Having a database with inaccurate contact information or “dirty hygiene” can take control of your finances and prevent your constituents from receiving your mailing. Sending mail to a recipient with misspellings, contacting people who may be deceased or don’t want to be contacted does not best represent your organization.
HERE ARE FIVE TIPS FOR LIST HYGIENE TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIRECT MAIL PROCESS:
- Match your data input system to your database. The procedures you use to enter data are key to having accurate information. Make sure that the input system or form that you use to enter information has the same size requirements and information as your database.
- Utilize National Change of Address (NCOALink). As a requirement for lower automated postal rates the USPS mandates that you use the NCOALink system. Run your database as a merge/purge suppression file through the NCOA and ask your service provider to return to you a file of the changes that will standardize the addresses to meet USPS delivery requirements and reduce returned mail.
- Supplement the NCOA with the Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA)database. Only 40% of the people who move submit a change of address with the USPS. The PCOA database is a compilation from multiple sources that collect change of address notifications and aggregate the information to help you keep more up to date files.
- Use the available Industry Suppressions. There are a number of suppression lists available of prospects who either are not cost-effective or do not want to be contacted. Your organization can save by eliminating these contacts from your database. DMA’s Mail Preference Service, Profanity File, Prison Suppression and Deceased Suppression lists are a few that will help reduce the cost of sending to uninterested parties.
- Run your data through a merge/purge software at least once a year. Many times minor variations in contact data will allow duplicates to be created. Work with your service provider to set the most effective customization for your merge/purge software settings to eliminate duplicates.
Use these 5 tips for a solid list hygiene program and watch your deliverability and response rates increase while lowering your postage expense.
Article From: www.mmidirect.com