Last month we gave you five tips to create a better mail list for your direct mail campaign. If you missed this entry, click here. In part II we’ll focus on something equally, if not more, pertinent to getting your mail to the right people: list hygiene. Even the best mail list needs maintenance from time to time. Here are three questions to ask yourself while cleaning up your list.
Are you sending your mail to the right place?
The question is, are you sending your mail to the right address, because if not, you’re wasting your money. Close to 20% of the people in the U.S move every year. That’s every 20 out of 100! No wonder your mail list gets mucky. Moving isn’t the only event that can muck up the mail list: marriages, deaths, changes in occupation are just a few examples.
How do you go about cleaning up these addresses? The NCOA (National Change of Address) provides accurate addresses for anyone, businesses or individuals, who have registered with the USPS. Time is money. The time it takes to check your addresses is well worth the money you save on your ROI later on.
Do you have duplicate addresses on your list?
If you’re a woman who has been married divorced, or remarried, perhaps you have received multiple copies of the same piece of mail addressed to your old name and new name? This is not as uncommon as you might think. It results from having duplicated addresses on your mail list.
Look over you list, find out how many of these dirty little duplicates you have, and then do the math. Take the cost per piece and multiply it by the number of duplicates on your mail list. They’re easy to spot and well worth the extra effort. Not to mention, sending multiple pieces of mail to the same person just looks sloppy. Save yourself the embarrassment.
Is your data correct?
One of the biggest turn offs to a direct mail recipient is when their name is spelt incorrectly. It not only makes your mail less effective, but it makes your company look lazy and careless too. In fact, receiving an offer in the mail with misspelled names often has the opposite effect of personalization.
Even worse than that is receiving duplicate offers at the same time, one addressed to the correct spelling and one to the wrong spelling. Cleaning up your addresses can easily prevent this. Likewise, it helps in the research phase. If you are participating in a cooperative database, for example, it’s important to enter in the correct data.
Keeping a squeaky clean list is an important step to getting your mail to the right person. Not only that, it reflect on your company directly. If done carelessly, direct mail can actually have the opposite effect on your prospect. So, make sure your list is current, your data is correct, and your addresses are not duplicated and you’ll find some happy prospects!
Until next time–Happy Printing!