You send out your direct mail campaign, but you are not seeing the results you anticipated. Response rates are low and many mailings are getting bounced. What can you do to fix this problem? A good place to start is mailing list hygiene. Even the best mailing list gets outdated and dirty over time. Duplicate names and old, undeliverable addresses build up. People move to a new address or move out of your target demographic.  Getting rid of inactive data can feel like you are letting go of something that could come in handy one day. However, just like spring-cleaning your home, a good mailing list clean up will pay off in efficiency and effectiveness. List hygiene processes will help you limit the number of undeliverable records and get rid of the addresses you don’t need. Here are two easy ways to save your direct mail campaign from wasted money and low response rates.

1.   De-Duping

Duplicate addresses and names can easily sneak into your database if you are not careful. This can mean the same contact will receive your mail piece twice, or two identical pieces may end up going to people living in the same household. You can save time and money by reducing those unnecessary copies. Make sure that you do not only de-duplicate your list by name, but also by address too.

2.   Contact Information Updates

When sending a mailing piece to an existing customer, take the time to update their information. According to statistics from the United States Postal Service, over 40 million Americans change their address annually. As you can guess, this can create obstacles in maintaining a high-quality mailing list. USPS offers some great tools that can help you hygiene your mailing list so you have the most up-to-date information. These include:

  • National Change of Address (NCOA) File: NCOA contains data on individuals, families, and businesses that have moved and have filed a change of address with the USPS within the past 48 months.
  • Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS): LACS can convert rural-style (non-standard) addresses to the standard city-style addresses. This will help with the deliverability of your mail.

If you are renting a list from a list company, you do not have to worry about dealing with merge/purge processes and list hygiene. A good list company will perform routine hygiene on their lists on a daily basis. If you are using an in-house list or have rented a list, you should definitely follow the above steps to ensure maximum deliverability and success rates. Whether you are renting a list or buying one, be careful when getting a list. Look for respectable companies that specialize in hygiene and accurate mailing lists that compile from reputable and identifiable sources.  Data companies, like US Data Corporation, can help you get the most out of your direct mail marketing dollars with a fresh mailing list. Please call US Data Corporation for any additional direct mail marketing questions at (888) 578-3282 today.