Data And List Hygiene. A Lesson in Accurately Using the Sources.



Data And List Hygiene. A Lesson in Accurately Using the Sources.

The Global Address Hygiene Association and Oak Knoll Limited recently received at their shared office two direct mail offers of telephone services from one of the major providers in the region, Verizon. What is noteworthy about these offers is the identity of the addressees. One does not exist and one lives in the Netherlands. We were surprised by our conclusions as to where the list compiler for this list used by Verizon originated these prospects.

If this is standard practice, this result suggests the mailing community is being extremely ill-served. If the quality of the list Verizon purchased is reflected accurately in the fact that 100% of the addressees do not exist at this address, their response rates will not be much above zero. One of the offers is addressed to a Christopher Prescott at Oak Knoll Limited Liability Company. There is no such person in existence at our company or in fact related in any way to Oak Knoll Limited Liability Company. There is a Charles Prescott affiliated with the company, as can be determined from the Department of Companies of the State of New York. Perhaps the algorithm the list vendor is using needs some work. Perhaps the name gatherer miscopied the public record in which my name appeared.  Certainly their address hygiene program needs some work, for the perfectly good word “Knoll” morphed into “KNLS”.

The offer to Global Address Data Association, Inc. was addressed to Mr. Graham Rhind, one of the Directors of the company. This mis-mailing is, however, perhaps foregivable. We’re fairly certain that the list compiler obtained Mr. Rhind’s name from the Department of Companies in the State of New York, where GADA was incorporated and Mr. Rhind’s service as a Director is recorded . To our knowledge this is the only public record in the United States of the existence of our esteemed Director, who resides, works, and lives full-time in Amsterdam, Netherlands. As, indeed, the corporate document discloses.

I am sure the U.S. Postal Service is pleased to have a great deal of mail going to people who do not exist as long as the address is accurate. However, I am also reasonably sure that the USPS and this telephone company would be happier if the people actually existed at that address. The cost of doing this for Verizon ultimately may discourage it from continuing to use mail. They should certainly think twice about continuing to use this particular compiler. And maybe list providers and compilers should begin to look at error incidence and retrain the folks who are sent to mine the treasure of the public offices.

Part of an address has to be the identity of the individual to which a communication is addressed. It does no one in the address industry any good for massive quantities of materials to be sent to people who do not exist, let alone who do not exist at that address, no matter how accurate that address may be.

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