How much is your data worth?
Data is what is going to be the life blood of your campaign. It can be used to drive significantly more than just who gets your letter. By using variable data it is in fact possible to completely personalise a mailing to the degree where every letter is different (we will discuss this later). At this early stage you only really need to consider what you want to achieve with your mailing and if it is cold or warm. Obviously warm data should be reasonably clean and accurate, while cold data should be treated with a lot more caution.

Things to think about
Quality is everything, you need to pay particular attention to the quality and accuracy of your data. It is incredibly easy to offend or upset someone. For example, if you were to mail someone who has died, or if you keep sending mail to someone who has moved at their old address. So the first step you need to take with your data, especially if it is cold, is to clean it.

If you have a closer look at the data bureau page you will see just what can be done. At the very least for a cold list we would suggest de-duplication, PAF and MPS. If you are purchasing a list then you can ask if these are carried out on the database on a regular basis. They should be regularly screened for deaths and gone away -however, if you are not told that they do, we would also suggest this cleansing.

So you now know who you are mailing and why, and you have a nice clean data list.

Next we need to think about what we are going to mail.