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7 Best Practices for Your Mailing List

Your Mailing list is the lifeblood of your marketing efforts. How much time do you spend maintaining it? Many customers invest in data cleansing when they buy a new list, but this is not something that should be thought of as one-and-done; list management is an ongoing process. I’d like to share some basic steps you should be taking regularly to keep your list in top shape:

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7 Best Practices to Optimize Your Mailing List

Address Correction If you do bulk mailings, the United States Postal Service requires you to run your list through NCOA within 95 days of every mailing. Even if your mailings don’t fall under the “bulk” category, using NCOA on a regular basis is a good idea. It doesn’t cost much, and the postal savings can more than offset the investment. This is already part of our process at Boelte-Hall. We love saving you money!

Enhanced Change of Address NCOA is a great tool, but even so, it’s only about 80% effective. It only works for people who file their change of address with the Post Office and is only accurate for people who have moved within the past four years. Another beneficial option to consider is investing in enhanced change of address services, which match address data from retailers, utilities, credit card companies, telecoms, and other private sources and can yield 20­–40% more matches than NCOA alone.

Address Accuracy You should be running your list through CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) on a regular basis, as well. This corrects and matches street addresses to postal specifications. At Boelte-Hall, we include this with our mailing process, so you don’t have to worry about this step when you work with us.

De-dupe Names It’s easy for duplicates to sneak into your mailing list (for example, Jane Smith and Jane A. Smith might be the same person), but it’s just as easy to remove them. Why irritate your audience with duplicate mailings and run up your postage bill unnecessarily? It is always worth it to spend a few extra minutes removing duplicates from your list.

Just how clean is your data? Identify where your data requires attention, allowing you to choose which areas to improve.

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De-dupe Households Unless you are selling to businesses in which multiple practitioners may be at the same location (such as an office building), there is usually no reason to send multiple direct mail pieces to the same address.

Deceased Suppression Once someone has died, continuing to send mail (particularly marketing mail) simply reignites painful emotions among family members who are handling their loved one’s affairs. Making Deceased Suppression part of your routine should be a no-brainer. Deceased Suppression is a part of the services offered with the software we use for our mailings at Boelte-Hall for an additional fee.

Ancillary Service Endorsements With Service Endorsements, you are asking the Post Office to let you know if mail cannot be delivered because of an incorrect address. If a new address is available, the Post Office will provide it. If not, you can remove the name from your list. There is an extra fee for service endorsements, but if you do a lot of mailing, it doesn’t take long before this service pays for itself. This practice also requires a little extra time.

What are the next steps?

How well are you following this checklist? Do you want to take advantage of some of these services but are not sure where to start? Always know that Boelte-Hall is more than happy to help you with improving your list hygiene. Not only will you achieve better response rates, but your total cost of mailing will be reduced since you won’t be sending mail out to those who won’t receive it. If you need help with your mailing services and maintaining your lists, let us help!

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This post first appeared on Deceased Suppression Service, please read the originial post: here

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7 Best Practices for Your Mailing List


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