Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mining Merge-Purge Report Can Yield Valuable Nuggets

Merge-Purge reports can be revelatory--and not just for data processing geeks. Savvy direct mail marketers can mine the report to improve mail quantity as well as quality. Thanks to Gina Valentino, president of Hemisphere Marketing as well as dean of marketing for, which shares catalog marketing lessons from industry experts, for a recent blog post pointing out the value of digging deeper into Merge-Purge results. She notes three sometimes-overlooked opportunities to boost the bottom line of mailings. First, she advises marketers to pay close attention to Intradupes in the same key code (list). If the Intradupe rate is high, above 1%, you have reason to negotiate better pricing from a rental list (or drop it). Next, she advises looking closely at the Invalid Drops in the best-performing keycodes (such as Hotlines). Business rules that drop recent high-value customers for seasonal addresses, deliverable AFO/FPO or U.S. territory addresses, or DMA Pander matches, for example, need to be evaluated. Third, she urges paying close attention to gross-in and gross-out numbers for house data. If the net-out rate is low (under 99%), then customer/prospect data may not be entered or aggregated properly. Get a sample to see what is going wrong. But here's the advice that we, as data service partners, like best: "If you’re not sure what is useful with the Merge/Purge reports, spend 15 minutes with your data service provider defining and reviewing each column title of the report. Ask questions. Determine where it makes sense to change the business rules for data processing." For more detail on her tips, read

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