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Moving goalposts: no wonder direct mail isn't easy

Howard Lake | 20 July 2007 | Blogs

In ‘How clean is your data?’ in Professional Fundraising this month, Steve Cast, managing director at Redbourn Business Systems, presents some striking statistics:
“Did you know that every day in the UK 18,000 people move house? Or that 1,000 people leave the country? Or that 1,600 people pass away? At the same time, 1,800 people register with the Mailing Preference Service while a substantial 18,000 individuals register with the Telephone Preference Service. Meanwhile, 5,000 addresses are changed by Royal Mail every day.”
Overall, “the UK’s population shifts at a rate of 11 per cent per year and if left alone your database will decay at this rate year on year.”
My sympathies and increased respect to good direct marketing fundraisers. Your goalposts haven’t just moved: every morning you wake up to find you are playing on a completely different pitch.