Online Trading Academy

The request

Support the organization’s sophisticated marketing department by creating complex direct mail files and back end reporting.

Files we construct for Online Trading Academy are used for monthly mailings to request attendance at an OTA training workshop. Mail files must include elaborate tracking codes to accommodate multiple creative testing and an ambitious segmentation matrix.

The remedy

Because detailed program analysis is critical to OTA’s direct marketing program, one of our goals is to create the most complete record as possible.

Each month, we receive dozens of purchased lists as well as OTA’s in-house prospect and suppress lists. Initial data preparation includes address standardization, identifying potentially undeliverable addresses, NCOALink®, Do Not Call/Do Not Mail suppression, dup-elim, deceased suppression and any other necessary data cleansing.

Among the initial files is a list of participating franchisees and specific services to promote that month. A master ZIP Code™ list is also provided. We create a combined tracking code for every record – list source code, drop date, franchise assignment, creative and other tracking criteria. Given the number of specific codes and possible combinations, the final mail file may hold 2-3,000 unique source codes. The clean, net mail file contains approximately 1M records.

What started in 2007 as direct mail data preparation for five or six franchisees has now grown to service for more than 40, including Canada.

Before each upcoming month’s mailing, we match direct mail responses and sales against the past mail files. Custom reports “by this and by that” are created so that Online Training Academy can track and analyze each mailing and view the data the way they prefer. This enables OTA to have confidence they are making the best decisions regarding the lists they purchase and the creatives they select in an ongoing basis. Periodically, Lorton Data provides OTA with email and phone append services to bolster other direct marketing efforts.

The result

With our smooth and trusted process for mail file preparation and direct mail tracking, Online Training Academy depends on us for flexibility and responsiveness to changing direction and new needs. In a marketing program as complex as theirs, last minute changes are the norm – add or drop a franchisee, add or remove names, change a code. Ad hoc, on demand reports are often needed for our client to use in planning or presentations. Other companies might need a day or two to create reports that take us only 30 minutes.

What started in 2007 as direct mail data preparation for five or six franchisees has now grown to service for more than 40, including Canada. And today, Lorton Data prepares data to support OTA multi-media efforts as well. We’re helping them co-target with Facebook. We’re testing the use of PURLS, which we’re finding gives response rates a significant lift. By adding emails to the files, we’ve helped OTA test email communications sent before, after, or before and after a mailing is sent.

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