Extra Tools you can Use to Maintain Your List

Even with the necessary maintenance and work that your group needs to do to keep your list up-to-date, there are always going to be some contacts whose details change, who move or who just seen to disappear.

Tracking down these contacts and staying in touch is just as important – if not more so – than attracting new donor, member or volunteer. After all, attracting a new contact is no good if you are losing track of established contacts from your list.

There are a number of tools available that could help your group go that extra mile in tracking down lost contacts and re-establishing a link to them.

The best of these tools can be accessed via the phone, while others are probably sitting there on your shelf in your group's cupboard.

Tools you can Use

Keep Track of Moving Customers

The National Change Of Address (NCOA) is a facility which works by matching your list or database against Australia Post's National Change of Address database.

That's it. By using this method you can update your customers' new address details while reducing your return-to-sender mail. That can improve your direct mail opportunities and save your group money on postage.

Other Ways to Track People Down

If your group wants to save money, or keep their search a little simpler to start with, there are of course plenty of other ways you can try and track down a lost contact.

Some of the ways to find lost contacts include:
  • The White Pages phone book. This is a good place to start, but no use if your contact has moved out of the area the phone book covers or has a silent number. If that is the case – and you need to do an Australia-wide search, go to the White Pages website.
  • The Yellow Pages directory. If your contact was a business, it could be listed with new details in the Yellow Pages. Again, if your contact has moved interstate, your group will need to scour a number of Yellow Pages editions or go on-line to the Yellow Pages site
  • The Internet. You never know what you can find by scouring the web or by using a search engine like Google.
  • The Electoral Roll. The electoral roll – the roll of registered voters in an area – could be worth looking through if your contact has moved locally, or you know to which area (and therefore which electorate) they have moved. The roll gives the address of people as well, which means you could consider noting the address for a follow-up mailing later on.
    • In the past, printed copies of local electoral rolls were available for purchase from Australian Electoral Commission offices. But legislative changes that came into effect in July 2004 mean the sale of electoral rolls by the AEC in any format is now banned.
    • However, the electoral roll is still available for viewing electronically at Australian Electoral Commission offices across the country. Each office has a copy of the electoral roll for its state or territory available for viewing via computer terminal.