Category: Data Services
Last Updated: 20 January 2014
If contact and address data is not captured using specialised software, then it is almost certain that the data will require cleansing to maximise its full potential.
Address data will not be in the Royal Mail’s recommended format. There is also a high probability of duplicate contacts or duplicated address details or that address details may be captured incorrectly. In addition the contact may have moved house by the time comes to use the data.
What if I Don't CleanseThe impact of not cleansing your data prior to use includes:
- Can increase postage costs as mail may become unreadable on Royal Mail's machines.
- Your mailing may not qualify for certain bulk mail services, increasing postage costs significantly.
- Your item may be returned as undeliverable, therefore wasting the costs involved in mail piece production, fulfilment and postage costs.
- Similarly if duplicates are not removed these costs of production, fulfilment and postage will also increase.
- If undeliverable, success of campaign is reduced due to potential lost sales.
- If undeliverable, impact on the environment increases due to waste and additional transportation costs.
- Delivery time may be increased, potentially missing key dates for time specific marketing campaigns.
- Can adversely affect the recipient's perception of your brand.
Address Verification ServiceAddress verification compares address data against Royal Mail’s PAF database (Postal Address File). PAF contains the details of the UK’s 29 million business and residential addresses to which mail can be delivered to.
Each address processed will fall into one of the following results:
- Address Verified – the address was correct.
- Address Corrected – the address was identified and was updated.
- Premise Level Match – whilst the address has been identified to a physical building, some sub-building address details are missing e.g. flat number. Whilst technically an incomplete address, they may still be mailable depending on knowledge of the local post worker.
- No Match – address could not be found on PAF and unable to be corrected. This may be due to misspellings or just wrong data. This mailing data may ultimately get delivered, but will require some action by local post worker. Use of these records should therefore be treated with caution
De-duplication of Data ServiceDuplicate records can be introduced into lists in a number of ways. Poor data capture software, agent error at point of capture or having data merged from a number of different sources are the most common.
De-duplication of data fixes this problem, but as the purpose of each mailing activity differs, it is required to understand at what level the data is required to de-duplicated at, typical options include
- Forename, Surname and Address
- Initial, Surname and Address
- Surname and Address
- Address Only
Our software utilises complex pattern matching algorithms to compare fields within address records identifying possible duplicates.
Once duplicates have been identified, these can be removed prior to mailing or returned to enable updates of source database.
Update of MoversAround 100,000 people register each month with Royal Mail for mail redirection when they move house.
As part of this process the householder can choose to have their details included within the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This database contains over 23 million records and stores the householders name, old address and new address details.
From a customer retention perspective, this database provides an excellent way of keeping in contact with previous customers.
Residency VerificationOur residency verification service relies upon a data pool of over 40M records from various data partners (including the edited electoral roll register) to verify that a contact lives at the specified address.
This service is recommended when near 100% accuracy of contact deliverability is required, or when a subset of a master list is to be mailed. Perhaps from a need to reduce costs from the production of an expensive mail piece.