How to Give Your Direct Mail Database a Health Check⦠| DMA

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How to Give Your Direct Mail Database a Health Checkâ¦


Your customer and prospect data is the basis of all of your communication, and you should take care of it. Sales records, customer preferences, and most importantly, names and addresses are your way to generate leads and convert to sales or subscriptions, so you’ll want to make sure you’re armed with the best information. There’s an easy way to achieve optimum performance from your campaigns—by checking they’re in tip-top shape with a database health check.

Databases of all sizes—from the thousands to the millions—should be checked regularly, and the reason is two-fold: Not only do you ensure your database is current, you also prevent wastage by delivering sometimes costly mailers to out-of-date addresses. Both of these reasons achieve one simple conclusion: Cost savings for you and your company, and extra budget to increase your direct-mail activity.

A data cleansing or data quality agency can take the legwork out of the exercise, allowing you to concentrate on producing the creative of your mailer. A larger, reputable agency will have volumes of information at their fingertips, that can improve the quality of your database at the press of a button.

Data matching is one such service that takes your current database and compares the records with those they have on file and adjusts or suppresses records that are affected by modifications. These can include out-of-date phone numbers, emails, change of postal and street addresses, and the deceased. By doing so, you eliminate any room for error, and can avoid possibly detrimental and embarrassing situations. Some agencies might even offer real-time matching, comparing your records with theirs and making changes on the fly. Of course this isn’t necessarily for everyone, particularly when distributing sensitive information, in which case, simple list processing would be preferable.

Of course, removing duplicates is also important, but if you need more information? A data quality agency can also provide you with more information about your database pulled from a variety of sources. This is information that have provided to other third parties about spending habits, income, family information and more, all with their consent and given to you completely above board. Think of the potential direct mail opportunities that can come from this kind of additional data.

Overall a direct mail database health check is something every direct mail specialist should conduct on a regular basis. It’s fast, it’s efficient, and it gives you even more insight into those you wish to convert.

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