Know Your House File Counts

Sep 08, 2008 10:50 PM  By

In the current environment of rising postage and paper costs, it is more important than ever for mailers to understand the key metrics of house file counts. This means knowing the quantity of the all important 0-12 month buyer file, as well as the overall counts of buyers, requestors and any other internal house file segments.

Here’s an easy spot check to ensure counts are correct before going into the main merge. To do this, it is important that you are comparing like numbers. This means looking at the input house counts in the house file segmentation process, prior to the merge and prior to any re-keys, such as NCOA movers or hits to the DMA pander file.

Take the previous main merge project’s same input to merge counts, lay them next to our new counts and check the increase or decrease by six-month time bands.

This simple calculation can reveal some egregious errors, such as the migration of names to incorrect RFM segments, or simply missing records. While you should see migration of counts up to the most recent time bands (especially from the 0-24 month records), you should question any major changes in counts. Decreases in the most recent time band and increases in older time bands are big red flags.

The same procedure should be done with requestors and any other house names going into the merge.

Knowing these basic key metrics of your house file is a critical first step to an effective and consistent mailing strategy.

Matt Morton is senior marketing manager at Lenser.