Your direct mail campaign will be more successful when you start with an accurate mailing list. Work with your internal data management team, mail service provider or Canada Post to clean your list and improve its accuracy.
Here are 6 steps to good data hygiene:
- Standardize your address format
- Eliminate any duplicates
- Correct and validate your addresses
- Update addresses for people who have moved
- Flag addresses to suppress
- Manage returned mail
Make sure that every address in your mailing list database follows the same format. A consistent and correct format will help ensure better results from the rest of the data cleansing steps.
Names and addresses can sometimes be entered in your database more than once or more than one family member may be listed for one address. You may also have duplicate records when you use several lists in one campaign. Merge all your lists and purge the duplicates to save you the cost of sending to the same address multiple times.
You’ll reduce undeliverable mail when you clean your list with Canada Post-recognized address validation software. This software corrects addresses where there is enough information to validate the format or to complete the address – including the postal code. If there are any addresses that the software cannot correct, it flags them, so you can try to correct them manually or skip mailing to them.
Even your best customers may forget to tell you they’ve moved – but 75% of Canadians tell Canada Post. Update your mailing list with the National Change of Address data to get the new address for your existing customers who have moved. It can also identify any deceased customers on your list. You can then choose to send your mailing to the “occupant” of the old address, or to remove that address from your mailing.
You can skip sending your mailing to certain people or addresses by suppressing them in your list rather than deleting them. For example, you can suppress people who have registered with the Canadian Marketing Association’s “Do not contact” list. You’ll improve your return on investment when you send your campaign to more receptive people.
Even with all the pre-mailing list cleansing, it’s normal to see about 5% of your mail returned undeliverable. Take advantage of any mail you get back to correct or remove addresses from your database so you keep your list clean for your next campaign.
When you clean your mailing list before a direct mail campaign, you get your mailing into the hands of more potential customers. It helps boost sales and ensures you get the maximum benefit from your marketing dollars.
Ready to do some data cleaning? Canada Post Data Management Services can help. Or find a Canada Post-recognized vendor of address validation software.