For any direct mailer, maximizing the results from your data should be at the top of your list. Understanding the concept of merge/purge may help you achieve your desired results.
Below are three basic processes that all direct marketers should know that are covered by merge/purge:
· It combines all files and removes any duplicates.
· It takes a main processing file to remove duplicates with a file or files that
contain date that must be suppressed.
· The intersection process can be used to find records that appear on multiple
However, any two or more files that appear to be similar will be kept, and all others are purged.
The point of this entire process is to compare different database files and determine if any information matches, such as phone number, last name, ZIP code, standard industrial classification code, or any other overlapping data.
This process allows you to mix and match any database to create unique files based on campaign requirements. By utilizing a customized merge/purge procedure known as “gathering”, you may combine all of the data from multiple lists to give a more comprehensive picture of a specific target.
Merge/purge techniques known as “stacking key codes” can be utilized to pin point the best prospects for a campaign. You will be able to implement merge/purge to identify prospects whose names appear on several lists, according to key code. In this process, the prospect that appears most often across all lists can be identified as the strongest prospects.
If you’re a marketer who wants to take your data to new levels of achievement using merge/purge procedures you should follow these guidelines:
· Understand that human expertise and the technology application are integral
to the custom process.
· Ensure that your custom data processors thoroughly understand what the
campaign should accomplish.
· Work with experts who have experience with the custom merge/purge
· Request a customized guide explaining the process and the results of the
So the next time you work on any campaign that utilizes data, remember these simple merge/purge concepts and take a little time to understand your data. We wish you marketing success for years to come.