Your direct mail campaign will only be as good as the data you put into it.
If your data isn’t clean, there’s a high chance that you’ll be wasting money on people who no longer reside at the address you have on file or no longer want to receive your mailings.
It is good practice to have a data cleansing strategy in place. Data cleansing involves working through your mailing list and ensuring that you only have details for people that are alive and want to receive your mail. It also involves checking contact details, to prevent you from sending mail to the wrong house in the future.
Here we’ve provided a few best practice tips to help you create a data cleansing strategy that delivers.
1) Remove duplicate names
Part of your data cleansing strategy should involve giving your mailing list a spring clean and checking for duplicate details. Sending out the same piece of direct mail to the same contacts twice is a waste of your time and resources. Go through your data and remove any duplicates you find.
2) Find out when you last communicated with customers
Often companies end up sending out a limited number of mailings to customers, which means they end up failing to communicate with a large volume of customers for months. This is because mailings are often sent out in alphabetical order, so those with surnames in the latter half of the alphabet end up missing out.
The fact is that you may still have a number of valid contacts that you haven’t communicated with recently. The best thing to do is to create a ‘have we lost you?’ campaign to try and re-engage valid contacts. In addition to re-connecting with some customers, you are also likely to get a high volume of undeliverable mail; this information will help you to clean your data, so you only end up sending out mailings to genuine leads in the future.
3) Take care when merging data
If you are merging databases or migrating data, it is important to make sure the data fields are the same. If you migrate data and it ends up spreading across multiple fields, your postman could end up delivering your direct mail to the wrong person at the wrong address.
4) Make a data cleansing policy
Making a data cleansing policy will help you to get into a routine of cleansing your data on a regular basis. You can also use the policy to outline how your employees should collect, store and maintain customer data. Creating a policy can go a long way in helping you comply with the Data Protection Act. A data cleansing policy is ideal for companies and charities alike.
For more information about data cleansing, get in touch with Baker Goodchild today. We’ve helped many Companies to clean up their data!
Image Credit: Marketscan