Customer databases have a huge impact on the success of a direct mail marketing campaign. It’s actually the most important database you can have. Today, we will talk about the information your database should include.

In Chapter 2 of “Successful Direct Marketing Methods,” Bob Stone lists the “essential” information your database needs to contain. Below I have included some of the items Stone lists in his book.

  • A unique identifier such as an ID or match code
  • Name and title of individual and/or organization
  • Mailing address, including ZIP code
  • Telephone number
  • Source of order, inquiry, or referral
  • Data and purchase details of first transaction
  • Recency/frequency/monetary transition history by date, and by amounts of purchase, by product (lines) purchased
  • Credit history and rating (scoring)

Now that you understand why you need a customer database and how to create a customer list for the database, you can begin creating your own personal database. Bob Stone’s book is a great resource to reference when attempting to do so.