Customers often ask us how our data is cleaned to ensure that the most accurate targeting possible is achieved. The answer is that there are many cross-referencing checks carried out on the database. We thought it would be useful to outline the principal ones.
Mailing Preference Service (MPS)
The Mailing Preference Service is a compiled list of individuals who prefer not to receive unsolicited direct mail. It is complied from written requests and names are suppressed at the household level. Suppressed names will remain on the file for 5 years. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) runs the MPS. Mailing someone who is signed up to the MPS is against the DMA code of conduct.
Mortascreen is a database of recently deceased people used as a suppression device on lists. The database is sourced from probate registries based in England, Scotland and Wales. There are currently approximately 3 million people on the database and it is updated monthly.
The Bereavement Register is compiled by a free post registry scheme. When someone dies the local government registrar has to be notified within 7 days to officially register the death. At which point the bereaved family has the opportunity to register the death via this scheme. This information is then screened against an UK residence database to ensure integrity of the data.
Royal Mail National Change of Address (NCOA)
This file comprises new and old addresses and grows at a rate of approximately 100,000 per month. The file is compiled by the Royal Mail from the forms submitted to request the redirection of mail.
Gone Away Suppression File (GAS)
It was originally compiled by matching addresses on 1992 and 1993 Electoral rolls and where the common address had a different household member, the old name is deemed to be a gone away.
National Suppression File (NSF)
The National Suppression File brings together a range of data sources, they include:
- Gone aways – people who have moved away
- Postal returns – a record of returned mail
- Notifications – from consumers who have moved and from the Royal Mail redirection service
- The Electoral Roll – flags records that do not match data from previous year