Poor List Quality Costs More than Reduced ROI

Imagine the reaction of a family member who receives a mail piece for a deceased loved one. This happens all too often and can cost a company more than just wasted postage and printing. It can destroy your brand.

The Sports Illustrated mail piece shown here was sent to a man who had already been dead for 17 years when he received it. In addition, he personally had never lived in that town or at that address – as that was where his widow moved to years after his death. On top of it all, he had never—not even once in his life—subscribed to any sports magazine. How do I know all this? Simple: that man was my father.

Imagine the shock my mother experienced to think that her late husband’s name was still floating around in marketing databases 17 years after he had died. And imagine how shocked I was, being in the business as I was, to see this piece and realize how wrong it was on so many levels.

As a data professional, I know how and why this happens. But this sheds a poor light on the Sports Illustrated people responsible for this; whether it’s their marketing department, their list broker, or whomever.

If you want to avoid this on your next mailing, consider using a deceased suppression file. Deceased suppression files are compiled from a myriad of public and private sources to help you avoid the kind of the kind of ‘brand killing’ situation that I’ve presented here.