In the last issue of Platinum Business Magazine, I wrote about the importance of keeping your data up to date, and avoiding the nightmare scenario of mailing (or emailing) the dead. If your email or mailing data includes a person who has passed away it can cause enormous distress to family members if you are sending out personalised marketing material.
Even more likely is the possibility of mailing someone who has moved home or changed the company they work for. The waste of time and money can be significant, and the results of a campaign can look terribly ineffective if your message is not being received in the first place. If it is direct mail, the wasted expenditure on postage can be enormous.
So what to do?
The answer is to use a company, such as Nova Direct, who specialise in maximising the effectiveness of your data, by ensuring it is accurate and properly targeted. These are two distinct specialities, so in this article I will concentrate on maintaining clean data.
Our systems and data technicians continuously monitor, refresh and update data. This enables us to deal with all aspects of data processing. We employ several methods to ensure your mail does not get lost, or] worse, sent to a person no longer alive.
Avoiding sending unwanted mail
It is a simple fact that many people do not want to receive marketing messages that they have not requested. The best method to avoid unwanted mail or calls is to sign up for a “Preference Service”. Unfortunately, this is not a guaranteed solution to prevent annoying sales calls or junk mail. Many companies will flaunt the rules, calculating that the fines are less that the possible rewards. This may be particularly true of overseas companies who can avoid prosecution.
However, it doesn’t create a good company image if you ignore the wishes of the general public, and we would not entertain the idea of sending marketing material to those who have stated that they do not want to receive it.
The preference services we subscribe to are:
- Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
This is a list of families who would prefer not to receive unsolicited direct mail
- Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
This is a list of telephone numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls
- Fax Preference Service (FPS)
This is a list of fax numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited faxes
Moved On - No Reply
On average, 10% of the UK population will move house in a year. During the chaos of moving, contacting every company and organisation that you have ever bought from or donated to is not always your highest priority. Through our AMIGO platform we can review the name and address information and ensure they are not contained in our suppression list of people we know have moved. For certain contacts we even have the ability to link the individual with their new address enabling you to remain connected.
We also understand that records being entered into your CRM system can be subject to human error. We have the ability to review the address information you have captured and validate it against the Royal Mail’s Postal Address File (PAF). This process ensures the correct street name, town, county and postcode are used to boost the delivery success and open up opportunities to generate savings on postage.
The databases we utilise include:
- National Change of Address (NCOA)
This file contains approx 9.5 million records of new and old addresses. It is compiled by the Royal Mail using re-direction requests from householders. It can be used as a Gone Away File or to track and trace
- Postal Address File (PAF)
A file that contains every address in the UK and can be used to cross-reference data. Compiled by the Royal Mail
Mailing the Living
Most important of all is ensuring that you don’t email or mail someone who has passed away. This can cause distress for close relatives. Surveys reveal that two thirds of consumers would boycott a company if they received a piece of direct mail in the name of a loved one that has passed away.
We cross-reference names and addresses with records of those who have recently passed away.
The records we use include:
- The Deceased Register (TDR)
This file is collected in collaboration with local registrars throughout the UK at the time a death is registered
- The Bereavement Register (TBR)
This file is collected in collaboration with local government registrars, law firms, hospitals and funeral directors throughout the UK within 7 days of a death
The methods described are just some of the ways that we ensure that data records are clean and accurate. We also have bespoke software and other ways to ensure records are up-to-date.
Can you afford to not check your data?
Tel: 01444 231400
Next time - Targeting your right audience