What is direct marketing?
Direct marketing is the practice by which businesses and nonprofit organizations market their products, services or causes directly to consumers, based on consumer interests.
Some examples are: direct mail (catalogs, local restaurant menus and free trial deals), telephone, email and internet banner advertising.
- What is mass marketing?
Mass marketing is when many consumers receive the same message through mass media, such as broadcast television, radio and newspapers, regardless of consumer interests.
Additionally, items such as flyers and the local grocery store weekly ads that you find in your mailbox are mass marketing. Consumers are unable to opt out of mass marketing but can opt out of direct marketing.
- How does direct marketing benefit consumers like me?
Direct marketing is meant to speak directly to you, the consumer. In order to do so, companies need to know about your interests and characteristics. When companies have this type of information, you benefit by receiving special offers and promotions, free services and offers that are more relevant to you.
- How can I see what information Epsilon has?
If you have questions about the information Epsilon has about your household, you can contact our Privacy Department at 1 888 780 3869 or complete the Epsilon marketing data summary request form. We will provide you a summary of the information Epsilon has about your household in our marketing databases.
- What does Epsilon do with marketing data?
Epsilon helps companies and nonprofit organizations build better relationships with their customers and find new customers for their products or services. Companies may come to Epsilon to get more information about their current customers, or to obtain information about potential customers. This information helps make the advertising more relevant, based on an individual’s interests. Epsilon is able to help companies ensure that their marketing communications are sent to the most interested individuals. This process helps companies control costs since they focus efforts on sending materials to people interested in their products. When companies are able to market directly to you, you benefit by potentially receiving special offers and promotions, free services and offers that marketers think are more relevant to you.
- What does Epsilon not do with marketing data?
Epsilon does not use marketing data for any purpose other than marketing. This means that we only help companies utilize data from our databases for the purpose of providing existing and potential customers with opportunities to buy products or services or to contribute to charitable causes. We never provide our data for individual consumer use. For example, if a consumer were to request information about a neighbor or co-worker, we would not provide such information. Epsilon does not provide individual look-up products or services, and does not allow clients to use Epsilon’s marketing data for activities such as granting credit, performing employment background checks or obtaining health insurance rates. Additionally, Epsilon does not knowingly allow marketing to children under the age of 18.
- What types of consumer information does Epsilon have?
Epsilon’s databases have consumer information related to household purchases, demographics and interests, and self-reported information about consumers and their households. Epsilon obtains information from a number of sources. To learn more about the types of consumer information, please refer to Epsilon’s consumer guide to direct marketing.
- What kinds of information are not part of these databases?
Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers or other financial accounts, credit card numbers or password information. Epsilon also does not have health-related information, unless you voluntarily provided health-related information through our customer surveys.
- How do I opt out of information sharing?
If you decide that you are not interested in the benefits of direct marketing, you can opt out of Epsilon sharing your information with other companies. There are a number of ways to opt out. Unfortunately, there is no universal way to do so. For more information on opting out, visit Epsilon’s consumer preference center.
- By opting out of information sharing, will I stop receiving all unwanted marketing offers?
No. By opting out of our databases, you should see a reduction in unwanted marketing offers you receive, but you won’t stop receiving all unwanted marketing offers. It may take several weeks or months for your opt-out to go into effect, depending on the planning cycle for the marketing offer. Advertisers begin their process several months in advance of actually sending a mail piece, so names and addresses that have later opted out may already have been provided.
By opting out with Epsilon, you are opting out of Epsilon’s marketing databases only, not databases belonging to other companies. There are other companies similar to Epsilon that provide consumer information to marketers for marketing purposes, and you should also opt out with them if you do not want your information shared for marketing purposes. You can also ask the companies you do business with not to share your information.
Additionally, the simplest way to opt out of information sharing and to reduce the amount of unwanted marketing offers in the U.S. is to register with the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) Mail Preference Service at dmachoice.org. All you have to do is enter your name and address on the site, and companies that are members of the DMA and non-member companies that use this service will remove consumers whose name and address are present.
- Who can I contact for more information?
There are a variety of industry resources for consumers. For more information, please visit Epsilon’s consumer preference center.