Preparing Database Marketing Campaigns with DeduplicationWizard

The success of any database marketing campaign is based on the addresses used. It is easy to optimally prepare addresses for a database marketing campaign using the DeduplicationWizard.

Let’s say you have a list with addresses that you want to use for a database marketing campaign to prospect new customers. Therefore, you do not want to solicit your existing customers or those addresses that were solicited during the previous database marketing campaign. Furthermore, there is a black list available that you want to take account of, containing the addresses of your competitors, of your employees and of people or companies who are known to not want to receive any advertising. You can read more about black lists in the article 'Robinson Lists'.

The following steps are required for the optimal preparation of addresses for database marketing campaigns:

  1. First, you should make sure that the address list does not contain any dupes, so that every addressee only receives one copy of the sales letter. To do so, you have to carry out a deduplication within the address list. You can read about how to do this in the article 'Deduplication with the DeduplicationWizard'.
  2. Next, you have to make sure that you do not solicit your existing customers, seeing as you want to prospect new customers. To do so, you have to carry out a deduplicationd between the address list and the list of existing customers. The list of your existing customers thus acts as a black list. You can read about how to carry out a deduplication between two tables in the article 'Processing black lists with DataQualityTools'. Even though this article refers to DataQualityTools, it works just the same with the DeduplicationWizard.
  3. Then there are also the addressees from the previous database marketing campaign, advertising for the same product, and they should not be solicited again. Here also, you have to carry out a deduplication between two tables, whereby this time the list with the addressees from the previous database marketing campaign is used as a black list.
  4. Likewise, you have to do a deduplicationd between two tables for the black list with the addresses of your competitors, your employees and those people or companies who are known to not want to receive any advertising.
  5. Good, now your address list is free of dupes and you have also already eliminated the addresses that you do not want included in the campaign for various reasons. Now, you want to make sure that there are no addresses in your list that are incomplete and therefore won’t be delivered. The DeduplicationWizard includes a function for this purpose, called 'Faulty addresses list'. This function filters, according to formal criteria, all those addresses out of the list that are incorrect, e.g., if the postal code or the name is missing, or if the postal code is obviously wrong. After starting the 'Faulty addresses list' function, you have to indicate which Excel file is to be verified. Afterwards, you have to tell the program where it can find what information in the table, just like with the field assignment in the deduplication functions, e.g., where it can find the street or the name of the city. By clicking on 'Next', you come to the dialogue where you can configure the actual function. Here, you can tell the program what it should check for. The program initialises this dialogue based on the field assignment, so that by default, all the columns from the table to be processed that are included in the field assignment are also included in the verification. After clicking on 'Next', the addresses are processed. The program is finished in no time at all, and displays an overview of the results. If the program has found addresses that seem wrong for one reason or another, a click on the 'OK' button takes you to the ‘Manual post-editing’. Here, you can easily see why the program considered particular addresses to be wrong. If you want to remove one of the addresses from the results, all you have to do is click on the red X in front of the corresponding address. A click on the 'Next’ button finally leads you to the dialogue with the functions used to transform the results. In this case, you want to delete the erroneous addresses directly out of the address list. All you need to do is click on the 'Delete in source file’ button.
  6. Thus, the addresses are now optimally prepared for your campaign. If you do not want to wait to create the salutation in the mail merge for the letter, you can also create the salutations with DeduplicationWizard. Start the 'Determining the salutation' function and open the Excel file you want to process. Then you have to carry out the field assignment, which has already be described several times. By clicking on 'Next', you come to the dialogue where you can configure the actual function. Here, you have the possibility to determine what kind of salutation you want to use for the letter, e.g. 'Dear …'. If needed, you can define separate salutations for each value from the column with the salutation /sex in the table to be processed, not only for 'Man' and 'Woman', but also for 'Child'. Furthermore, on the second tab, you can also determine what kind of salutation you want in the address, e.g., 'Mr. ...' for a man. Finally, you can also determine that only particular titles, such as 'Prof.' or 'Dr.', are included in the salutation. All other academic titles will then be ignored. Clicking on 'Next’ starts the processing. After clicking on 'OK' in the dialogue where the program shows an overview of the results, you come to the 'Manual post-editing'. Here, you can make sure that the results also correspond to your expectations. A click on the 'Next’ button takes you to the dialogue with the functions used to transform the results. Select 'Write to source file'. There, you leave the selection on ‘New data field’ for both 'Salutation for the letter' and 'Salutation for the address'. After clicking on the 'Write data' button, the results are written in two new columns in your address list. With the information from both these columns, it is now easy to create the mail merge for the sales letter. You can read about how to do so in the following articles: 'Word 2007: Mail Merge' / 'Word 2003: Mail Merge' / 'OpenOffice Writer: Mail Merge'.

Now there is nothing more to get in the way of the success of your database marketing campaign.

You can also use DataQualityTools to prepare addresses for database dmarketing campaigns as described above, also available at www.DataQualityApps.com. This program offers much more possibilities than DeduplicationWizard, not only for deduplication.

Author: Thomas Hainke