How to Avoid Marketing to the Deceased

Nothing can be more jarring for a person than finding a marketing offer neatly labeled and addressed to a deceased family member, and naturally no sane marketers want to send out mail to a person who is no longer with us. Still, sometimes it happens. It can leave consumers feeling understandably upset, and with a company’s reputation on the line, businesses are best to avoid marketing to the deceased.

Understanding the Problem

From time to time, even the best marketing teams will end up with a deceased person on their list. There are a few reasons this can happen. One is simply that if you’re using your own list of customers, you might not be thinking about this possibility or updating your database often enough to take out deceased customers. This may mean you continue sending emails and coupons to a person who is no longer with us.

While families can add names to the Deceased Do Not Contact registry, you might send out mail in a window of time before that gets updated. The good news for you is that coverage of recent deaths is pretty high.

Here’s where it can get tricky: most of the time when consumers are complaining, it’s for mail that is going to a person who has been deceased for more than ten years. This is because it can be difficult to match older address data to a person who has been dead for a longer time. If a name appears on a mailing list, it won’t automatically be excluded unless there’s sufficient data to prove the name needs to be removed.

Another problematic area is when children are deceased. Often, there simply isn’t enough data available about a child for the name to be suppressed from a marketing send.

What You Can Do

While you may never be able to completely eliminate errors on marketing lists, there are ways you can help tackle this sensitive issue and ensure that you’re not marketing to the deceased. The most important way to do this is by finding a trusted data partner who can help you with deceased suppression.

By checking thoroughly and ensuring that you’re following data hygiene best practices, you can avoid all kinds of sticky situations. When you need to removed deceased records, or others such as bankruptcy, prison, or underage records, AccuData can help you. Just get in touch, and we’ll do the work for you.

Written by AccuData Integrated Marketing