What is a Finder file?

Answered by Tom Adger

A Finder file is a useful tool in the world of direct marketing and list management. It allows businesses to maintain the privacy of rented or exchanged names and addresses by keeping them separate from their main house file.

Let me explain how it works. When you rent or exchange a list of names and addresses from a list vendor, you don’t want to merge those contacts directly into your own database. This is because there may be privacy concerns or restrictions on the use of those contacts. Instead, you can request a Finder file from the list vendor.

The list vendor, upon receiving the range of finder numbers you provide, will assign a unique number to each name on the list segment. This number acts as a reference or identifier for each contact, without disclosing their actual names or addresses. The assigned finder numbers essentially act as placeholders in your Finder file.

Using a Finder file offers several benefits. First, it helps you maintain the privacy of the rented or exchanged contacts. By keeping them separate from your main house file, you can ensure that no unauthorized access occurs. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive or confidential customer information.

Second, the Finder file makes it easy to track and manage the rented or exchanged contacts. By assigning unique finder numbers, you can easily match them with the corresponding contacts in your rented or exchanged list. This allows for efficient record-keeping and analysis, without cluttering your main database.

Furthermore, the Finder file simplifies the process of list rental or exchange. When you need to provide a list of contacts to a third party, you can simply share the Finder file instead of your entire house file. This protects the privacy of your own customers while still allowing you to fulfill your contractual obligations.

In my own experience, using a Finder file has been invaluable in managing large-scale direct marketing campaigns. It has helped me maintain the privacy and security of rented or exchanged contacts, while also streamlining the process of working with list vendors. By keeping the rented or exchanged contacts separate, I have been able to focus on analyzing and utilizing the data effectively, without risking any privacy breaches.

To summarize, a Finder file is a tool that allows businesses to keep rented or exchanged names and addresses separate from their main house file. By assigning unique finder numbers to each contact, privacy is maintained, and efficient record-keeping becomes possible. It is a valuable asset in the world of direct marketing and list management, providing a secure and organized way to handle rented or exchanged contacts.