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marketing database

How to Clean Your Customer Database

Your customer database is one of your most valuable assets, but if mismanaged this list could be useless or even worse could be costing you in marketing expenses and poor brand management.  Below are a few tips to clean your customer database.

Remove duplicates: You should remove duplicate entries so your database is easy to navigate and you are not misinterpreting your data or sending marketing collateral twice to the same person.  There are various options to de-dupe (remove duplicates from your list) including de-duping by name, address, last name, etc and Action Mail can even set parameters to catch close matches which could result from mis-entered data.

Ensure Accurate Data:  Run your list against the USPS database to ensure mailing addresses and addressees match what the USPS has. This is also known as CASS certification.  This will flag any records that do not match the USPS database as well as clean your records to match the correct USPS formatting.  Not only will CASS certifying your data save you from sending direct mail to undeliverable addresses, it will also clean your database to ensure consistency.

Updating your database: Action Mail can also update the addresses in your customer database to account for households that have moved.  Action Mail can run your data against the NCOA (National Change of Address Database), and let you know which of your customers have moved and their new address.  This helps ensure your database is up to date with your clients most recent address as well as helps you remove clients that have moved out of your target geography from receiving marketing collateral and direct mail.

Appending your Database: It is also possible to append data to your database.  This can include demographic information like income, age, etc to help profile your customers and it can also include additional information which can help your marketing efforts including email addresses, birth months.  The possibilities are endless, but the caveat is that clean and more well developed your database is the higher probability you can append data.

Ensuring Consistency: Your database should also be consistent.  Your field names should be consistent and clear and your data should all be in the same case and formatting.  This enables you to use your data for variable printing without worrying about re-formatting the data.  Ideally this should be done at data entry but Action Mail can reformat your data to ensure consistency.

Your most valuable asset should be cared for and used to market to existing customers as well as understand your current customer demographic for future marketing efforts.  Make sure your data is clean, consistent, and includes as much valuable information as possible.  Once you have your database cleaned be sure to maintain it and develop a strategy to use it correctly.