When you’re buying new marketing lists, it’s understandable that you do not want to be buying records that you already have.

It’s normal for the supplier of the new marketing list to ask you for a suppression file but what is a suppression file?

In simple terms, a suppression file is a list of data/leads/records that you do NOT want to purchase.

We call it a suppression file (also known as a ‘stop file/list’) as we suppress our files against it in order to make sure you only receive clean records that are NOT on your suppression file.

How to build a suppression file

When building the file, we suggest that you include the below types of records:

  1. Current customers
  2. Cancelled customers you intend on contacting again
  3. Anybody who has complained
  4. Anybody who has requested to be added to your DNC (Do Not Contact) list
  5. Any records you have that you still intend contacting
  6. Any records you have contacted within the last 3 months

Normally when clients are buying marketing lists from us to be tele-marketed, we would only need the telephone number in the suppression file, however, we can also suppress against the postcode and last name as well if needed. This is something you can discuss with us.

If you’re buying email addresses from us, then the same would apply but you would add email addresses in the file.

File format

When building the suppression file and adding the data, please make sure the telephone numbers are in either an excel file or csv file.

You need to have all the numbers in the same column, and they need to be solid numbers. Basically, no spaces in them, text or special characters.

You can have them with a leading zero or without, it doesn’t matter to us, but every number must be formatted the same way. If you want your numbers with a leading zero, all numbers must have a leading zero. If you want your numbers without a leading zero, then all numbers need to be without a leading zero.

Where to send the file

Once your suppression file is ready, our operations department will set up a web login to our SFTP client for you.

This is very easy to use and where we will conduct all data transfers.

You just log in using your username and password and then you can upload and download files and the system will send you notifications about data transfers.

This is a secure means to transferring data and complies with data protection guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I add every record I have ever bought to the suppression file?

No! If you add all records you have ever bought on the suppression file, this could cover years of data, lose you opportunities and reduce the number of suppliers willing to sell you records.

Normally when you buy records, they are licenced to you to be used for a limited amount of time. Once the licence period is over, you are not permitted to call them so there is no point keeping these records for years and adding them to your suppression file when you don’t have the permissions to contact them anymore. You should also bear in mind that under GDPR guidelines you can only keep records for a limited amount of time.

How long should I keep a record in the suppression file?

Apart from customers, complainers and DNC, we suggest you keep other records in the file no longer than 3 to 6 months.

What happens if I don’t give a suppression file?

If you don’t give us a suppression file, it just means that you’re willing to accept all the records we send to you.

If I’m a returning customer, do I need to give you a suppression file for records I’ve already bought from Axowa?

We’ll keep an internal suppression file for records we have already sold you for the product you are marketing. We’ll normally keep records on file for 6 months.

What happens if I receive records from you but when I upload them into the dialler, I get duplicates?

If this happens, you can send us a list of those records and we will firstly check to make sure there aren’t any duplicates in the file we sent you. Us sending you duplicates is highly unlikely as our databases are built in such a way where they don’t allow duplicates, but we still need to check.

Next, we would check against the suppression file you have sent us and see if the records are on it.

If we find an error our end, we will replace the records free of charge.

If we cannot find an error our end, it means you need to rebuild your suppression file for the next order to make sure all records are in it. Unfortunately, we are unable to replace records where we are not at fault.

How often do I need to update the suppression file?

If you’re buying records from other suppliers, we suggest updating your suppression file with us at least once a week if you have orders running with us.

It really depends on how many records you are losing each time we send you records and how much time it takes to build the file. If you’re just losing a handful of records but it takes you an hour or two to build the file, you need to decide if it’s worth your time.