Copyright 2011 / Amerifound, Inc. All rights reserved
Marketing Group, Inc.
A division of:
When shopping for mailing or telemarketing lists, be aware that there are some pretty lame files out there. Duplicates, bad addresses, misspelling and phone number errors are just a few of the problems.
Our intent here is to give you some insight into the compilation, cleansing and updating of marketing lists. We’ll follow that up with our own methods of solving many of these problems:
Compilation: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of list compilers out there. Some deal with general data such as age, residence, vehicle, and income lists, while others compile or manage more specific lists like magazine subscribers, association members, buyers-by-items, etc.
Here, we will deal with compilers of more general information:
The main source for name, address and age information is the individual state’s driver’s license bureau files which, for a price, most states provide.
A second source for this information comes from voter registration files. Still others include vehicle registration and census data.
This information is loaded into computers and the applicable data appended to the individual.
For example we have John Smith:
...and so on and so on.
The data is then matched up against the U.S. Postal Service’s “National Change of Address” (NCOA) files to correct any address errors. Then, the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certified software is used to accurately apply zip+4 information.
This is an over-simplification of the compilation process, but you get the basic idea.
There are several categories of list cleansing. We will touch on just a few of the more important ones:
Movers: Typically a quarterly affair whereby the compiler runs their data up against the Postal Service’s change of address records.
U.S. Postal Service changes: The postal service, on occasion, decides to change zip codes or start using physical street addresses in place of rural routes. These updates are usually performed monthly.
Periodic general updates: On a varied schedule, these are new files obtained from the main sources: state driver’s license, county deeds, etc.
Eliminating duplications: A misnomer. There are no compilers that score high on our list in this important category. Typically, the compiler will eliminate duplications by name and zip code only. This fails miserably Continued ˃
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