A new report published today by Experian®, the global information services company, reveals that businesses are wasting thousands of pounds each year by sending duplicate mailings to customers. The report from Experian QAS, titled ‘Making sense of a crowded nation’, provides businesses with guidance on how to optimise their contact data management strategies.

Research commissioned for the report reveals that 85% of businesses across the UK’s main industry sectors - from financial services, retail and FMCG companies, through to charities - neglect to remove duplicate names and addresses from their mailing campaigns every month.

Stuart Johnston, UK Managing Director of Experian QAS, comments: “One in four UK businesses still rely on manual de-duplication, which is a shocking statistic. Aside from the tough economic climate businesses are operating in, repeatedly mailing a customer with the same offer sends out a poor message about the company’s brand and its concerns about the environment.”

We work with businesses to automate de-duplication processes, which result in significant cost savings. For example, many of the companies we interviewed mail 100,000 contacts each week, at an average cost of £1 per mail pack. For these companies, a 1% reduction in duplicate data equates to a saving of £52,000 a year.”

The report’s key findings from a survey of 150 businesses across the UK’s major industry sectors, show that:

Only 14% believe their current processes for removing duplicates are ‘highly effective’
23% do not consider contact data management to be part of their Environmental Impact Strategy, i.e. a way to reduce waste
7% said their databases were never de-duplicated
25% still manage duplicate customer records manually
50% admit to spending more than a week of billable hours per annum on de-duplication projects

Stuart Johnston adds: “Customer management is critical in today’s climate and it starts with having accurate and up to date data. Our research serves as a real wake-up call to businesses and it is critical that they take advantage of technology to identify, remove and prevent duplicates on their databases.”

To obtain a free copy of Experian’s ‘Making sense of a crowded nation’ report, please go to www.qas.co.uk/crowd

Published on: 12:00AM on 10th December 2008