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Save budget – check your data against industry standard suppression files

Data cleansing
Data Erase

By David Battson 2 min read

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Want to save some of that precious marketing budget? Making regular checks of your data against industry standard suppression files can save both time and money.

Whatever your business type, you should always check your data and mailing lists regularly against available industry standard suppression files, to identify “gone-aways”, contacts who are deceased, business shut downs, etc.

Using old and therefore inaccurate data records can lead to wasted budget – precious resources spent on mailing the wrong people at the wrong addresses. For example: we recently saved a leading charity £1500 in mailing costs per send, following a data audit and cleanse.

It can also be fundamentally damaging to your brand and business to continue to make incorrect contact with customers and prospects, while you are trying to make a positive impression leading to a sale.

Business and Consumer data suppression needs

Research shows that Business data decays around 40 percent annually, resulting from a combination of the regular turnover of staff in many industries, as well as the number of businesses that move premises or cease trading. This means that regular checks on company and employee details are vital, to remove those that are no longer relevant.

For an organisation directly supplying Consumers, it is arguably even more important; with the need to remove those contacts that have passed away (avoiding insensitive situations) as well as to update those that have moved address or whose details have changed for any other reason.

Suppression Files

There are many industry suppression files that you can check and cleanse your data against, these include:

  • National Change of Address – Managed by the Royal Mail
  • Business Suppression File
  • Bereavement Register

Ideally, you should cleanse your data against as many of the available files as possible, and as regularly as possible. They can also be a source of new data; you may have an incorrect address for a customer who has recently moved – wouldn’t it be good to acquire their new address from these files to effortlessly retain contact with them?

There are also lists that are essential to regularly compare against if you are making telemarketing calls, such as:

  • TPS (telephone preference service)
  • CTPS (corporate telephone preference service)

This exercise will ensure your team are not calling those companies or consumers who have registered to ensure they don’t receive unsolicited calls. It can also reduce your phone and any telesales staff costs and increase the efficiency of your operation. It is a legal requirement that all organisations do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS/CTPS unless they have the contact’s consent to do so.

Data Quality Audit

Having your own data audited by a reputable data supplier should include comparing your list to these types of suppression files, making you aware just how much of your data is now inaccurate. From this point you can then cleanse the data and append new details where available, or remove records entirely. This process will give you cleaner, more accurate data for marketing activities, as well as for analytical purposes.

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