560,000 people who die every year in the UK will receive an average 80 items of direct mail in the year after their death. Some estimates put the actual figure even higher than this, in an article on The Telegraph’s website figures from the Deceased Preference Service show that 59 million pieces of Direct Mail a year are being sent to people who have died.
Whatever the figure with over 1,500 deaths in the UK every day it’s vital that marketing databases are kept up to date to ensure cost-effective campaigns and avoid the negative publicity that mailing the deceased can create. It is absolutely vital that marketers regularly screen customer databases for deceased individuals, especially if mailing lists are used infrequently. With marketing budgets constantly under scrutiny, it is essential that marketers apply regular suppression techniques which help to ensure accurate targeting and demonstrate a strong ROI.
However, wasting your precious marketing budget is only part of the story. It can also be extremely upsetting for relatives when they continue to receive mailings addressed to loved ones they have lost and it creates the wrong impression about your organisation’s customer relationships. It could even result in bad PR which may do more widespread damage to your reputation. Statistics also show that damage to brand names through mailing deceased people is at an all time high with 30 per cent of consumers saying they would not buy from such a company. Furthermore the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) say that the most common complaint they receive concerns mailings sent to deceased loved ones.
It is not illegal to send mail to a deceased individual but it is irresponsible not to take steps to minimise the possibility. Members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) are committed not to target vulnerable people & the bereaved represent such a group. Moreover, the Data Protection Act states that any data you keep must be up to date and relevant.
Here at Apex we have access to a number of suppression tools to help identify records in your data belonging to deceased individuals;
- Mortascreen – which contains over 99% of the names and addresses of all deceased individuals in the UK making it the most exhaustive deceased suppression file on the market, this data is sourced from Probate data and funeral homes
- The Bereavement Register – maintained by The REaD Group, data is sourced through funeral homes
- National Change of Address (NCOA) Deceased – a Royal Mail file with information collated as part of a re-direction service
- disConnect Deceased – provided by Equifax, sourced from financial data (such as life insurance payouts)
All of this means there is simply no excuse for sending Direct Mail to the deceased, many organisations actually find that our data cleansing services more than pay for themselves in saved mailing costs alone. Please contact us for more information.
Article From: apexdirectmail.co.uk