Essential Advice on Cleaning Your Mailing List or Database

Following our recent post about the danger’s of buying dodgy data: those cheap lists from unknown sources that seem too good to be true – we thought it would be a good time to remind you of your obligations in maintaining the quality and accuracy of your data.

At Selectabase we place huge importance on data accuracy and cleanliness. After all data quality is one of the 2-3 key reasons why a marketing campaign can succeed or fail.

But more importantly than that even, using inaccurate data can upset recipients and raise ethical concerns, as well as risking your business falling foul of legislation.

Plus of course miss-targeted mailings cause wastage and are more costly to the environment and your business.

Here are some examples of how and why you should look after your data:

  • Before sending a mailing you should screen your list against the latest suppression files such as gone away’s and the bereavement register. This exercise will remove names on your database who are known to have moved home or passed away. At Selectabase we offer a free audit of your data so you can find out how accurate your data is and choose to have it cleaned.
  • You should also screen any new database you have obtained against the Mailing Preference Service to remove people who have opted out of receiving mailings. All lists supplied by Selectabase are screened against the latest MPS before dispatch automatically, but other lists can be screened easily using our free Easycheck desktop list cleaning application.
  • If you are planning to phone anyone on your database, then always screen numbers against the latest Telephone Preference Service files for individuals, or Corporate Telephone Preference Service file for businesses. Once again our Easycheck tool can do this for you or you can check individual numbers online with a subscription to TPS Check. Both tools screen numbers against the TPS and CTPS so you can also include businesses which may be located at a home address.

Even if you don’t use Selectabase to help you clean your data, please make sure your mailing lists are kept up to date for commercial, environmental, legal and ethical reasons.