How to Ensure Data is Clean and Usable for a Direct Mail Campaign

The accuracy of direct mail data is an important part of any campaign. Accurate data will not only improve ROI, but it will also improve campaign response rates and improve customer satisfaction (e.g. less goneaways and data errors).

Here are some data management techniques to adopt to ensure that direct mail campaign data is clean within your organisation:

1. Continual approach to data cleansing
The best approach to data cleansing and management is to treat the task as an ongoing activity and not as a one-off task. Regularity will vary from business to business and may be daily or weekly, for most businesses monthly will be sufficient. The message is to make data cleansing habitual rather than occasional!

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2) Prevention is better than cure
Wherever possible data capture procedures should prevent data capture errors, this can be achieved through:
a) Staff Training – Explaining the importance of accurate data capture, measuring per employee and rewarding where appropriate. Delivering custom training courses on data capture and pitfalls to avoid is an excellent idea
b) Field Validation – Add mandatory fields into IT systems to force data entry, wherever possible validate this with formatting and logic rules. Systems also need to be in place to verify content in mandatory fields to ensure “nonsense” data is not being entered
c) Data Cleansing, Strategy, Systems and Processes – Have good systems and processes in place to fix errors that are identified in a data cleansing strategy, e.g. data exception reports (and fuzzy matching), customer feedback on data errors (through feedback systems) are amended in systems, returned mail failures are investigated, etc.

3) Verify data through external sources
Use tools such as the Royal Mail PAF (for postcodes), Telephone Preference Service (for phone numbers) and Marriage Register (for maiden name changes) to cleanse data on an ongoing basis

Read more about Baker Goodchild’s data cleansing services, which is included within our direct mail offering at, or to read our comprehensive infographic on the topic of data cleansing, click here.

For an informal discussion about how Baker Goodchild can assist in improving the accuracy of your data, why not call us on 0800 612 1972? Alternatively please complete our contact form and we will reply ASAP.

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