Three Kinds of Deduping Three Kinds of Deduping

Three Kinds of Deduping

Removing duplicate records from your mailing list (a.k.a. "deduping") is imperative. It's an easy way to improve the quality of your mailing list and increase your ROI. It saves money in postage and printed materials and increases the effectiveness of your mailing. There are three standard kinds of deduping arranged here from least aggressive to most aggressive.

Method 1: Dedupe Per Person

With per person deduping, duplicate records are detected based on the first name, last name, AND the address fields. Differing names at the same address will remain on the mailing list. This method removes the least amount of duplicates. Differing data entry formats and data entry errors can prevent duplcates from being detected. For instance, one record has the name "John Smith" and another record with the same address has the name "J.R. Smith". Even though the "J." in the second record might stand for "John" the software has no way of knowing this and both records are kept. To combat this, we can tell the software to match only on the first character (or any number of characters) of the first name, at your request, for "looser" matching, if you are willing to risk some false positives (non-real duplicates). In addition, our software has built in a.k.a. (or "alias") matching logic. For example, it knows that "Bob" and "Robert" are essentially the same first name and considers them a match. Only one will be kept providing the last name and address match.

Per person deduping is the way to go if you want to (or have to) reach every possible individual on your mailing list (but not repeatedly!). This is our default deduping method that we run on virtually all lists (except for rare cases) in order to remove the obvious redundancies to reduce postage, save resources and to make you look good!

Method 2: Dedupe Per Household

Per Household deduping is a safe way to reach every "household" or family on your list. Matching logic is based on the last name and address (the first name is ignored). Only one record will be kept for relatives (spouses, siblings, parents & children, etc.) that share the same last name and address. Note that some spouses have differing last names and household deduping will keep both records even though they are maried because the software has no way of knowing this.

Per household deduping will remove more duplicates than per person deduping.

Method 3: Dedupe Per Address

Deduping one per address is the method that will remove the most records. If you don't want (or need) to reach every individual or family on your list, this method removes records until there is only one record per address regardless of the name on the record. One unique address is chosen and saved randomly and the remaining records at that address are deleted (but we can use criteria (or priority) to choose one record over another, if you request).


Above is a general description of the most common deduping methods that we employ but these are not the only options for deduping! We can create custom configurations and criteria to shape the list any way you please.

But wait, there's more!

List Combining and Suppression

In addition to removing duplicates from your list, we can also combine multiple lists from various sources and dedupe the combined list based on your criteria. We can also remove certain duplicates based on priority or other conditions.

Example 1, Priority: you have a list of known good contacts, and you want to fill your list up to a certain target quantity for a mailing project by adding non-duplicate records from a list of prospective customers ("prospects"). We combine the lists, and when duplicates are detected between the customers and prospects we will keep the record from the customer list (due to having the correct customer name or other qualities) and delete the record from the prospect list, therby allowing you to only contact current customers and new customers, but only once, and the record we keep comes from your customer list and has all of the relavant information that might be on your original list.

Example 2, Suppression: you want to mail an introductory offer to potential new customers. You don't want this offer to reach current customers because it doesn't apply to them. This offer is designed only to entice new customers; not to tease current ones! We can compare your current customer list against your newly acquired prospect list and remove any current customer from this prospect this list. This is called "suppresson." The customer list has becomes a "suppression" list against the propect list.

If you are interested in acquiring a prospect list, you can purchase a list from us.

Using these techniques we can take any number of mailing and suppression lists from any number of sources with multiple levels of priority and tailor your final list to be an effective marketing tool!

Contact us Contact us if you have any questions!