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Tunnl | Products | Audiences | Cost

Maximizing Your Direct Contact Campaigns with Tunnl's Data Library

April 21st, 2023 | 8 min. read

Teddy Kamody

Teddy joined Tunnl in January of 2020 and is currently the Senior Director of Account Management for Agencies.

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Digital does not rule the ad world. Direct mail campaigns using letter-sized envelopes generated a 112% return on investment, according to the 2022 Response Rate Report released by the Association of National Advertisers. Meanwhile, peer-to-peer texting campaigns have higher open rates than email campaigns and boast impressive ROI. 

Direct contact is a promising platform for brands, issue advocates, and political advertisers. Deciding to run a direct contact campaign is easy; acquiring the data to efficiently plan and target these campaigns can get complicated.

Through the process of surveying thousands of Americans every month and building hundreds of audiences to enable cause-based campaigns, Tunnl accumulates a massive amount of audience data. And advertisers like you can access it for their direct contact campaigns with a data library subscription.

But do you really need another subscription tacking on a recurring cost for your campaigns? Here’s the skinny on what you get from a Tunnl data library subscription, what it costs, and when it may (or may not) be the best way to target a curated audience in your campaigns.


What is Tunnl's data library?

The Tunnl data library is a vast catalog containing billions of lines of data about voters’ and consumers’ preferences, opinions, and habits. It all all coalesces into neat, targetable groups - Tunnl’s audiences - based on key issues or shared identities.

A residential neighborhood where direct mail advertising campaigns or direct contact marketing can be deployed with a Tunnl data library subscription.Anonymized information about who is in each audience, how they consume media, etc., is viewable on the Tunnl platform, where you can also activate audiences for your digital, linear TV, streaming TV, and programmatic media campaigns.

But what about direct contact campaigns? Anonymized data won't work for SMS, mail, and phone campaigns.

That’s where a data library subscription comes in.

What is included in a Tunnl data library subscription?

Because Tunnl’s audience data is anonymized for secure storage, transfer, and maintenance, personally identifiable information (PII) is typically inaccessible by advertisers. Data library subscribers are able to access relevant PII, which is securely communicated to advertisers for use in their ads and outreach.

You get three major pieces of information to enable your direct contact campaigns with a Tunnl data library subscription:

  • Names
  • Phone numbers
  • Home addresses

And since we know that mail and SMS campaigns can more than pay for themselves at times, this contact information is highly valuable to advertisers and issue advocates with cause-based audiences in mind.

But what risk do you really run by not tapping into Tunnl's data library?

How does Tunnl's data library help direct contact campaigns get in front of the right people?

You've heard the expression: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same principle applies to your ads. Run them where your audience isn't, and it'll be like you never ran them at all.

You may net some traction with digital and TV campaigns, but you'll mostly miss the mark if your audience spends less time than the average American binging Netflix series or scrolling on Facebook. Reaching them feels out of reach. 

But their mailboxes - for texts and physical mail - have untapped potential.

Without a data library subscription, you wouldn't have the necessary information to reach out to this audience on a 1-to-1 basis. You'll spend more money than you should on platforms that aren't a great fit, and you'll see a lower ROI as a result. 

Why spend more and get less? A data library subscription equips you to efficiently reach a curated audience aligned with your cause on mediums that have more than proven their potential.

What’s the cost of a Tunnl data library subscription?

There are a couple different ways to access the Tunnl audience data library. You can reach out every time you need access to audience data for direct contact campaigns, or you can subscribe. Functionally, these options are nearly identical except for their cost and commitment level. 

One-off data library requests cost $85 per thousand contacts, with a minimum cost of $1,500, for direct mail campaigns. Peer-to-peer and phone campaigns are priced on a tiered record basis:

  • <49,999 = $1,000 minimum records
  • 50,000 – 99,999 records = $20 per thousand records
  • 100,000 – 249,999 records = $15 per thousand records
  • 250,000 – 999,999 records = $10 per thousand records
  • >1,000,000 records = $5 per thousand records

You tell us which audiences you want names, phone numbers, and home addresses for, sign a contract, and we securely send the information. Done and done - but you have to do that every time you need audience data, and the back-and-forth on a contract can take a few days.

A Tunnl data library subscription costs $12,000 per month, and it’s essentially VIP access to our audience data. Regardless of what kind of direct marketing campaign you're running - mail, phone, or peer-to-peer - every record is included in that monthly cost. All the audiences you want, when you want them, with a dedicated service team ensuring all your needs are met as they change from campaign to campaign.

“Some agencies send enough pieces of mail or enough text messages that the subscription saves them a lot of money over what they would pay for one-off contracts over time,” says Brent Seaborn, Tunnl’s Chief Data Science Officer. “A data library subscription is a faster, easier, more effective way for frequent direct contact agencies to access audience targeting data.” 

And yes, $12k per month is nothing to sneeze at. So what really getting makes a subscription worth the money?

The benefits of purchasing a data library subscription from Tunnl

Because of the information it includes, a data library subscription is ideal for advertisers and agencies that leverage direct contact outreach often. Things like phone campaigns or peer-to-peer texting, for example, are made possible at scale with access to the curated audience data in the audience library. 

Some reasons to consider subscribing include: 

  • Reduced overall cost - PostGrid estimates that direct mail campaigns can cost anywhere between $0.30 to $10 per person you target, depending on which design, printing, and distribution costs you outsource or keep in-house. But remember that 112% ROI stat from before? Your Tunnl data library subscription can quickly pay for itself if you often do direct mail, SMS, or grassroots campaigns. One-off data library requests cost a minimum of $1,500 and can cost more based on how big your target audience is. Advertise often or to larger audiences, and you’ll get more bang for your buck by subscribing.
  • Unlimited access - Data library subscribers can access and utilize Tunnl’s audience data as much and as often as they like. There are no restrictions on the number of contacts you can advertise to or how many audiences you can access during your subscription period.
  • Ongoing support - You’ll have a whole Tunnl team supporting your data library subscription. Need access to more audiences? They will have them to you in about two business days. Unsure of the best audience for your next campaign? Call, and we’ll talk it through together. Since you’re already in a subscription with us, getting you what you need takes less time than processing one-off requests.

Talk to Sales About a Data Library Subscription

The drawbacks of choosing a data library subscription from Tunnl

Tunnl data library subscriptions were created for a very specific set of advertisers - and that may not be you. Here are a few reasons to consider alternatives.

  • Man looking at his phone as he receives an SMS or phone ad campaign from a public affairs or issue advocacy advertiser.Extended commitment - Advertisers planning few direct contact campaigns may find a higher value in one-off data library requests than a monthly subscription.
  • Limited use - Access to the data library gives you phone numbers, names, and home addresses for your target audience. You’ll need to log into the Tunnl platform to view any other audience insights, like media consumption habits, in an anonymized format and to activate audiences on digital ad platforms or demand-side platforms. This ensures optimal security and privacy compliance while ensuring that you receive data aligned with the format of your campaign.

A Tunnl data library subscription may not be the best solution for you if direct contact campaigns infrequently make it into your plans or your audience is more effectively reached on digital channels or linear TV. 

How Tunnl keeps your audience data secure

When activating prebuilt audiences through DSPs or ad platforms, you work with anonymized data that is completely and securely maintained by Tunnl, mitigating your liability. Information in our audience data library is not anonymized and includes personally identifiable information that must be transferred and utilized securely. Tunnl has protocols in place to manage these elements safely, but data library users must agree to our terms of use and strictly comply with our data transfer and storage procedures.  

Choosing the right audience data source for your campaigns

A data library subscription is the most consistent, on-demand option for advertisers planning multiple or ongoing direct mail, SMS, door-knocking, or grassroots marketing campaigns. But you have other options that can still get you in front of the right people, like a one-time data library purchase or activating Tunnl’s prebuilt audiences using DSPs like Basis and natively in digital ad platforms for a data usage fee

A data library subscription can often work as an alternative to Tunnl’s prebuilt audiences or work in tandem with them through the Tunnl platform. Most of our data library subscribers prefer Tunnl Plus because it provides additional insights to accompany all of our audience data, like media mixes and Cable Ranker, which can help advertisers understand when direct mail, digital, or linear TV advertising will be most effective with their audience.  

The audience data available in our prebuilts and the data library subscription draw on Tunnl’s secure data collection and maintenance, so you always have accurate audience insights and information to count on. The only thing that changes is which option is right for you.

Talk to Sales About a Data Library Subscription



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