What to Do with Those Merge/Purge Reports

When looking at that big stack of merge/purge reports, it can be tempting to file them away or maybe even toss them, says Don Buck, president of Milwaukee-based consultancy Buck Marketing. Think again. The volume of information that can be extracted from your merge/purge reports about your lists, your customers, and potential customers is invaluable.

For instance, if you have a low percentage of overall net names, it may indicate a high penetration in the market or simply high duplication among rented lists. “Research the specifics in the reports,” Buck advises. “Are they duplications, dirty lists, or possibly the wrong strategy?”

High duplication between two particular rented lists could indicate that they have a high affinity. If the results are different on these two lists, look closely to see if one could be eliminated. How many unique names are you really getting from list “B”? This information is available on a report that’s often called the list matrix, which shows the number of dupes that matched each individual list.

High duplication of a rented list to your house file could indicate that the company is a heavy user of your names. “Look at its offerings and the timing of its offers,” Buck says. “Could you do a joint mailing? Is this a potential acquisition? Could you develop a single piece with both companies’ products? Find out which specific segment of the house file that matched this list.”

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