Steps for Updating Mailer Customer Lists
At Sun Print Solutions, some of our most common and largest customers are various retailers or other businesses who regularly send out mailers with large client lists. Our direct mail and similar printing services are perfect for these kinds of entities, who may have dozens of campaigns a year targeted to various demographics.
One of the key areas we can help such clients with in the realm of organization: Cleaning customer lists. Did you realize that around one in five adults changes jobs each year, and around the same rate of families will move in a given year? This means that if you regularly send mailers or similar campaigns but aren’t updating your customer list frequently, you’ll be falling behind and missing opportunities to reach the maximum number of new eyes. With that in mind, let’s go over a few basic steps to take when cleaning up your customer list.
The first step you should take here is to run your current mailing list through an excellent resource: The US Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) Database, which updates regularly with changes to mailing addresses from across the country. This is the single most comprehensive such list available, and you can use it for your primary verification.
It’s important to note, however, that the NCOA database is not 100 percent perfect at all times. It takes a bit of time for areas like new business facilities or mailing addresses to be reflected in the list, meaning you’ll still have to take some manual steps as well (more on this below). In addition, be sure to ask for your updated addresses back after you run your check so you can remove any incorrect records.
Once you’ve gone through the NCOA process, you will have to also include some manual checking to ensure your lists are fully accurate. This should be supervised and primarily carried out by people who are already familiar with the basics of the list – have them print it out and begin looking for any missing data, missing titles, misspelled names, or any other problems that might be present. Addresses, zip codes and street names are often some of the first items that get lost in the shuffle, so pay particular attention to these.
Throughout your manual correction process, take opportunities to group your records together based on demographics or characteristics. It will do wonders for your campaign efforts if you are able to group customers into convenient sub-lists, which make coordinating various mailers or other services much simpler for your entire company.