In this article we focus on the need to verify stored address information. In many organisations this is surprisingly inaccurate. A tool to remedy incomplete or inaccurate is PAF cleansing.
Why the need to verify data?
It’s an obvious question – but why bother to verify data? The answer is that data verification is essential for good business, it’s about being professional, maximising ROI and delivering the best possible customer service. Also customers have a responsibility under the Data Protection Act, 2000 to keep their data as accurate as possible and a PAF cleanse certainly helps in this respect.
What is a PAF?
A PAF is a Postcode Address File; the PAF is a registered trademark of the Royal Mail. The PAF is managed by the Royal Mail and is a list of in excess of twenty nine million addresses and over 1.8 million postcodes. The PAF is a legally required responsibility for the Royal Mail to maintain due to the Postal Services Act 2000. As a part of this responsibility the Royal Mail provides the PAF in a variety of formats for third party organisations to use to ensure the accuracy of address information. The PAF is updated once per quarter.
Using a PAF Cleansing service
Organisations use a PAF cleansing service to validate their internally held customer address information against the PAF. Data processing companies (such as Baker Goodchild) take customer held information and cleanse the address information by validating against the PAF.
Benefits to expect
Significant improvements can be expected once internal address data has been PAF cleansed, a few examples of benefits available include:
- Improved corporate image (due to lower error rates)
- Reduced mailing wastage
- Reduced costs (e.g. wasted mail and in the case of deliveries avoided costs of handling returns following delivery to the wrong address)
- Prompt delivery of mail
Impact on Company Data and Direct Mail Campaigns
We’ve spoken frequently in the past about the need for clean data, especially in our infographic. Clean address data is especially important in direct mail campaigns. Reducing the number of address errors will significantly increase the reputation of a Company. Also PAF data cleansing will improve the ROI of a direct mail campaign as organisations won’t be mailing to inaccurate addresses (it sounds too obvious to be true, but it is!).
If you’ve decided you need your data cleansed through a PAF service call us, we’d be delighted to discuss your projects and cleanse your data!
Image Credit: Donna Wardle