Calculating the Impact of Advanced Data Hygiene

Sep 18, 2006 7:40 PM  By

Using advanced data hygiene to correct bad addresses and suppress undeliverable ones isn’t sexy—but the returns you’ll reap can be. Improving your data hygiene can be a big profit driver because it cuts a substantial amount of waste out of your circulation.

Seventeen percent of the U.S. population moves every year. The U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) service and the other basic list hygeiene products capture only a fraction of these address changes. Advanced data hygiene uses many more layers of credit reporting and billing addresses to capture a much higher percentage of households’ current, correct addresses.

CognitiveData, a provider of advanced list hygiene, has developed an economic calculator to show the effect of
1) correcting mailable records that can be corrected, and
2) suppressing records that cannot be made deliverable.

Here’s how to make the calculation:

The first step to cleaning up your house file is to test run it against one of the advanced data hygiene products such as CognitiveData’s IntelliDress are quite a bit more expensive than NCOA ($15/M vs. NCOA’s $2.50-$3/M), and catalogers often correct their house file with these tools annually.

Correcting the addresses that can be corrected is simple. Finding the uncorrectable and undeliverable addresses cuts out a dramatic part of pure waste inside the house file the first time you clean it. The issue with undeliverable addresses is whether you should replace them with proven prospecting names or simply cut the circulation.

Jim Coogan is president of Santa Fe, NM-based consultancy Catalog Marketing Economics.