Tag Archive: Subscriber management


How to Manage Duplications for Clean Data

Posted October 8, 2014 by & filed under Fulfillment

Subscriber duplication increases costs to publishers. Managing duplications is an integral part of maintaining clean data. This is an important step to ensure that your subscriber file offers a unique view of your subscriber base. What are you doing to keep your subscriber base unique? What happens if you don’t manage duplication? What does it do to your budget and marketing plans? Consider the following:

  • Do you send duplicate print copies to your subscribers that get tossed in the trash?
  • Do you know your true target numbers when setting up email blasts, only to have duplicates filtered out by your email system?
  • Are you calling on the same person more than once, negatively impacting their experience with your brand?
  • Are you exhausting your subscribers because of duplication?
  • Are you considering the effects on a circulation audit?
  • Are you considering the impacts of advertisers expectations and the success of their campaigns?

Duplicate records can increase your costs, make you look unprofessional to your subscribers and advertisers, and impact your circulation audits. All data input into your database should go through a matching program each and every time a record hits your file. This should be done daily as part of any data consolidation regime.

In addition, you should run your full subscriber list through a matching program at least twice a year. This will eliminate records that slip through the cracks as well as give you an overall view of how unique your base is. To take it to an additional level, output your records based on zip code and manually perform spot checks to find records that a program can’t define and catch.

Using one way to match is not sufficient. Subscribers can match on many levels. Consider names being reversed or shortened. Match subscribers by phone number and email as well as physical mailing address. If email is your unique key of choice, set up rules around this and communicate your method with whoever manages your data so the correct goal is achieved.

Another good way to ensure matching occurs is to be consistent as outside data is added to your list. Keep like fields together and make sure the formats match before adding data to your file. Putting time in on the front end will guarantee the list is clean before it even hits your file.  All these actions will increase your ability to account for each subscriber once—and only once—and help you manage your costs and at the end of the day increase your revenue.


Collaboration Rocks

Posted March 20, 2014 by & filed under Database, Digital Magazines, Digital Strategy, Fulfillment

Collaboration is the fuel that drives change. World changing collaborations include Gates and Allen; Jobs and Wozniak; Ford and Firestone; Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr; and many others who have all made contributions to culture and technology.  Collaborations don’t happen overnight nor do they stay the same over time. There is a dynamic relationship that characterizes collaborators. Sometimes it is represented by success and sometimes by failing before succeeding (just ask Edison and Lincoln), but the focus is on the end goal, driving change toward a new world.  Wozniak’s computer would not have been successful without Jobs’ vision. Ringo’s beats would not have been heard throughout the world without John’s poetic lyrics.

Some of the most successful collaborations happen when customer and provider have a common goal and work toward reaching that goal in essence creating a partnership. This is mirrored in the world of publishing as publishers transform their world from print to online to event to information services and other engagement models. Publishers don’t just need, but more importantly they deserve, to work with providers that have experience with their struggles and know where they want to go. Wait, even more importantly, have been where they want to go and know what it takes to make that change, from the top down, culture to technology. 

Media owners need to seek:

  • experience with digital marketing
  • true experience with database marketing
  • true experience in commercializing new businesses / revenue models
  • true experience in managing a cultural shift

Ask the hard questions. Don’t accept providers who claim they understand your business, but have no proof in the pudding. Accept collaborators who seek to leverage each other’s capabilities to deliver a solution that is second to none in the market, or even create a new market. 

We will be happy to be your collaboration partner and drive a real difference in your market. Drop us a note at getstarted@halldata.com and learn how we do it.


Developing Your Digital Marketing Strategy? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions.

Posted August 23, 2013 by & filed under Digital Strategy, Email Marketing

Where to Start With Digital Marketing Strategy

When sitting down with clients to go over their digital marketing strategy, there’s a moment where it all becomes overwhelming.  A short list of things marketers could be doing is still long: automation, dynamic content, SMS activity, social media marketing, live offers, web recommendations, and so on.

With all these options, the biggest question is “where do I start with my digital marketing strategy?” Going through the following three questions may help determine where you can put your next efforts.

1. Do I want to acquire subscribers or retain subscribers?

Acquiring subscribers means going out there and finding even more people who like you. In the world outside of work, this would be dating. Social media will be your best friend here.  Promote yourself in mediums you may not be using – links to your website, events coming up, or industry news will attract new subscribers.  Think about including a registration form on your website, or on your social media site. This will help you acquire subscribers in new ways than you’re used to.

If you want to retain subscribers, only one word matters: relevance.  This not only means relevant communication, but in the relevant mode, and at the relevant time.  Segment your audience based on demographics, automate your messages to get to your subscriber at the right time, or even use SMS to reach those subscribers who prefer mobile communication. Your subscribers aren’t the same, you shouldn’t market to them like they are.

2. Where am I excelling?

Is your click rate through the roof? If it is, your subscribers want to read what you have to say.  Take your success from email to social.  Social media provides a new platform in which you can build that same loyalty.  Start posting your content on platforms like Linkedin or Facebook.  Or use the content that’s doing so well in your email marketing campaigns, and promote them on Twitter.  Reach more subscribers on alternate channels. Don’t assume they’re all on your email lists.  One warning: don’t post the same content on each channel. Mix it up a bit, and reward followers on Twitter with different content than your email subscribers. Not only will they feel they’re getting added value, they may want to explore your other channels for more information.

Do you host successful events? Try using SMS activity during your next event.  Attendees get access to more information  without having to open their inbox, and in real time.  Let them know when events during conferences are starting, if there are room changes, etc.  A huge success I’ve seen at a conference: letting the audience text in a keyword during a presentation to get a whitepaper emailed to them immediately instead of finding a website to fill out a form, or emailing someone to get information.

3. Where am I experiencing difficulty?

Are more and more people unsubscribing? The biggest possibility is that your message isn’t relevant enough to them or you’re sending them at the wrong frequency.  Segment your audiences and send them messages that they want to read. You have the data; use it.

Getting stuck in the status quo?  It’s easy to create an email, hit send, repeat.  Digital marketing has evolved, and that’s not what your subscriber wants.  Email messages are marketing efforts and should be thought of as such.  Trying new things breaks you out of the status quo, and can help develop a strategy that’s more than just clicking “send”.

Answering these questions can help put you on the right path, but the biggest differentiator between successful and unsuccessful campaigns is testing.  Going all in with a single strategy may pay off, but it’s better to see the results on a small scale. Try out new designs, change your call to actions, play with preheaders, or segment your audience differently.  Reflect on the changes you see, and then put that information to action. Once you see a quantifiable change, then start building your strategy around what you already know works.


About the author

Kelly O’Connell is the Solutions Consultant at Hallmark Data Systems. She consults clients on digital marketing strategies, covering Hallmark’s solutions of Dragon, eCom and Illume.  Kelly helps communicate advanced technology concepts and illustrates the financial benefits from leveraging Hallmark solutions over all digital marketing efforts (email, landing pages, web forms, social, SMS).