Data cleansing, or data cleaning describes the process of improving the accuracy of a data file. Data cleansing could involve the removal of duplicate records, merging multiple data files or suppressing records such as gone-away or deceased recipients.

Mailmark is the service introduced by Royal Mail in 2014 which offers the most competitive delivery rates and a tracking portal for mail users. The tracking portal allows mail users to monitor the progress of a mailing, which pieces have arrived at their final destination and investigate any issues arising from non delivery.

Data processing sometimes referred to as data cleansing, data hygiene or data quality, describes the technology used to audit and improve the quality and consistency of a name and address data file. Often used by organisations involved in the supply of direct mail and postal solutions, data processing software can involve among other functions the dedupe or removing duplicate records, merging multiple data files, suppressing records or suppression management to exclude particular recipients from being mailed.

Mortascreen, National Deceased Register & The Bereavement Register are deceased suppression files. Although there are many providers of deceased registers, these are the most well known.

NCOA, GAS, Smartdepart, Disconnect, Re-Mover & Qinetic are goneaway suppression files. These files are used to match to so that customers who have moved to an unknown address can be suppressed from a mailing campaign or flagged as goneaway on a customer database.

NCOA, Smartlink, Reconnect & Qinetic files are used to locate new addresses for contacts that have moved. 

Mailsort, or mail sort is the Royal Mail term used to describe data sortation or the batching of mail into homogenous geographical areas. Data sortation is a technique often employed by mailing providers and printers to attract a lower cost of delivery by mail fulfilment companies.

Postcode Address file often shortened to PAF is the Royal Mail directory of all postal addresses within the UK. PAF is a useful resource for anyone involved in the identification, enhancement or verification of address data.

Data suppression, suppressions and suppression files are terms used to describe the removal of certain data records from a file. Suppressions files can be used to screen out existing customers from a promotional mailing and are commonly employed to remove deceased or gone away records from a mailing list.

Deduplication or deduping is a practice that involves the identification and removal of duplicate records within or across data files. Simple deduplication identifies only exact matching records whereas more sophisticated deduplication can employ greater intelligence to identify duplicate records that are not exact matches but represent the same record.

Downstream access providers are a category of postal service providers that offer postal solutions often as part of a wider logistics offering. Some of the largest downstream access providers include UK Mail, Whistl, Citipost and Secured Mail.