Merge Purge

A merge purge process takes multiple mailing lists, and identifies duplicate records between and within the lists. Duplicates are removed and attributes from each mailing list are merged. This creates a single complete data set that can then be profiled for improved mailing, marketing and analyses.

Reduce mailing cost with a merge and purge

A direct mail marketing campaign will typically draw upon data from multiple sources. This may include the client’s own customer data, or one or more rented lists of cold prospects, or both warm and cold data. It is therefore often the case that some contacts will appear in multiple lists.

Rented lists are themselves often built from multiple sources, which means that the same contact often appears multiple times per list.

Very often, the raw mailing list contains a significant number of duplicate contact records. Simply mailing all contacts in all lists, duplicates records and all, will result in significant wastage in terms of postage costs.

Part of the merge purge process is to identify duplicate records within the mailing lists. These duplicates are then removed so that each individual will only be mailed once.

Increase ROI by improved targeting

When preparing a targeted mailing, the mailing is often segmented based on consumer profile. A slightly different marketing message might be prepared for existing customers than for cold prospects. Warm and cold mailings may be further split based on other profile data, such as past buying habits, age or gender. Where duplicate contact records exist between lists, each list may contain only part of the complete picture. Where conflicting information exists between two or more duplicates, one list may be considered to be more accurate than another.

A merge purge process can improve your return on investment by amalgamating duplicate records. The most accurate profile data available within the set is retained. The merged contact record can be associated with the most appropriate segment, and the recipient receives the mailing piece they are most likely to respond to.

More than a standard merge purge

There is more to merge/purge than combining two databases to remove duplicate names and addresses.

A customised merge/purge process enhances marketing effectiveness. Whether it’s targeting, message relevance, prospecting or customer loyalty; marketers who realise this, and use the range of custom data processing options we offer, will save time and money.

Project-level merge/purge needs a professional team that understands and works closely with your files and databases. Our expertise and understanding of the nuances in the different applications of merge/purge will ensure that the best possible results are achieved.

It is important to remember that merge/purge is a term that covers three basic processes:

  1. A standard merge/purge process that combines files and removes duplicates.
  2. A suppression process that takes a main processing file and removes duplicates through the use of a file or files that contain the data that need to be suppressed.
  3. An intersection process that is used to find records appearing on multiple input files and the relevant information transferred to a master file.

For over 20 years we have built on our experience to offer you a comprehensive merge/purge service, from intake of data to final file coding/mail-sorting and campaign match backs.

Our experienced team will be happy to guide you through the process and offer any help and advice they can.

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We also prepare house/prospect mailing files for clients, offering a comprehensive data preparation service.