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Minimum List, Maximum Success!

411XML E-Zine

The importance of accurate data 
The raw material of your mail and telemarketing campaigns is directory data: names, addresses, and phone numbers. This data typically changes 15-50% per year due to moves, divorce, job transfer, and death. The phenomenon is known as “data decay,” and is the primary cause of undeliverable mail and obsolete phone numbers. Stale data can cost you: 
• postage for undeliverable mail 
• postage for mail delivered to stale addresses 
• lost telemarketing staff time 
• embarrassment for phone calls to invalid or incorrect phone numbers 
Anatomy of a problem 
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems are great at storing your lead, prospect, and client data. When you first start your business, this information seems simple and accessible. But for a successful business with lots of merged data, lists can become monolithic and inaccessible! CRM systems store the data forever, but may rarely be revisited by staff. In the best cases, the mailroom remembers to contact the marketing or fulfillment department about undeliverable mail; in the worst, you will receive a call from an irate wife of a deceased spouse. (We’ve had clients who received returned mail: “Inmate no longer in this cell block”!) So, what is the solution? 
Minimize your lead list, maximize your success! 
The key to a clean, successful, and efficient marketing program is properly selected, de-duped, and cleansed lead lists. Periodically re-verifying your data will result in smaller lists with a higher rate of success. 
How do you clean? 
CRM data cleansing is a small but quickly growing business. Because of the many ways that this data is customized to suit individual company’s needs and the many CRM systems used by different companies, there are not many consistent and cost effective methods for cleaning this data. 
Products on the market solve this problem to varying degrees (WinPure ListCleaner, Trillium Software’s Diamond Data IS™, various products by Citation Software Inc). They require that your staff be proficient with both the new software and your CRM, and often do not have a directory information backbone that will allow them to verify your data effectively. 
Another solution is to integrate your CRM with a full-service “data enhancement and list hygiene” solution such as Equifax Marketing’s SelecTrac Express™, but this type of solution tends be expensive and difficult to learn, train, and integrate. 
Still other companies, such as MelissaData, w3data.com, and 411XML.com, offer stand-alone services that your staff can use individually to cleanse your data. This could be a good solution if you have in-house experts that understand your CRM data and the nuances of the directory assistance data that lies behind these services. 
The last solution is to use a consultant. Because of 411XML.com’s knowledge of data sources that companies use for cleansing and enhancing such data, it is possible that a cost effective solution for your company could be developed quickly by our staff. For a free initial consultation call Richard Weerts at 1-800-396-3179. 
Whatever solution you choose, addressing this issue now is a wise decision – before you receive stacks of undeliverable mail or create a room full of frustrated telemarketers! 
Ken Rogers, Co-Founder and Senior Product Manager 

- Ken Rogers