If you have a complicated data preparation process, you know all too well the pain of inconsistent file formats, missed steps, duplicated steps, and the impact of items being completed out of order. These errors can lead to major additional printing costs, or the wrong offer going to the wrong prospect. A data analytics team can help you streamline the process and build automation systems to reduce human error. Their goal is to partner with you, so you can consistently deliver high quality mail files to your printer. Data processing services include preparing the files, removing unwanted records, and finalizing them for the printer, allowing you to focus on key aspects of your campaign.
Preparing the Files
First, a data processing team will combine all the files you are using to create your mail list. Regardless of the number of files or where you are pulling them from, the team can combine them and create consistent labels and formatting. For example, if file A has is laid out as “First Name, Last Name, Address” and file B is laid out as “Last Name, Name, Street, City, State, Zip,” they have the same information, but it’s unusable in different layouts. This step extracts the information from both files and places it into a new file with a uniformed layout.
Next, the data processing team will clean up the data. This might involve running NCOA and CASS, deduping the file, flagging new movers, and removing profanity from within the data. If records have incomplete addresses or names, data analysts can fill in the missing information or update the records with the prospect’s current address.
Third, once the data has been cleaned up, analysts can enhance the data. Adding additional information to your records will help you target your desired audience across multiple channels. This step often involves adding email addresses or phone numbers to records. If you want to select final records based on key demographic information, data analysts can add demographics and lifestyle information to each record. They can also append geographic information, so you can assign a store location or select records within a city’s limits.
Removing Unwanted Records
After the data file has been prepared, your data processing team will remove any unwanted records from the list. For example, if you are targeting only new prospects, you can suppress current customers from the list. Suppressions might include employees, current residents, unqualified prospects, last month’s prospects, etc. By removing unwanted records, you can focus your efforts on the top households for your campaign.
Data processing teams can also run deceased processing and suppress nursing home, military and prison addresses from the final list. This will help you reduce marketing waste and target those most likely to respond to your marketing campaign.
Selecting & Finalizing the Records
Once the analyst team has completed initial processing steps, you can choose which records you would like to include on the final mail list. With your selections in hand, the data processing team will add any record identifiers you need to include. Those identifiers might be labeling records as Creative Group A vs. Creative Group B, adding check numbers for live check offers, adding in coupon codes or PURLS, unique record identification codes, etc. All of this information will be used by your marketing team, printer, and analysts as they execute, monitor, and analyze the campaign.
Benefits of Working with an Analytics Team
- Consistency – Working with an analytics team creates consistency. If you work with multiple printers or parties, it’s common to have a different format and process for each one. By using a data processing team, you can deliver a uniformed mail list every time.
- Reduce Errors – Once the initial process has been established, the analysts will create automated processes and systems. This drastically reduces the chance of error and provides quicker turnaround times.
- Smoother Analysis – Consistent file formats aid in backend analysis as well as comparing marketing campaigns month over month.
- More Time – When you partner with an analytics team, they are solely focused on preparing your data for the campaign. This gives you more time to focus on strategy, creative, and other important aspects of your marketing.
If you would like help with your data processing steps, please reach out to our team. We enjoy helping companies streamline their processes, have clear communication with all parties involved, and deliver high quality mail lists.