Nuts & Bolts - Eye on Privacy: List Hygiene: Your Smartest Move
Can there be targeted marketing without accurate information? I say no.
From e-mail to direct mail, the need for sound list hygiene practices is not only ever-present, but ever-increasing.
Why? For me, it comes down to the belief that a global list hygiene strategy is part and parcel of increasing relevance for the consumer, reducing costs for the marketer and demonstrating corporate responsibility. A win-win-win!
With the increasing costs of postage, printing and paper (on the mail side), and the heightened level of scrutiny that bad e-mail addresses get from ISPs (on the e-mail side), it's no wonder that marketers with an eye on all of their bottom lines are looking with renewed interest at the art and science of hygiene.
On the mail side of the equation, my company has seen several examples of significant increases in addressable households when clients adopt better hygiene habits. Last year, we began doubling the frequency of our database hygiene and have shown (to some really incredulous clients) gains of 5 percent to 10 percent in addressable households on housefiles. In this economy, who wouldn't want to re-engage with 5 percent to 10 percent more of their customers?
Then there's the not-so-inconsequential benefit of qualifying for the fullest USPS discounts. The USPS is clearly sending the message with its pricing structures that if marketers want to communicate economically with consumers, they'll leverage the latest address correction and standardization systems. And, of course, there is the concomitant benefit that good list hygiene also reduces total postal costs by eliminating bad or old addresses. The USPS has reported that 9 billion pieces are undeliverable each year.
In this economy, another reason to look anew at list hygiene is the costs often can be self-funding. For an average cataloger, the postage savings alone easily can reach five figures.