Data, Direct Mail

3 Data Cleansing Services You Can’t Afford To Forget

Data can be one of your greatest tools in growing and maintaining your business. Preserving your data’s integrity through data scrubbing is key when it comes to advertising and marketing through direct mail. When you regularly clean and update your file, you are able to use your data to support your marketing, sales, and business functions. We all know that it is easier to retain customers than to attract new ones.  Data cleansing helps you retain customers.

Here are the top three data cleansing services you must do before sending your next direct mail campaign. 

National Change of Address (NCOA)

NCOA can help better your response rates by ensuring that your mail is reaching its intended target. Each year, roughly 40 million Americans move. That’s about 14 percent of the population. The NCOA process tracks those who have registered their move over the last 48 months. That means each year 14 percent of your data has the potential of becoming outdated. As a result, your costs increase and your ROI suffers because your perfect sales pitch won’t even reach your customer. Once a customer, always a customer – even after a move.

Updating your data with NCOA ensures that the percentage of outdated records will be reduced, allowing your direct marketing campaigns to be more cost-effective. NCOA results in real cost savings and better customer retention.

CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) Certification

While NCOA updates outdated addresses, CASS certification cleans out incomplete and undeliverable addresses. CASS was developed to ensure mailing list addresses are complete and accurate. It improves the accuracy of carrier route and five-digit ZIP. It adds ZIP + 4, and delivery point codes that are necessary for postage discounts. A record that returns a CASS error means it likely has an incomplete or undeliverable postal address. This process ensures the best deliverability at the lowest cost.

Data Cleansing, NCOA, CASS, Duplicate removal, Direct Mail

Duplicate Removal 

Data duplication is inevitable and exists in even the cleanest of files. Data duplication is when a lead or record repeats within the marketing database. Duplication may seem like common sense, but often, duplicates are harder to spot than you may realize.

Duplicate detection is accomplished by finding all records that contain exactly or approximately the same data in one or more fields. For example, if you have a lead or customer named Robert Doe, you may also have a record for Rob Doe, Bob Doe, or R. Doe. While the name is different, these are potentially the same person. Computers don’t recognize these as duplicates.

The same concept applies to postal addresses. While you may see that 1234 South Main Street, 1234 So Main Street and 1234 S Main St are duplicate addresses, most computers won’t. If left alone, you send the same piece of mail to one person or address three or four times, resulting in money wasted on print and postage.

B2B campaigns often require mailing to multiple titles at one organization.  Duplication customization allows you to control whether or not multiple recipients at the same address receive your message, or you may restrict your mailing to one per household.

At ANS, we know the importance of maintaining data quality for the success of your marketing campaigns. While we can’t guarantee the outcome of your mailing, we can guarantee that if you NCOA, CASS certify and suppress duplicates prior to your next direct mail campaign, you will save money and increase ROI.

Marketer's guide to suppression files

In 2002, members of ANS created sister company, West Coast Data Services. Since its inception, it has served as our data processing entity, offering premier data management solutions, data cleansing services, and the most cost-effective pricing in the industry. Processing over 100 million domestic and international records on a monthly basis, no data processing job is too large or small.

ANS, Wendy Harwood, Data Profile Report


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