Why It’s Important To Maintain Your Customer List

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A good mailing list is vital to the success of any direct mail campaign.

Especially important is the list that you maintain within your organization. A good customer list should not only include valuable information about your best customers, but it also should give you insight as to the target demographic your business attracts. With such an important resource, it is critical that you keep this list accurate and up to date. Otherwise, you are wasting one of the most important resources your company has for marketing.

It starts with data

The first and most important component to maintaining a good customer list is to gather good data about your customers. Not only does this include basic demographic information such as name, phone number, address and email address, but also buying history, frequency and other preferences. Although this may seem difficult, you can do it with your point of sale software, sign up sheets or just simply by asking.

Accuracy is the best policy

After you have a solid customer list, is important to ensure this list is accurate. The best way to ensure that your customer list is accurate is to have a mailing house run your list against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database, which goes back four years. Here at Bluegrass, we do this for all of our customers prior to mailing. As part of this process, we also send our customers the updated information. When you receive the changes from the NCOA, it is critical that you then update your database. If this isn’t done, the data could be lost after four years.

More than one way to skin a cat

Another way to do this is to send out a First-Class mailing annually to your entire mailing list. This way, any addresses that are incorrect will be returned to you. When these returns come back, you can update your database with the correct information or remove that person from your list. Another idea is to make sure that you make contact with your customers on a regular basis. This can be done by a phone call or a mailing that asks your best customers to verify that their contact information is still the same.

It’s all about the follow through

Many times, companies overlook the importance of their customer list. They have good intentions when they create the list, but then they fail to continue to gather data and update the data that they have. As experts in the mailing list field, we would be more than happy to share ideas with you and help you clean up and maintain your customer list.


Bill Nichols

August 14, 2014

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