How to keep your direct marketing list data clean and effective

Keeping an up to date direct marketing list is almost as important as how you collect the data itself. What measures can you take to keep your data clean and up to date, ready for your next direct mail campaign?

Your direct marketing lists can take an age to build and create, but just an instant to become out of date.

Because the quality of your mailing list plays such a huge role in the success of your direct mail campaigns, it’s vitally important to make sure your list is always clean, accurate and up date.

Data doesn’t have an endless shelf life: it changes constantly and is out of date as soon as it is collected. This is because a direct marketing list of people will always change, because people change. Their lifestyles and circumstances can alter at any time. And this applies to b2c consumer marketing lists and to b2b business lists just as equally.

Keeping an up to date and accurate direct marketing mailing list is more important than you may think. Potential customers can be instantly switched off to your proposition if you’ve spelt their name or address incorrectly. Plus there are the potential cost implications of sending multiple mailers to the same address by mistake.

Using commercially available services such as Easycheck from, there are several forms of data screening and cleaning which you can use to ensure the accuracy and so the quality of your valuable data:

Bereavement Screening

There can be few other marketing errors so distressing for the recipients as sending a mailing to a person who has recently passed away, Not only can it greatly upset their relatives, but it can also create additional work for them in having to inform you of your error. Using bereavement screening suppression services direct marketers can screen their data for any recently deceased people.

Gone-Away Screening

Gone away suppression draws upon regularly updated data for consumers and businesses that have changed location. Few of us remember to notify absolutely everyone we need to when we move house, so using a gone away suppression service can ensure that your marketing lists are as up date as they can be.

Telephone Preference Service Screening

Research by shows that over 60% of UK households and more than 55% of businesses have registered telephone numbers with the Telephone Preference Service, in order to block unwanted sales calls. This means that around 3 out 5 unchecked sales or marketing phone calls to consumers or businesses will now be to a TPS or CTPS registered number.

Businesses using the telemarketing without checking numbers against the TPS and CTPS registers first are now more likely to call registered numbers than unregistered phone numbers. If reported, the caller could face legal action and even a £5000 fine, so businesses are being urged to check phone numbers first before they make a call.

Mailing Preference Service screening

The Mailing Preference Service or MPS register, enables consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the direct marketing industry. Unwanted direct mail is unpopular with consumers, damaging to the direct mail industry, and unnecessarily costly to your business. Wastage in direct mail is also seen to be damaging to the environment, not just in the amounts of paper wasted in this way but also the energy cost used to transport mailers to recipient’s homes.


Deduping your database screens it for multiple entries for the same address. These multiple entries can be caused by data entry errors, multiple responses by prospects, or when lists are merged with each other. Sending more than one mailer to the same address not only costs more, but looks highly unprofessional as well.

These simple forms of data screening can be used to ensure that your direct marketing campaigns are targeted, efficient and fully ethical.

For further information call us on 01304 383838 or visit