Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Seven Reasons why you Need to Maintain Your List

Seven Reasons why you Need to Maintain Your List


If your group or organisation is serious about using direct mail campaigns as a way of communicating and staying in touch with donors, members, volunteers, fundraisers and other contacts then your direct mail list or database needs to be kept up to date.

This help sheet list some reasons why your group or organisation needs to keep its list up to date. For more information on ways your group can do this, refer to the help sheet How to Keep Your List up to Date.


The Seven Reasons Why

    1.    People Move.

About 10% of businesses and more than 15% of individuals (three million people) change address each year, according to Australia Post.

This means it's highly likely you will lose track of many of your contacts within months of gaining them if you do not maintain your list. A database is only as good as its accuracy.


    2.    Loss of members, donors, volunteers, etc.

As stated above, not keeping track of your contacts means you will lose whatever they were offering your organisation – be it donations, fundraising opportunities, memberships, volunteer hours, etc. If you are not communicating regularly you are giving people a reason not to stay involved with your group.


    3.    Waste of investment.

It is no good investing time and money in either:
  • Creating and building your own list, or.
  • Buying access to a list from a list broker.
If you are not going to maintain it. And community groups and organisations can't afford to waste this sort of time or money. Businesses say it is far cheaper to keep a current customer than to go out and find a new one – it is no different for community organisations. You have done the hard work and spent the money, now you need to protect your investment.


    4.    It can save you money.

If you maintain your list and update its details, you are more likely to pick up things like duplicate listings, as well as make any address changes that need to be made.

Because of this your group will save money on mail-outs to wrong addresses or multiple mailings to the same address.


    5.    It makes your group more professional.

Ensuring your organisation regularly puts in place changes as requested through regular maintenance of your list makes you look more professional to those on your mailing list – probably because by doing so you actually are more professional!

Those on your list of contacts will have more confidence working with or giving to a professional organisation.


    6.    Loss of good word-of-mouth from contacts.

Losing contacts means you reduce the positive word-of-mouth feedback and referrals coming from those on your list.


    7.    Loss of expansion or growth opportunities.

Losing touch with those on your contact list through a lack of maintenance can also impact on your endeavours to expand your list and contact base as well – for example: any positive word-of-mouth feedback a contact might pass on to someone else about your group is lost when you lose that contact.

On the other hand, maintaining your list can reap great rewards for your group or organisation - through firstly the retention, and then the growth, of contacts.



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