the process of identifying and eliminating duplicate names within and among a number of mailing lists selected for a given direct marketing campaign. The merge/purge is typically performed by the mailer's service bureau. The goal of the merge/purge process is to produce a unique set of names to send the promotional materials. One goal is to cut down on waste by only sending one piece to each person. Another goal is to better understand the relationship among the lists that enter the merge/purge process. The names that appear on more than one list are called "multi-buyers" or "multis" and are often a more responsive and desirable segment of the merged list. The results of the merge/purge are also used to calculate the final price of rented mailing lists where there is a net name arrangement on the order.

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