Merge/purge is a data processing technique used for direct marketing activities. In the digital world, where no business wants to spend money on paper, postage, and list due to increasing cost, merge purge has emerged as the best solution.
Now the question is, “What is merge purge?”
Merge/purge is the process of bringing all the files together to create a mailing list or a series of mailings without any chances of duplicate listing. The purpose of using this technique is to create a marketing list with the least chances of duplicate entries. In the large organizations with a huge customer base and a long list of emails for direct marketing, it is essential to use merge purge to avoid sending more than one mail to the same person.
In the market, where most of the businesses buy mailing lists from different resources, chances of getting duplicate data are high. For instance, a food cataloger might send the same set of customer data to Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and other pizza brands. Further, in the online world, where customers also place orders online, the chances of getting two profiles created for the same customers are also high. The main function of data merge/purge is to remove as much duplicate data as possible and create a unique set of customer record for direct marketing through emails.
No doubt it is an essential part of direct marketing strategies, but most of the times it also gets overlooked by the marketers. Usually, people avoid using merge reports due to their confusing nature, but in today’s tech-savvy world where almost everything can be done mechanically through advanced tools and software, this technique of removing duplicate data has also got more effective. You just need to follow the right process to make reports through merge purge and then fine-tune your marketing strategies to get most out of your campaigns.
Here are a few tips to help you make effective and more profitable marketing strategies with merge purge:
Segment while maintaining measurable cell sizes
There is a rule of 100s which you can apply to set cell sizes. According to this rule, you will be able to get 100 orders for a segment in order to get a meaningful and repeatable result from that segment, which means, to get 2 per cent response from a segment, you need to mail at least 5,000 contacts or email IDs in a particular segment.
This gets essential in the merge/purge process as mailers in this find themselves in the need of splitting at the end of the merge to ensure that it meets the mail quality criteria. The best way to get expected results in this situation is to be flexible by choosing inclusion records at the back end.
Use demographic and firmographic data
If you want to boost your list selection with better merge results, focus on using demographic and firmographic data provided by the service provider. There are service providers who offer a vast variety of data based on customer requirements, which they offer to their clients free of cost for processing purpose. The only problem with the feature is that you only get the database for processing but cannot add it to your database. You can just select the data points, but don’t get permission to maintain it.
Include multis in your mail plan
Known by different names like multis; multi-list prospect and multi-buyers, it is nothing but the names shown up more than one list outside the business records. The people listed in multis are considered to be strong-responding and highly qualified. These are the best prospects every business looks for to grow its sales and profits. You can easily find a lot of mailers dealing with this specific record. But to ensure that you get most of your mailing list by making multis part of it, you should first evaluate past merge purge results and make an estimate of the total number of multis available with you after processing. Try to make these names part of your previous drops than the main prospecting drop. The key objective of including them on the mailing list is their huge impact on sales and business growth. These prospects can also help you acquire new customers with better performance than older house segments.
Include more names than your requirement
This tip to get maximum benefit from merge/purge applies to both house file segment and customer lists. There are a number of things done before staring merge/ purge like setting mail quantity specifications, signing printer contracts and testing new lists within proven lists. The last step of testing new segments in the present lists gives you an opportunity to increase your file for higher quantities in the merge/purge.
An effective and proven way to get a list of names not included in your mailing list is to run all outside lists against Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) National Do Not Mail file. To maximize the results, try to couple the process with the Rule of 100s mentioned above.
Manage super-dupes effectively
These are nothing but the hits between your older house file and prospect list. Try to send test emails to the matches between older 36 and 48-month buyers as well as outside prospect files. These types of records help your company perform well and grow more.
Merge/ purge is much more than just a quick check of duplicate data. It is the art of checking lists against each other to minimize the chances of repeated data and to get most of it, you need to have all the required tools and plans in advance. Not investing in merge/purge tools can increase your chances of sending repeat mailers to the same prospects and annoying them by jamming their mailboxes through identical messages. Getting loyal customers is really difficult in today’s marketing conditions and no business can afford to lose them just because of silly mistakes in mailing lists. So don’t let your business suffer because of duplicacy of the database. Use the best merge/ purge tools to make your mailing list effective and beneficial for your business.
Contributed by https://dataladder.com/