Testing Suppression Files

Besides the “deceased individual” suppression files and the Direct Marketing Association pander file (consisting of those who write the DMA indicating they do not want unsolicited mail), service bureaus frequently offer suppression files that include prison addresses, multifamily dwelling units, exact age files, bankruptcy files, college campuses, nursing homes, and commercial centers.

But you should not blindly suppress any category of addresses without first testing the response to your particular offer. For instance, some mailers find prisoners to be excellent customers! Similarly, you should test-mail military/government addresses (APO and FPO) to determine if they are responsive to your offer — don’t assume they won’t work. We’ve even gone so far as to test the deceased names, since the catalog is still going into an address that responded initially.

Another issue is weather-related suppression. While Hurricane Katrina clearly was cause for suppressing certain zip codes in Louisiana and Mississippi, many mailers could actually benefit by testing into areas that may be in dire need of their offer!

So while it’s important to keep your list clean, make sure you review each category your service bureau provides before suppressing potential customers.

Matt Morton is circulation and marketing manager at San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.