Case Study: Clean Data Helps Non-Profit Flourish

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Company: Altapass Foundation, Inc.

Altapass Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the land, history, and culture of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, is located in western North Carolina. As a foundation, they host many public activities and therefore have a large database that dates back more than 10 years.

The Challenge:

This is where the challenge comes in. Having a database that dates back more than 10 years is bound to have outdated data.  Another challenge that presented itself is the fact that many of their members do not have email, requiring the foundation to send traditional mail to them.

"Every mailing resulted in a significant number of returned mail items," said Michele Williams, executive director of Altapass.

In order to experience success with its direct mail, Altapass needed to update their database.  Williams, aware of that, began to search for an affordable solution that not only fit their budget but also work seamlessly with Excel.  However, every time they searched they would come up short.

The Solution:

After doing research, Williams came across Melissa Data's Listware for Excel ad-in, a data enrichment tool that integrates directly into Excel.

Affordability was one of the many factors that drew Williams to Listware. "With Listware for Excel, the cost is based on the amount of data, and the rates are very affordable.  For about $100, I was able to process over 10,000 names, addresses and phone numbers," she said.

One of the other things Williams liked about Listware was its ease of use.  "I gave [Listware] a try, testing it on known cases. It is very easy to use and it worked perfectly. I was able to process all of our database entries. I now have the data I need to ensure that our database is accurate."

The Results:

Using Listware caused a dramatic drop in returned mail for Altapass Foundation. "After running our database through Listware, I mailed postcards to over 400 people with whom we had not had contact for eight years. Only one postcard was returned!"

If you find yourself in a similar situation as Altapass Foundation and you would like to learn more about Listware and how it can help you sign-up for a FREE trial today by clicking HERE!

A 4-Step Checklist to Clean Up Your Data

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Did you know that according to a USPS 2014 report, almost 40 million people change their address each year? Or, that DM News reported that undeliverable-as-addressed mail costs direct mailers over $6 billion per year? What about that poor data quality is the main reason for 40 percent of all failed business initiatives, according to a Gartner, Inc. Study?

These challenges no longer have to be obstacles for you and your company. Here are is a 4-step checklist to help you clean-up your data:

Step 1: Scrub and Sanitize Bad Data


What exactly do I mean by scrub and sanitize your data? Well, it starts with verifying  and updating valuable information such as: addresses, emails, phone numbers, and names.


Step 2: Wipe out the Duplicate Grime


It's important to clean out duplicate records. An estimated 10 percent of names and addresses (on average) are duplicate records. This not only affects your cost but it also affects your metrics.


Step 3: Refresh Addresses with the Most Up-to-Date Info


The process? Move updating your data. This will allow you to update your contact records and reduce wasted printing and postage associated with undeliverable mail.


Step 4: Recharge your Data with Missing Information


Add critical pieces of information such as email addresses, phone number, demographics, lifestyle and geographic data. This can help you gain a deeper insight into your customers and provide you with the necessary information to create a successfully targeted marketing campaign.


There is no better time to clean up your data, save money, save time, and increase ROI. If you are ready to successfully apply this check list, Melissa Data is here to help you! Sign-up for a free trial of Listware, the comprehensive property and mortgage data culled from over 140 million records, by clicking HERE!

How Dirty Data Impacts Your Marketing Strategy

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As a marketer, the start of the new year means setting new goals and creating new marketing strategies. With a CRM system in place, leads to nurture, and new customers to acquire, nothing could possibly go wrong -right? Well, I don't mean to pop your marketing ninja bubble, but not quite. Don't worry, I'm not here to point out the bad and then wish you a happy new year. I want to point out a flaw that can be fixed to increase your success with marketing strategy.

One of the last things marketers think about is the data their CRM or other database contains. Our approach and tactic tends to be: come up with a killer marketing strategy, create killer marketing strategy, and implement killer marketing strategy. We write the most compelling copy, create the best designs, hit send, and then pat ourselves on the back as we wait for responses to flood the CRM gatekeepers.

But, wait. After 24 hours  we realize the impact wasn't that high, the response wasn't as great, and the amount of emails that bounced back was a bit much. Where did we go wrong?

It's all in the data. Collecting data as an expert lead generator is a piece of pie. However, little do we realize that collecting accurate and clean data isn't. As a matter of fact, when you completely leave it up to the lead to input the data you are leaving a lot of room for human error.  And even if the lead inputs the correct data, life happens and while their address may change, the information in your database doesn't. Here are examples of data errors that can be impacting your marketing strategy:

-Missing area code's from phone numbers

-Duplicate records

-Outdated addresses

Data errors are costly. So costly that the The Data Warehousing Institute reported the costs of data quality for businesses to be more than $600 billion every year. Not only is dirty data costing your company a lot of money, but it is costing your strategy in the following ways:

-Undelivered mail

-Low customer retention

-Poor decisions made off of bad data

I think this sounds like a problem that needs to be fixed, don't you? It's time to move jumbled and disorganized contact data into Its proper field and get a better understanding of your customers. It's time to get rid of duplicates and increase your success rate. If you are ready to clean-up your data to get the results you should from your next marketing strategy, sign-up for a FREE trial of Match-up, Melissa Data's solution to your needs.

The Solution to Large Quantities of Data

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Every successful business scales and grows. As a result, so does its database. And as data grows so do problems including: faulty customer entry, breakdowns in data migration, disparate upstream legacy, and big data systems. All of these problems lead to one thing: bad data. High quality data is key to uncovering meaningful insights and new opportunities. Bad data, on the other hand, poses missed opportunities and bad decisions.

You don't have to be misinformed due to bad data. In fact, you can have smart data that poses smart insights and opportunities. Melissa Data has recently released a new tool, Data Profiler, to help companies dealing with large quantities of data that need a full spectrum of solutions that work.

Data Profiler is made up of two modules:

Module 1: Discovery

An analysis of data before it is loaded into a data warehouse, ensuring consistency in formatting as well as entry on all fields to avoid problems downstream.

Module 2: Monitoring

The continual analysis of warehoused data that ensures consistent data quality over time.

Data Profiler can be integrated in any place that data is streaming in or out and has the ability to assess the results of data quality efforts. From now until March 1st, Melissa Data is offering 50% off Data Profiler. Sign-up for your free trial today and say good-bye to bad data.

Sign-up for my FREE trial!

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The Marketing Strategy You're Missing

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What if I told you that the marketing strategy you're missing is direct mail?


Before you close the page and disregard that statement, read this fact:

65% of consumers make purchases as a result of direct mail.

That's right. The one thing you have probably disregarded as a method of marketing can make up the majority of your sales. While competitors are fighting for attention on social media, you can be positioning yourself in the hands of the consumer and making a sale - literally.

According to Target Marketing Magazine, direct mail is the one channel that delivered the strongest ROI for customer acquisition for B2C marketers, AND scored the highest for customer contact and retention.

How's that for a marketing strategy?

Direct mail can easily be implemented into your online strategy. Simply use direct mail to engage and retain the consumer, and then follow-up with an email to continue the conversation, or in a marketer's case, the nurturing. This strategy is ideal for not only engaging leads that become customers but for creating promoters of your brand as well. Many businesses offer online engagement, but how many make it personal by sending direct mail?

You can easily position yourself above your competitors by being more personal with your customers and sending them mail. So, where do you start? Well, successful direct mail efforts begin with a clean and up-to-date mailing list, personalizing your mail, and knowing exactly who to target with valuable demographic information.  The last thing you want is returned or undelivered mail, or positioning yourself in front of the wrong audience.

If you are ready to increase sales by implementing direct mail into your marketing strategy, sign-up for your FREE trial of Mailers+4 to learn how to jump-start your direct mail efforts! Sign-up and learn more HERE.

Fraud Prevention for Ecommerce Merchants

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With online sales booming, creating a fast and seamless experience is key to customer satisfaction. However, creating a quicker yet safe transaction is essential as a merchant. According to LexisNexis, merchants are paying $3.10 (replacement costs plus fees) in costs for each dollar of fraud losses incurred.

How can you provide a seamless transaction for both your consumer and your business? Here are three steps for E commerce fraud prevention:

Step 1: Auto-Complete Addresses with Verified Information:

Customers are seeking a simplified checkout system, and when provided, it becomes beneficial for both you and the consumer. An easy way to do so is to integrate real-time address auto-complete solutions into Web forms that will help speed up order entries with reduced keystrokes. Not only will this make it easy for customers to enter an address with a type-ahead function but you will also be able to ensure that only clean data is entered into your database.

Step 2: Capture Clean Data & Verify ID

Data entry errors include inaccurate data (44%); typos (22%); and spelling mistakes (19%). The key to avoiding these data entry errors is to employ what we like to call a "data quality firewall" in order to verify accuracy of information. Capturing clean data from the moment it is entered will help save time, money and improve customer satisfaction with more timely shipments.

Step 3: Prevent Fraud with IP Local

IP local helps you gather information to protect web forms from spam and abuse as well as to identify problematic IP addresses or ranges. It can help avoid credit card fraud by flagging invalid transactions and in turn minimizing financial loss.

The successful delivery of products and services while being protected from online fraud are all dependent upon accurate data. Implement this easy 3-step process to successfully manage cleaning and maintaining data while keeping customers happy and preventing business fraud.

If you are interested in increasing sales while verifying and correcting customer data sign-up for a FREE trial of Personator, the ultimate identify verification & data quality cloud service. Sign-up for your FREE trial and learn more HERE.

How to Stop Online Fraud in its Tracks

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Everyone loves to shop online. But unfortunately, so do cyber thieves. Everyday, fraud and identity theft threaten online businesses and keeps e-retailers worried. Find out how to put a stop to it! Check out our new infographic on Fighting Online Fraud. For a larger view, click on the infographic.

How to Stop Online Fraud in its Tracks - Infographic

Watch Our New Data Verify & Clean Video

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Now is the time to combat bad data by parsing, standardizing and cleaning your global address, name, email and phone info. We offer the flexible, affordable tools you need to clean data in real-time and batch, on premise or in the Cloud. Watch our new video:

Data verify and clean is the second step in Melissa Data's full spectrum solutions. Learn more about these solutions at our YouTube Channel.

New! Data Profile & Monitor Video

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The first step to gaining more business value from your customer data is to analyze the data you have, and determine what condition it's in. Data profiling from Melissa Data helps you discover existing weaknesses in your database so you can create and enforce business rules on incoming records to maintain data quality. 

Profiling is an important step in Melissa Data's full spectrum solutions to empower full lifecycle data management. Watch our video:

Learn more or try a demo

Melissa Data at PASS Summit Oct. 27-30

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The Melissa Data team will be at PASS Summit Oct. 27-30 in Seattle amidst the world's largest gathering of SQL Server experts. We will highlight tools for matching and deduping international records to achieve the one, true "Golden Record" of your customer, and demonstrate our global address verification solution for over 240 countries. Drop by our booth to enter to win an Apple Watch®. Where: Booth 510, Washington State Convention & Trade Center.