and email with the click of a button.

Get in the Contact Zone

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If you're looking for that perfect all-in-one solution that combines the power of easy integration and Melissa's full spectrum of data quality solutions, then you need to get in the Zone - The Contact Zone®.

Contact Zone employs all the customer data management tools you'll need to help provide consistent, trusted, accurate data across the enterprise - all in one single platform for effortless integration. 

Plus, it's powered by Pentaho® Data Integration (PDI), which gives Contact Zone a simple, graphical user interface, dynamic templates, administrative features, and so much more. Collect data from any source, cleanse and transform it, and gain immediate insight for meaningful use.


Global IP New Features - Proxy Identification

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Melissa is proud to announce new features for our IP Locator web service. Update 4.0.0.29 introduces the ProxyType and ProxyDescription response fields, that can help identify if the IP is currently under a proxy. These new additions come with no additional subscription or change in request formatting, so make sure your system takes advantage of these new features.

 

ProxyType introduces what kind of proxy an IP is under, if any. The proxy can help give information on reliability of the IP's metadata. For example, it can be said that anonymous proxies are definitively unreliable and can show that the metadata can be useless. Corporate proxies, on the other hand, are more likely to be reliable. Make sure to check an IP's Proxy to ensure the information you are checking is valid.

 

ProxyDescription expands on the details for the ProxyType. For example, a hosting proxy can be used for the purposes for DNS validation or personal VPN needs.

 

Along with ProxyType and ProxyDescription, Update 29 also introduces a new result code 'IS03' that appears when the IP is under a proxy. A recommended practice is to check the results if it contains IS03, then move to examining the contents of the two fields, ProxyType and ProxyDescription.

 

Head on over to our official IP Proxy wiki for more details on the new proxy fields. Our sample code is also updated with the new fields, so be sure to test out the new features.

Record Matching Made Easy with MatchUp Web Service

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MatchUp®, Melissa's solution to identify and eliminate duplicate records, is now available as a web service for batch processes, fulfilling one of most frequent requests from our customers - accurate database matching without maintaining and linking to libraries, or shelling out to the necessary locally-hosted data files.


Now you can integrate MatchUp into any aspect of your network that can communicate with our secure servers using common protocols like XML, JSON, REST or SOAP.

 

Select a predefined matching strategy, map the table input columns necessary to identify matches to the respective request elements, and submit the records for processing. Duplicate rows can be identified by a combination of NAME, ADDRESS, COMPANY, PHONE and/or EMAIL.

 

Our select list of matching strategies removes the complexity of configuring rules, while still applying our fast and versatile fuzzy matching algorithms and extensive datatype-specific knowledge base, ensuring the tough-to-identify duplicates will be flagged by MatchUp. 


The output response returned by the service can be used to update a database or create a unique marketing list by evaluating each record's result codes, group identifier and group count, and using the record's unique identifier to link back the original database record.

 

Since Melissa's servers do the processing, there are no key files - the temporary sorting files - to manage, freeing up valuable hardware resources on your local server.

 

Customers can access the MatchUp Web Service license by obtaining a valid license from our sales team and selecting the endpoint compatible to your development platform and necessary request structures here.

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