Save Thousands by Scrubbing Data

“Overhead crane parts revitalized with specialized rebuild process from Konecranes.”

Just when I was pondering what to write about today, I received an e-mail with the subject line above. How did I get on this mailing list? I have no idea.

But then again, I keep receiving physical mailings and requests for donations from a Japanese Cultural & Art Foundation that I’ve never visited nor corresponded with. Nothing personal, but these guys will not take no for an answer, either. I have sent their mailings back twice with a “return to sender” note…Nope, they just keep coming.

The mind-blowing part is that they keep wasting their money on me. And I am sure I am not alone on this list, so they are wasting a great deal of money.

Granted, even the best mailing list will have some duplicates, some old or undeliverable addresses. By cleaning up your list, you or your client can save thousands.

  1. Eliminate duplicate names from your list—this is simple List Maintenance 101.
  2. If you have rented a mailing list, you can receive deductions by reporting undeliverable names to the list service, thus helping them to keep their lists clean.
  3. The post office understandably does not want to deal with undeliverable or returned mail, so they offer discounts on postage if you use the tools they provide to clean up and presort your list. This can be a huge money saver.

A combination of merge purge—the process of compiling multiple data records, retaining the desired data and removing unwanted addresses—along with basic list hygiene, will help you keep a clean list with recipients who actually want to hear from you…saving you money along the way.

Now if someone has any ideas as to how I can get off the Japanese Cultural & Art Foundation’s list…

Sabine Lenz is the founder of, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.

Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.

Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge. 

Related Content