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 91% of people actually like receiving promotional emails - an optimistic statistic if you're an email marketer. So why is it, most email campaigns yield extremely low open rates, click through rates (CTR) and conversions?

 

As a marketer myself, I'm constantly perplexed. Even after tireless research on new email trends and trying every 'how to' on sneakily coaxing prospects and clients into opening emails, I'm never satisfied with the results. Are you? If you're anything like me, you want more and expect better than the average open rate of 16.9% or CTR of 7.1%. And, who could blame you?

 

If you're looking for fresh tips and tricks for more clicks and higher conversions, check out this video: Become a Jedi Master of Email Marketing: 10 Tips & Tricks for Clicks. Instead of the typical 'how to email' tips, you'll discover new ways for implementing data-driven strategies to get the results you're looking for. Jedi Master of Email Marketing, Luis Hidalgo, gives 10 tips for deliverability, enrichment, personalization and geotargeting.

 

Watch now - you won't be disappointed! 

Engage Potential Donors, Voters & Supporters with Text

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What's the fastest way to reach supporters? Research shows texting is the fastest way to reach your potential voters and supporters with messages opened within minutes.  Almost 90% of adults in the US have a mobile phone and about 77% own a smartphone, according to Pew Research.  You can use text messaging to drive voter registration and organize rallies, fundraising and surveys.

 

Key Benefits:

Close to 100% open rate - opened within minutes
Easily direct supporters to your website or donation page
Reach younger voters - they send and receive an average of 90 texts per day
Most cost-effective way to reach your audience

 

Melissa Direct's mobile phone database can be filtered down by age, income, gender, marital status, homeownership, home value, address type, presence of children and many more! Plus, it is updated every month and is CASS™ (Address Check) and NCOALink® (National Change of Address) certified. 

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Email Marketing is an important tool for any business but it should be implemented with care and caution. Once you're blacklisted, you not only have a huge headache to deal with, but you risk tarnishing your company's reputation or brand. 

 

The frightening idea - it's easy to get flagged as a spammer regardless of the legitimacy of your email. Even some of the best marketing "buzz" words, if used in email, could flag you as a spammer. Follow the guidelines below to help protect your business and minimize your risk of getting blacklisted.

 

1.      Avoid including attachments. Not only will you get the attention of spam blocking organizations, but your email will most likely get filtered by the user's spam control tool, too.

2.      Make sure to offer an opt-out or unsubscribe option in your email. It's not only ethical, it's the law!

3.      Your subject line should avoid "spammy" words like free, discount, % off, cash, win, etc. These words are normally flagged as spam.

4.      Always follow CAN-SPAM laws. You can find the guidelines here: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

5.      Ask your subscribers to add you to their address book - its a good practice to maintain.

6.      Avoid too many graphics.

7.      Continually remove emails that are invalid (hard bounces).  You might get the attention of spam-tracking organizations if you continually send to invalid email addresses.

8.      Check your blacklist status on a regular basis. Here's a services you can use: https://sendgrid.com/blog/blacklisted-check-7-popular-blacklists-keep-reputation-intact/

Making Data Work for Your Geospatial Challenges

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Anyone who has looked at flood data knows that FEMA is not the answer. It's not that FEMA doesn't try to accurately map what they believe to be floodable areas. It's that FEMA is politically driven. As a city, you do not have to participate in FEMA mapping. Why would you not participate? Well, properties in flood zones tend to have lower valuations, and lower valuations tend to generate lower taxes. Even as an individual you can exempt yourself with a LOMA. A LOMA establishes a property's location in relation to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).  LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but it is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation.

Melissa customer wanted to sell flood insurance to prospects that were in flood zones but not likely to flood and not in flood zones but likely to flood. They had three primary targets, properties in 100 year flood zones that were not likely to flood, properties in a 500 year flood zone that were not likely to flood, and properties in FEMA minimal risk zones that were likely to flood. The customer realized that they needed a way to understand the current FEMA designation for the target properties but also have an independent flood likelihood evaluation of the property. For them, we created a sample set of customers utilizing HazardHub risk data that looked something like this:

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Then they created a targeted list by selecting B and C score prospects from the 100 year and 500 year flood plains and D and F score prospects from the minimal risk flood zones. This scoring and these selections are available nationwide and provided the customer with the ability to selectively target the types of customers that they were interested in from a risk exposure perspective. While this example discusses flood, this works for any natural hazard where properties are exposed, both personal property as well as commercial property.

If you have data challenges to solve, perhaps the Melissa team can offer the location intelligence solution needed. Melissa supports geospatial professionals in the goal of mapping innovation in location-based services, analytics and decision-making powered by location intelligence. We provide a wealth of location data enrichments including global geocoding to derive latitude and longitude from an address, and geo-enriched data for IP addresses. We offer other types of specialized data including U.S. property and mortgage data (type and number of buildings on a parcel, property age, construction, sales value, and more), demographics (household income, marital status, residence data, credit information, and more), and risk and natural hazard information (wind, water, ground and wildfire) that can be linked to location data to reveal relationships and trends. Our data feeds easily into popular data visualization and analytics platforms for ease of use and up-to-the minute accuracy. When you need to solve global challenges with geospatial technology, turn to Melissa - your single, trusted source for authoritative reference data. 

Written for Directions Magazine - Header Image via @directionsmag

 

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.

 

 

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.

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:


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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.

BusinessCoder's vital firmographics have expanded! We are pleased to announce new updates which include the addition of contact information and job titles to the return fields available. Enhance your business contact database, generate fresh leads, and optimize B2B marketing.

Reap rewards this year with multiple selects that help you gain a full picture of your B2B database. Get company names, SIC codes, employee size, total sales estimate, and more.

25 Million Records to Make Ordinary Data Actionable

  • Update your records with new contact information to generate productive leads
  • Personalize your marketing messages with accurate business titles to increase response rates
  • Enhance business intelligence with greater accuracy and improved analytics

 

Try BusinessCoder today. Please contact your Melissa Data Customer Service Representative at 800-635-4772.

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Once upon a time there was a shopping cart named Carter. Carter loved shopping. He loved meeting new people and being a part of learning all about their lives and what they liked to buy. He loved helping them peruse everything from run-of-the-mill groceries and toiletries to the exciting new smart TVs and holiday decorations. But there was one part of shopping that always left Carter feeling strange... Sometimes, after shopping for hours, and being filled up to the brim, his friends would just vanish. They never came back. He was alone; holding their dreams and necessities.


Every business has its own set of complexities, but the digital age seems to have made browsing for merchandise a never-ending perusal rather than a cut and dried sale. Cart abandonment is high for everyone, nearing 70%. There are many different causes but one major problem is lack of transparency in shipping.

Let's say a mother sits down to order formula and diapers. She puts them into her cart, she goes through the entire checkout only to find out at the last minute that shipping is going to be nearly equivalent to the purchase price. Ordering online, which was supposed to be convenient, is now annoying and she closes her browser.

56% of people abandon their shopping carts when presented with unexpected costs during the checkout process. However, if people are given a proper heads up about how much the product or shipping costs, they're more likely to buy it-- even if it's more expensive. (35 Actionable Tips To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Ultimate List from Styla.)

Melissa Data is here to help you solve this ever present problem with vital solutions formulated for your industry. Enter Predictive Shipping. Manage shipping your way with the Melissa Data Decimal shipping calculator and boost sales by predicting delivery dates and shipping options on your products page where people see it right away and it's no longer a surprise. Keep customers informed to build trust and dependability. For many more solutions to cart abandonment, check out our website at Melissa Data

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