The Deep Clean
Some services can offer up to a thousand fields of information about consumers, all collected from public and permission-granted sources. This is not an article about privacy, so just know that retailers often sell the data you fill out on rebate offers and in service applications. Data services aggregate and cross-reference this information for accuracy.
By better understanding who might want to donate to your cause, you can save resources and respect privacy by discerning who not to ask for donations. Furthermore, it is courteous and useful to each recipient of your ask when you tailor your message to his or her individual interests and circumstances.
To take advantage of this form of database depth, be sure to record into the database as much as possible about what is learned from each donor from every interaction. The easiest way to learn a lot is to purchase additional fields of data. This costs pennies to tens of cents per record, depending on which kinds of data are sought and in what volume.
Don’t expect providers to reveal the exact sources of their data, but do expect them to be up-front with pricing and complete estimates. Moreover, look for providers that establish ongoing relationships with their clients by way of their quality guarantees, access to online platforms, and abundant but not unlimited free customer support.
Stage 3. Optimize campaigns using technology
With great care and effort, a human can inspect giant spreadsheets created from Stages 1 and 2 to build mental models of trends and individuals. Luckily, however, there are technologies and consultants that can simplify this task considerably.
To recap, in Stage 1, increased reachability means each contact’s information is complete and up to date. In Stage 2, this “good data” is matched against providers’ databases to yield additional information about individuals. Naturally, the better Step 1 goes, the better the results are in Stage 2. Similarly, the better Stage 2 goes, the more that algorithms in Stage 3 can do to tease out trends and assist with the detail-oriented work of either tailoring a message or determining not to bother that constituent.