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SFG’s data hygiene services tested against third-party PCOA

April 2015

by George Strub

In order to see if it made sense for SFG to partner with a well-respected third-party PCOA and deceased matching vendor, SFG tested their data hygiene services against a well-known and respected vendor’s PCOA and deceased matching system.

To do this, SFG performed concurrent data hygiene tests on a direct mail campaign promoting a national health publication. The test was between SFG’s data hygiene services and a well-known and respected PCOA and deceased matching vendor. Test panels of both tested segments were mailed and the performance of each compared.

The evaluation criteria used included:

  • Move percentage rate
  • Match/correction rate
  • Deceased match percentage
  • Response rate
  • Cost of services

The results? SFG’s data hygiene services performed better than the PCOA and deceased matching provider as follows:

  • The PCOA vendor’s report claimed to have identified 5% of the records as movers, compared to SFG’s 1% of movers matched to the USPS NCOA database. As this looked promising, in-the-mail tests were set up to see if the service would translate to an increase in response rates.
  • SFG confirmed over 99% of addresses as valid. Competitor confirmed 97% of addresses as valid.
  • SFG identified a slightly higher percentage of deceased records.
  • The test panel of the PCOA and deceased matching vendor resulted in a response rate that was 4.5% lower than the SFG data hygiene test panel. Although there is statistical significant difference at an 85% confidence level for SFG’s test panel performing better, a 90% or higher confidence level shows no statistical significant difference between the two test panels.
  • The cost of the tested PCOA and deceased matching service was over four times as much as SFG’s data hygiene services.

It is important to note that both of the test panels created were well beyond what was needed to determine statistical significance. A concerted effort was made to ensure a random selection of records across all geographic regions. No bias was placed on either test panel. In addition, mail piece attributes (text, color, size, weight, etc.) were identical for both test panels.

So, although the reporting claims provided to SFG by a well-known PCOA and deceased processing vendor looked promising, the results of mailing the addresses processed by the vendor fell flat. The reality of mailing to these addresses showed a response rate that was flat, at best.

The bottom line is that SFG’s data hygiene services stack up quite well compared to our competition. Since SFG’s results were better and our costs significantly lower than the PCOA and deceased matching provider, the client chose to stick with SFG’s data hygiene services.

For more information on SFG’s data hygiene services, visit our Data Services website.