(This is also a geek call-to-arms – if you have anything to do with customer databases, please take action!)
A client of mine has a direct mail campaign underway. Across Australia. Mostly rural addresses.
Fortunately they (and by they I mean my father, whose business it is) recognised the need to remove a few mailers from the campaign.
Specifically those in the Kinglake and Marysville areas which pretty much don’t exist any more.
This line of inquiry lead me to ask on Twitter, with these responses:
@aDB : Is there a postcode summary of affected #bushfire areas? Need to create a blocklist for snail direct mail marketing.
@lelak : @aDB: Can you derive it from CFA incident reports?
@WillHughes : @aDB If you know anyone at Telstra, they should be able to dig it up from the Red Zone info that the workforce managers use.
Also on FaceBook I was given a link to an SBS page : http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1008169/Bushfire-deaths,-town-by-town
So is there a better way? Surely we could manage a listing of postcodes to avoid or give special treatment to, according to the business you are in. Perhaps Australia Post have something?
Well, kinda. Mail deliveries to bushfire areas does list areas having trouble with mail. There are descriptions of the ways Australia Post will be helping manage mail in those areas. What about a postcode list for direct marketers?
Community to the rescue! Shortly after all this I discovered an eBay Australia forum that was keeping track of the postcodes. Of course! eBay sellers and buyers who have one or other party of a transaction in these areas are likely to have slow communication for a while.
So that is where we are up to. I urge all of you who have databases with postcodes listed take the time to flag the affected codes, at least for a week or two, and make this flag known to your business people. At least we can avoid hassling customers for non-contact or selling them stuff they don’t need in this terrible time.
As of this writing, that eBay list shows the following areas in trouble:
3099 Arthurs Creek, Strathewen
3550 Bendigo/Long Gully
3551 Maiden Gully
3556 Eaglehawk/California Gully
3658 Strath Creek/Hazeldene/Reedy Creek
3757 Whittlesea/Humevale/Kinglake Central/Kinglake West
3761 St Andrews
3764 Kilmore, Kilmore East
3775 Yarra Glen/Steels Creek
3804 Narre Warren
3814 Garfield North
3818 Drouin West/Jindivick
3832 Neerim Junction
3841 Morwell/Gippsland Mail Centre
3844 Traralgon/Traralgon Sough/Callignee/Koornalla
3895 rural delivery area
3971 Alberton/Alberton West/Balook/Calrossie/Devon North/Gelliondale/Hiawatha/Hunterston/Jack River/Langsborough/Macks Creek/Madalya/Manns Beach/Port Albert/Robertsons Beach/Staceys Bridge/Tarra Valley/Tarraville/Won Wron/Yarram