Case Study: Using Real-time Data Cleaning to Reduce Returned Mail

Whether you’re conducting a direct mail campaign or following up on customer responses, you don’t want to waste your mail budget sending to invalid addresses.

“Data Superstore” Melissa Data Corp. reports the heartening story of a client that was able to reduce its returned mail by an average of 70 percent by implementing a system to clean postal data in real time.

Sioux Falls credit card issuer Total Card Inc. ran into problems because customers responding to its direct mail campaigns often entered incorrect address information on their online credit applications. As a result, the legally required packages confirming approval or denial of credit were being returned to Total Card, at a significant cost to the company.

Total Card turned to Melissa Data for real-time address verification via the Internet. With the new system, address information entered by the credit applicant was sent from Total Card’s website to Melissa Data’s servers for rapid verification against the U.S. Postal Service database for more than 140 million deliverable addresses. If the information was verified, the online application process continued. The first month that Total Card employed data cleaning, the number of credit card packages returned because of bad addresses decreased 70 percent.

While not everyone needs their data cleaning done in real time, periodic list cleaning maximizes the effectiveness of your mailings. Find out more about the importance of regular list cleaning for direct mail and the list cleaning and maintenance services offered by Marigold.

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