Industry Standard Suppression Files

25th September 2016

In the world of data processing in the direct mail industry there is a group of suppression files that have been created by professional organisations which are licensed to vendors; these data processing bureaus match your mailing list to these suppression files removing matches from the mailing list before it is produced and mailed.

Types of licensed file

Generally speaking there are three types of data making up licensed suppression files:

  • Gone aways typically consist of people that have moved house and don’t live at that address any more.
  • Deceased are, as the name suggests, people that have died.
  • Do not contacts are people that have asked a company to remove their details from their mailing list.

About 11% of the UK population move house every year. This equates to approximately 2 million households moving each year.

Around 550,000 people die in the UK each year. Astonishingly around 170,000 mailings are being delivered every day to people who are dead.

Typically a licensed suppression file will contain several million names and addresses up to tens of millions and are updated on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Where does the data come from?

Different licensed suppression files are compiled from different sources of data, and many of these files do have large data sets that overlap each other, however each list will have its own unique pot of records so it is always worth matching against all licensed files available.

Deceased files have records obtained from Probate, funeral directors, life insurance companies and very often have their own registration scheme in place to capture a person’s death, such as a leaflet that can be completed and posted in or a website.

Gone away files can obtain records from mail re-direction services, credit reference agencies, insurance companies, product warranties, banks and building societies.

Licensed file owners will try and verify their data across multiple sources to increase the accuracy of their files, which greatly benefits the customer mailing by not removing false gone aways.

So why use them?

There are many benefits to removing deceased and gone away records from your mailing list:

  • Save money – mailing people who are dead or who have moved is costly. You save money on production AND postage.
  • Increased response rate by only mailing people who are still able to respond.
  • Avoid causing distress to the bereaved.
  • Help the environment by not wasting resources.
  • Avoid costly embarrassment of bad publicity to your company.

Put simply, there is no point mailing people who are no longer at the address on your data.

The costs are typically based on a per person match as either a one-off match for a mailing, or as a permanent flag against your database meaning you never select that person for mailing again. Matches to any of the licensed suppression files are declared on a monthly basis to the license file owner.

DM Print industry standard suppression file services

Here at DM Print we offer the following licensed suppression files to match and clean your data against:

  • NCoA Suppress – National Change of Address by Royal Mail – goneaways
  • Mortascreen – deceased
  • The Bereavement Register by The REaD Group – deceased
  • Goneaway Suppress file (GAS) by The REaD Group – goneaways
  • NCOA Suppress by Royal Mail – Goneaways

Contact us today and see if we can help clean up your data.