Canada’s largest customer data company.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers you need, from Canada’s contact data leader

General Questions


Cleanlist provides Canadian customer data solutions to organizations across many industries. Whether you need customer data maintenance, verification, data enhancement, or prospect list acquisition – Cleanlist can help.

There are many reasons why data gets dirty over time. Many individuals do not contact all of their goods and service providers when their circumstances change – for example, due to a move. Additionally, many organizations accumulate messy data over time due to process overlap or merging data from different sources. Cleanlist is the expert in keeping your contact data up-to-date and purging the clutter.

For many organizations, it is very important to have an up-to-date contact database at all times, in which case we recommend verifying your database for movers and deceased individuals on a monthly basis. For other organizations, it is recommended that you clean your database before the start of any direct mail or telemarketing campaign.

Regardless of the frequency of your service needs, Cleanlist can set you up with a subscription plan that will maintain your data in top shape.

Files may be securely exchanged (both to and from Cleanlist) using the myFiles web application, available by logging in to your Cleanlist account . Your data may be submitted in any format. The most common formats are CSV, tab delimited, and Excel. Unless you request otherwise, your data will be returned in the same format as was submitted.

The security and integrity of your data is very important to us at Cleanlist. We only accept and transfer data files through our secure myFiles web application or via SFTP. While your data is at Cleanlist, it is warehoused in our world-class data centre. Please see our Information Security page for more details. We do not accept data via email, nor do we return data files by email.

Cleanlist’s data cleaning and enhancement services can save your organization time and money by improving your direct mail deliverability rates. For example, if your deliverability rate is 75% on 10,000 pieces, with an expense of $1.00 per piece, the cost of undeliverable items is $2,500. If your deliverability rate on the same mailing is 95%, the cost of undeliverable items is $500 – a $2,000 savings.

Cleanlist works with a wide variety of data suppliers including postal services, telecommunications companies, and market research firms. All data services provided by Cleanlist are fully privacy-compliant.

Yes! Cleanlist works with a partner to offer U.S. data solutions to our Canadian clients. Please contact us for more information, including pricing.

As a general policy we do not provide references in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our clients and third-party agencies. However, we do offer free evaluations. Contact us to arrange an evaluation.

Database Cleaning & Enrichment


Many of our services use mailing addresses as the primary factor in matching records. In order to ensure the best results, we include the Address Standardization & Correction service with all orders.

Canada Post does not currently enforce a minimum update frequency for NCOA processing, but it is recommended that organizations scrub their contact lists for movers on a quarterly basis. This ensures that contact information is up-to-date and campaign-ready at a moment’s notice.

Yes. In these cases, the new international address will be supplied. The new country is included in the updated address.

All of your original unchanged fields are included in your result output. The output of your ordered services is appended to the end of each record, including updated data and flag or indicator fields that show you what changes were applied. The specific data elements returned will depend on your selected options. A report package is also included that highlights the results of each service and further explains your data output.

Of course, if you still have questions, contact your Project Manager – they’re happy to help!

Cleanlist’s standard result file contains all of your original unchanged fields, including any keys you may need to apply updates.

Need a custom solution? Our data analysts can work with your team to create a custom load file to apply the relevant changes back to your database.

Simply contact your Project Manager to order any evaluated services, and we’ll send you an updated statement of work. You don’t need to resubmit your order.

Suite In-fill is an advanced address correction service designed to fill in missing suite numbers and make other corrections to your existing contact addresses. Order Suite In-fill when you only want to fix existing addresses.

Address Append is a more comprehensive solution that includes the functionality of Suite In-fill, as well as providing an alternate address when your contact’s current address is incorrect. Order Address Append when you want to ensure you have the most current and complete address for your customer.

B2C Prospecting


ResponseCanada Consumer is a comprehensive database of Canadian consumers, containing over 15 million households. This represents virtually every residential address in Canada.

ResponseCanada Consumer is compiled from multiple publicly available sources, including telephone directories, as well as numerous enhancements.

Database updates are available on a monthly basis.

ResponseCanada Consumer is enhanced with multiple data elements that can tell you more about each contact and enable you to select the most promising potential customers. These elements include: 

  • Demographic data, including age, income, and lifestyle segmentation
  • Dwelling information, such as home value, home age, and dwelling type
  • Gender and ethnicity of contacts
  • Geocodes – latitude and longitude coordinates that allow you to select the closest prospects to your location
  • Mover and pre-mover history, identifying high-value contacts that have recently moved or are planning to move soon

Cleanlist and its competitors in Canada are limited as to the sources of personal information available to collect and distribute by Canadian privacy law. See Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

PIPEDA allows for the collection and distribution of certain personal information, including the name, address and telephone number of a subscriber that appears in a telephone directory that is available to the public.

Where personal information is not available in PIPEDA-compliant sources, Cleanlist does not collect or distribute this information, leading to missing or incomplete data elements in the ResponseCanada Consumer database. You can be confident that the data you acquire from Cleanlist is fully compliant with Canadian privacy legislation.

To help you effectively use the ResponseCanada Consumer database, Cleanlist adds a Mail Valid and Phone Valid flag to each record to indicate whether the data is suitable for mailing and/or telephone contact programs. 

Note that the Phone Valid flag does not take National Do Not Call List (DNCL) suppression into account. Clients who are bound by the DNCL regulations must ensure a DNCL suppression is completed before calling these numbers. For more information on National Do Not Call requirements, visit the official website. 

Cleanlist does not incorporate NCOA address updates into ResponseCanada Consumer, as this would violate Canadian privacy requirements. Instead, we flag any contacts known to have moved as undeliverable. This allows you to avoid mailing to known incorrect addresses, while staying compliant with the requirements of the Privacy Act and those set by Canada Post.

Yes. ResponseCanada Consumer records are run through Do Not Mail suppression regularly. Contacts identified as Do Not Mail are flagged as undeliverable.

Yes. ResponseCanada Consumer records are verified against the Canadian Deceased Registry regularly. Contacts known to be deceased are removed from the database.

Cleanlist’s ResponseCanada Consumer database contains the names, addresses, and phone numbers of millions of Canadians. Despite our best efforts to clean and update the database, occasionally mistakes happen and a person listed is deceased or otherwise doesn’t want to receive marketing messages. If someone complains, here’s how Cleanlist recommends you handle it:

  • Apologize to the complainant and assure them that their desire not to be contacted will be honoured. We don’t want them to escalate their complaint, and we especially don’t want to bother them again.
  • Forward the complainant’s name and full address and/or phone number to Cleanlist (email request to ) The person will be immediately removed from Cleanlist’s master database.
  • Advise the complainant that this action will ensure their name is removed from the Cleanlist database, but that they may also be on other lists that Cleanlist doesn’t control. A broader solution is for the complainant to add their name to the CMA’s do-not-mail file which is circulated to many list providers, including Cleanlist. This list does have an expiry date, so it is possible that they registered in the past but need to re-register. They can do this online at the CMA website

Or to remove their phone number from calling campaigns, register with the Do-Not-Call-List (DNCL) online  or by calling 1-866-580-3625.

Movers are identified by the Move Date field, which indicates the approximate date that this contact moved. With a ResponseCanada Consumer data installation including movers, contacts that have moved within the past 12 months will be populated with a move date. If you subscribe to the ResponseCanada Movers database, you will receive the most recent new movers each month.

Pre-movers are identified by the Pre-Mover Date field, which indicates the approximate date that this contact’s house was listed for sale. With a ResponseCanada Consumer data installation including pre-movers, contacts that were identified as pre-movers within the past 12 months will be populated with a pre-mover date. If you subscribe to the ResponseCanada Pre-Movers database, you will receive the most recent pre-movers each month.

B2B Prospecting


ResponseCanada Business is compiled from multiple privacy-compliant sources, including business directories, open-source listings, and social media.

Database updates are available on a monthly basis.

On average, 20,000 new businesses are added each month.

As anyone who works with B2B data knows, duplicate data is a recurrent problem. Cleanlist applies advanced processes to identify these duplicates and merge the data to create the most complete record.

The “company name” is the name the business is known by in the marketplace; it is used for advertising or marketing. The “corporate name” is used on legal documents and may not be familiar to the general public.

The term “numbered company” refers to a business that has not chosen a specific or descriptive name as their operating name. This is particularly common in industries like property management and investment or holding companies, as well as franchises of well-known brands.

If the operating name is also known, Cleanlist will report the numbered company name in the Corporate Name field and the operating name in the Company Name field.

TIP: When you see a business record that only has a numbered name, look at the NAICS or SIC code to determine if they are a business that fits your marketing strategy.

Yes. Locations may be identified as headquarters, branches, or licensed operators.

A “licensed operator” is a business that has an arrangement with another business to sell products or services. Franchises are the most popular type of licensed operator, but there are other businesses that operate as agents or representatives of another business.

Identity & Life Verification

The Canadian Deceased Registry is a national database of deceased Canadians built by Cleanlist from multiple sources. Unlike in the United States, Canadian government bodies do not publish death records to the public. Cleanlist’s Canadian Deceased Registry is the most comprehensive database of its kind in Canada.

Cleanlist’s deceased information is compiled from hundreds of different reputable sources, including funeral homes and community newspapers.

The Canadian Deceased Registry contains over 3 million records, dating back to 2000 and earlier. Coverage rates are higher for more recent years and vary by region. Over 90% of Canadians who have died in the last five years can be found in the Canadian Deceased Registry.

Approximately 250,000 Canadians die each year.

Cleanlist retains collected deceased records indefinitely, so records do not roll off the file after a set period of time.

To ensure we have the most up-to-date information, the Canadian Deceased Registry is updated on a daily basis.

In order to best serve clients that come from very different industries, Cleanlist has developed two different deceased identification services – Deceased Suppression and Deceased Identification.

For marketers and other organizations looking to prioritize or remove prospects from direct marketing campaigns, our Deceased Suppression service is the most cost-effective and simple solution. With very good accuracy, we will flag your prospects as “Deceased Suppressed” or “Not Deceased Suppressed”.

For the financial industry and others looking to update their databases or to prevent fraud, our Deceased Identification service is a much more precise and customized solution. Deceased Identification uses an advanced algorithm that takes many factors into account, including date of birth, and assigns a confidence code to potentially deceased contacts. Additional evidence for each match is available, which you can use to confirm the accuracy of the match.

Cleanlist offers a Deceased Lookup service, which allows you to view a copy of the evidence contained in the Canadian Deceased Registry for each of your Deceased Identification matches. This evidence contains full obituary text as well as funeral home and/or newspaper information. It’s easy to use; contact your project manager to get access.

Traditional address correction services can only ensure that the address you have on file is valid and mailable. Right Party Verification goes a step further, by verifying that the addressee actually lives at the address you are mailing to. This can save you significant postage costs, as well as protecting you from fraud that can result from sending sensitive mail to the wrong person.

We recommend that you do further research before mailing these contacts any sensitive information. Cleanlist’s Address Append service can help you find an alternate mailing address for these records.

Letter Factory

Cleanlist is not a standard mailhouse. Each mailing includes document set-up, data validation, and mail preparation in our SOC2-certified, fully secured data and production facility. Our team of experts ensures that your data and material are handled securely and in full compliance with our policies. You can trust Cleanlist to deliver high-volume mailings on-time while maintaining the highest levels of security.

Cleanlist’s secure mailing solution is ideal for any industry that needs peace of mind in the security of their data, and requires an audit trail for all letters mailied. This includes finance, insurance, and pension industries as examples.

Cleanlist’s DunningExpress solution allows you to streamline the delivery process of the dunning letters you need to deliver. We can help you manage one letter library that can be delivered by post or email. Your addresses will be corrected and verified and have any mover updates applied to them, increasing your deliverability rates, and reducing the cost of undeliverable mail. This solution allows you to send high-quality, deliverable letters without managing the resources this requires.

At Cleanlist we can take care of your mailing from beginning to end. We will process your data (correct and standardize addresses, apply mover information, flag deceased individuals) to improve deliverability, or we can mail exactly as submitted to us. We can handle any format of data file, with as many fields as necessary to create your personalized letter mailing. We will work with you for any physical specifications that are required (specific paper, specialized envelope messaging).

Cleanlist will receive and process all returned or undeliverable mail. All mail sent by Cleanlist is barcoded, and you will receive a data file listing all records that have been returned. All returned mail is securely shredded on-site after processing.

Cleanlist handles mailings on behalf of some of our clients, and we do not have access to any database with the information to be able to remove or change an address. The best way to handle any mail you have received in error is to write “Return to Sender” on the envelope and put it back in the mail. There is no need to add any additional postage or stamps to the piece of mail.

When we receive any returned mail, we scan the barcode on the front and return this information to our clients, letting them know the mail was returned so they can update their records. It can take some time for this to resolve itself if there are multiple accounts, the accounts are transferred, or there are legal requirements to send a letter to the last known address, but returning any mail that is received in error is the best way to take care of this.

Your organization, your data, and your needs are unique. To find out what’s possible Cleanlist offers a free assessment to qualified organizations.

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