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How to Clean Up Your Prospect List for Much Improved ROI

AcxiomJanuary 22, 2015

You’re a smart marketer and you already know that a finely-tuned prospect list is your most powerful marketing asset. And that means keeping that list healthy and up-to-date is a critical “Must Do” for every marketer.

A clean prospect list holds many benefits. It means better, more targeted emails. It means fewer complaints when you’re sending the right message to the right person. And it means better ROI by not wasting dollars on old email addresses or people not as likely to convert. It’s a win-win.

cleaningBut without proper upkeep, your once-updated prospect list can quickly fall out of date as your customers move, change their addresses or experience changes in the household. Because we understand how important mailing list hygiene is to your marketing efforts, we’ve included a number of services to help you keep a fresh, targeted list.

Address Quality Services

Address Quality services ensure sure you’re still sending mail to the correct address and that your audience hasn’t moved. You can update your list, using tools like the following:

  • Address Standardization: Reduces the number of incomplete and undeliverable addresses. It parses and standardizes addresses, city names and state abbreviations to USPS specifications. It verifies, corrects and applies 5-digit zip codes, zip+4 codes, delivery point bar code numbers and carrier route codes. Finally, Address Standardization performs DPV processing to validate delivery points or identify erroneous delivery addresses.
  • National Change of Address (NCOA):  This USPS service provides SMBs with current change of address information to reduce undeliverable mail and increase response rates.
  • Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA): Includes the USPS’ NCOA file and a supplemental proprietary change-of-address file. Records processed through NCOA that are non-matches or matches with no forwarding address will be processed against the supplemental file to recognize additional moves. PCOA appends missing address information such as apartment numbers and corrects street number transpositions.

Deduplication Services

Do you know the company that, every year, sends you four copies of its latest catalog? Our Deduplication Services make sure you don’t become that company.

  • Individual Deduplication: Dedupes each individual living at one address based on first names. If you want to send mailings to more than one person in a household (say, mom and grandma), the Individual level will recognize and keep addresses of separate individuals living at one address.
  • Household Deduplication: Dedupes lists based on the last names associated with each address. Data can recognize that people with the same last name are part of the same family at the same address and only include one listing within your completed job. Data can also recognize if there is more than one family living at one address and include listings for both.
  • Address Deduplication: Dedupes your list so only one mailing goes to each specific address. If there were four entries with the same address on your list, only one entry would be kept.
  • Phone Number Deduplication: Dedupes your list so that only one mailing goes to each specific phone number. If there were four entries with the same phone number on your list, only one entry would be kept.

Suppression Services

Just because you have someone’s mailing address in your system doesn’t mean you should be contacting him or her. Suppression Services help stop that.

  • DMA Mail Suppression: Responsible marketers must respect a consumer’s contact preferences. Using the DMA’s mail suppression file on direct mail campaigns not only helps protect a consumer’s privacy but also saves time, money and goodwill.
  • Deceased Suppression: This flags deceased individuals that have been recognized on public records.
  • Taxes, Liens and Judgments Suppression: This flags individuals who have an unpaid tax, lien or judgment against them. Due to FCRA regulations, these flags are blended with deceased and cannot be used to determine credit worthiness.
  • Bankruptcy Suppression: This flags individuals who have filed for bankruptcy. Due to FCRA regulations, the bankruptcy flags are blended with deceased and cannot be used to determine credit worthiness.
  • Prison Suppression: This flags individuals who have been recognized on public records to be in prison to save marketing costs. Due to FCRA regulations, the prison flags are blended with deceased.
  • Underage Suppression: This service can help you dramatically improve your marketing results by eliminating non-responders – those under the age of 18. It can also help you pinpoint individuals on your target list who you would want to suppress from your marketing campaigns.

Like most tools in your marketing toolbox, your prospect list isn’t one you can set and forget. By practicing mailing list hygiene, you ensure you’re targeting the most relevant people possible. It’s the secret to a higher ROI.

For more insight into perfecting your prospect list, download our free Comprehensive Guide to New Leads and Better Customers.

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