Big Savings As Catalogers Shed Dupes
A Midwest mail consolidator is helping catalogers tackle the problem of duplicate names, duplicate mailings and duplicate costs.
Drop Ship Express (DSE) of Long Lake, MN, has developed a proprietary software program designed to scan mailing files and eliminate duplicate names and addresses. Initially created by DSE at the request of cataloger Coach, the "Duplication Elimination Service" is now available to all of DSE's customers.
The service addresses a problem that is becoming more widespread for catalog merchants, because catalog requests come in via e-mail and phone from customers who are already on the company's list.
Catalog mailers who use the service are charged 15 cents for each duplicate name deleted from their list. The Duplication Elimination Service has no maintenance fees, setup charges or other costs for the cataloger. DSE points out that the deletion fee is significantly lower than the cost of mailing a duplicate book to an address.
Three types of duplication matches are offered: a strict match on both name and address; a "loose" match that eliminates duplicates to the same address; and a "business" match on company names and addresses. Included are free daily fallout reports.
DSE boasts that the service does not affect its processing or delivery time, and requires no extra prep time on the part of the catalog company.
Coach, for whom the system was initially developed, is pleased with the results.
"Over the past 14 months, we have avoided mailing more than 10,000 duplicate catalogs," reports Coach's Direct Marketing Manager Parinaz Vahabzadeh. "We've found the savings to be substantial."
Another catalog and retailer that has used DSE's service is Restoration Hardware, the upscale furniture and housewares marketer. Ashley Beech, catalog marketing manager at Restoration Hardware, places the savings at around $7,000 so far. "In the last 12 months, DSE's program has deleted over 5,000 duplicate names from our files," she says. Restoration Hardware uses the service for virtually every mailing, mainly to catch its own errors. "We don't get many duplicates from customers," she explains, "but occasionally we transmit a file twice to the shipper, resulting in lots of duplicates."