If you look carefully at your customer database, you will most likely find a high number of duplicates. What are these duplicates costing you? More than you might think.

Creating duplicates is easy. All a customer must do is contact or order from you more than once. Enter the human element—during order entry, a CSR misses a period, uses an alternate spelling, or has any oversight at all. Now, you have a new record.

What are the consequences?

Your print and mailing costs go up. Duplicates cost you real, hard cash. Not to mention the undeliverable addresses that you pay to deliver directly to the trash can.

You alienate your customers. How do you think Margaret Smith-Kline feels about receiving three copies of the same piece—one to her, one to Maggie Smith-Kline, and one to Margaret Kline? Not only do these duplicate pieces fill up her mailbox, but they also make it clear that you don’t know much about her. Margaret just exists as duplicate lines in a database.

It hurts the environment. Printing and publishing creates a huge solid waste stream. Of course, some print is necessary. Of that, environmentally responsible consumers and producers try to recycle as much as is reasonable, but why swell that volume unnecessarily? You just end up increasing your carbon footprint and your solid waste for no benefit.

The solution is simple and inexpensive, and the benefit can be huge. Do a quick clean up of your database (cleansing, match and consolidation), and you might be surprised just how much money you can save.