A suppression file is sometimes referred to as a stop list and is very important when buying data. It’s understandable that when you buy new data you don’t want to buy the same data you’ve recently bought or data of your existing customers.

A suppression file is a list of data you don’t want to purchase. You would normally make this available to your data supplier on a weekly or monthly basis so the data supplier can scrub their data against the suppression file before forwarding the cleaned/scrubbed data to you. Any leads forwarded to you after being scrubbed against the current suppression file would normally be deemed ‘accepted’ by default.

What information to supply in the suppression file

When buying telemarketing data you would normally only supply the telephone number unless you are buying the data for direct mail, in which case you would supply the address. The suppression file normally consists of the your past and present customers, any customers who have asked to go on your DNC list and also all telephone numbers that have been bought/contacted in the last 3 to 6 months.

The smaller the suppression file, the better!

Each piece of data generated by the supplier has a cost to it and the supplier needs to get reimbursed for this cost. If your suppression file is very large, you can expect reputable data suppliers to charge more for the fresh data they generate for you. A multi survey means your question is asked to all customers and then the generated data is scrubbed against the suppression file generating wastage. The more wastage generated, the more expensive each ‘fresh’ record can become.

Some buyers operate in such a way where the data supplier sends all the data to the buyer and then the buyer sends a report on how many leads have been accepted. This report can take 7 days and often as much as 30 days after the data is delivered if there is an agency involved. This isn’t a good practice to follow as the data supplier will very often reduce or drop the order once they can find a buyer who operates a suppression file the data supplier can scrub against before sending data.

It isn’t difficult creating a suppression file and it’s the fairest way to minimize duplicates. Our recommendation is to always use a suppression file when buying data. 

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