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3rd – 5th July 2017
The Barbican

Data is like oil; it needs refining before it can be used effectively

: Anna Hepton

Anna Hepton, Marketing Manager at Convention exhibitors Snap Print Management, explores why it is so vital to keep your data up to date - and shares 5 top tips...

Making sure your data is clean, accurate and up-to-date is a must when it comes to third sector direct mail campaigns. It can save charities a lot of time and money, improving fundraising and avoiding wastage.

In 2014, Royal Mail admitted to destroying over 15 million undeliverable items each year. Not particularly surprising though when you consider every year, 6 million people move house, 600,000 people die and 500,000 people’s addresses change. ­­

The third sector is one of the biggest users of direct mail. Evidence has shown that donors tend be older, more affluent and respond particularly well to this channel. This makes data cleaning incredibly important.

Here are our top 5 tips that charities can take to clean up their data:

1)      Use experts

Make sure you use a supplier with a data cleaning bureau. They will have the external data resources needed and will match your data list against lists of deceased and goneaways. This will then identify those records which need updating or suppressing. We would recommend you take time out to investigate different data cleaning routes and what works best for you and what meets your specific needs

2)      Give yourself time

Make sure you build enough time into your schedule for data cleaning checks – this will ensure everything is done properly

3)      Apply a unique ID

Also known as a unique reference number (URN), applying an individual ID to each record is essential when it comes to managing data. It increases accuracy and allows you to track any changes, it also helps to identify bad data sources.

4)      Little and often

You don’t want to end up with a large data cleaning bill at the end of the year. Clean your data on a regular basis, monthly or quarterly. This will reduce your mailing costs and wastage.

5)      Secure

This is a legal requirement. All suppliers should provide you with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and a secure method of transferring your data. For example, here at RNB Group we use a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and password protect all data files.

Snap Print Management, part of RNB Group is a print and mailing house with over 300 clients in the charity sector. Delivering excellence in the production of printed materials, direct mail and postage. Need help with data cleaning, single sourcing or VAT free mailings, just ask us. We’re dedicated to saving you time, money and effort, and if we can’t save you £100 on your first quote with us we’ll donate £20 to a charity of your choice.

Anna Hepton, Marketing Manager, RNB Group

Snap Print Management, part of RNB Group, are exhibiting at Fundraising Convention 2017 on stand 14 – visit their sponsor profile 


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