Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“The mailing list is the single most important 
component of any direct mail campaign. 

If you are missing the target, 
it doesn’t matter what you are selling 
or how powerful your message!”

                                                                    ~Author Unknown

Let us help target your next mailing
DBS - Helping you mail better - and smarter!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Is Your Marketing Database Costing You Money?

It IS costing you money if it contains a lot of inconsistencies in how the data has been entered like:  

John Q. Smith | 123 South Main Street | Anytown | Anystate | 12345  
John  Smith     | 123 So Main Street      | Anytn       | Anystate | 12345-4321
John Q. Smith | 123 S Main St               | Anytown  | AS           | 12345
John Q. Smith | 123  Main St So            | Any Town | AS          | 12345
J. Smith           | 123 S Main Str #1         | Anytown  | A S          | 12345
John Q. Smith | 123 S Main St , Apt 1   | Anytown  | AS           | 12345
These are examples  of the kind of inconsistencies that we commonly see when working on databases that can make it difficult to  catch them  as duplicates.

Chances are, YOUR database has a lot of input errors and sloppy data entry that can keep you from using the database effectively for your marketing campaigns.  It's not unusual - most companies have databases that need cleaning up, standardizing the data, removing duplicates etc. 

Even with excellent data input, there are  other factors that can cause your database to be outdated.   People move and zip codes or area codes change.
DBS can work with you to standardize and correct your data
· Eliminate Duplicate Records ( Merge/Purge )
· Field Parsing
· Address Standardization
· Upper / Lower Case - change casing
· NCOA (National Change of Address) update for people who’ve moved
· Remove Deceased names
· Update Area Codes and Zip Codes
· Data Entry

All that effort you put into capturing data about your customers or prospects is only valuable if you can use it.  You will get a much better response AND save money if your data is cleaned up. 


 DBS can help you mail BETTER and SMARTER


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Have you looked at your customer data lately?


Chances are, it is full of addresses that have changed zip codes, have lots of duplicate records , or even worse - the record gets rejected by USPS because of key-in errors and sloppy data etry. 

All that effort you put into capturing data about your customers or prospects is only valuable if you can use it.  Clean up your database for better response.

DBS will quickly and economically turn your data into a form that you can use for mail merging and accurate reports, and return it to you in a convenient format that will work with your current software.

· Data Conversion
· Eliminate Duplicate Records ( Merge/Purge )
· Field Parsing
· Address Standardization
· Upper / Lower Case Mailing File
· NCOA (National Change of Address)
· Data Append (telephone numbers, email address etc.)
· Update Area Codes and Zip Codes
· Data Entry
· Repair Key-In Errors
· Personalized Laser Letters
· Database and Report Creation


 DBS - helping you mail smarter!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Are You Mailing To Dead People?

I was talking to the receptionist at the assisted living facility that my Mother lives at and she told me about the mountains of mail she receives daily for people who have passed on to the great beyond and asked if there was anything that could be done to get it to stop.I explained that most reputable list compilers pass their data against the deceased file before it is released to advertisers, but not everyone does. And, if it is an internal list and isn't updated  then that person's name will be used on mailings until someone tells them to remove it.  And, to make things worse - deceased names can also come back on when people leave the deceased's name on telephone directories, utility billings etc. perpetuating the problem. It just gets picked up over and over by advertisers even when they are doing everything they can.

Are you mailing to dead people?

Unless you are routinely cleaning your list, then there is a good chance you are.  We can clean your mailing list for you by running your data through a process that identifies deceased people. At the same time, we can pick up new addresses where people have moved and remove bad addresses.

It costs a lot of money for printing and postage -- don't waste your money -- statistics show dead people never order.  Increase your ROI - only mail to people who are breathing.



DBS can help you mail better - and smarter!


Monday, March 4, 2019

What exactly IS Junk Mail?

According to the dictionaries, junk mail is defined as......

       (Business / Marketing) untargeted mail advertising goods or services
                ~Collins English Dictionary

       Third-class mail, such as advertisements, mailed indiscriminately in large quantities.
                ~American Heritage Dictionary

I hear people say they are sooooo tired of all the "junk mail" they receive.  

Funny what some people say they consider junk mail.  When I ask them what part is junk, they are hard pressed to say but it usually comes down to -- the mail that isn't relevant to them at that moment in time. 

What kind of mail DO they want?

     -They DO like hearing about new businesses in the area.
     -They DO like getting notices of sales for products they are interested in
     -They DO like getting notices of upcoming community events - for activities they like

As long as it is something THEY want.... then it's not junk mail -- to them anyway.


Is your mailing going to be perceived as "Junk Mail" or are you targeting your mailing list so great that it will be perceived as "Wanted Mail".

What can you do for people to WANT your mail?  By Targeting your mailing list to mail to only those people interested in what you are selling!

DBS can help you with that!

We can help you target your mail by:

     -Radius around your business
     -By Demographics -- age, gender, income levels, homeowner, etc.
     -By Specific Interest -- if you sell fishing supplies.... target people who like to fish.

If your business is selling neighborhood services, then it would make sense to mail to every household in a specific radius around the business.  There is no need to blanket an entire area however if what you are selling is something that only a particular segment of population needs or wants.

Statistics show that people like having something physical to look at - to set aside until they are ready to take action. I have an area on my counter where I put advertisements for things I intend to buy, just not this week. Then when I am ready, I have it on hand, ready to take advantage of the offer.  Direct mail advertising is still one of the most effective ways to advertise.

DBS - helping you mail better - and smarter!


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Is Direct Mail Still Alive?

The rising costs of doing a direct mail campaign have made some mailers hold back on how much advertising they do by mail and have increased their advertising with social media instead.  

Has social media taken over?  Even with the explosion of social media, reports show that direct mail is still one of the most effective way to advertise - and advertisers are increasingly coming back to what they know works.   Advertising by mail gives you the opportunity to personalize and target your advertising to the specific group of people that you are trying to reach in a way that social media can't.  

Having something tangible to touch and hold on to gives direct mail a distinct advantage.  Getting an advertisement in the mail for something you have an interest in having tends to be saved for the most convenient time for the consumer to respond to it.   Whether it is for the local pizza joint, 5-star restaurant dinner special, or a notice from my local hospital or other business, I get to choose the time to look over the offer.

There is a place for all forms of advertising - whether it be direct mail, print, radio, tv and social media - when it comes to reaching a specific audience for your product or service, direct mail is still the best way to reach them.  DBSLists.com has access to thousands of mailing lists whether it be consumer (with demographics like age, income etc), business lists, or direct response lists (for specific comsumer buying patterns) -- let us help with your next mailing project.

DBS - helping you mail smarter!


Monday, February 18, 2019

Importance of good data


A lot of our clients don't understand how important it is to keep their in-house databases in good shape - and it starts with making sure data is entered correctly to start with.  

Bad data can result in unnecessary postage and print costs when there are a lot of duplicates, addresses that aren't deliverable, and worst of all....   comments entered into an address field.   No kidding - we get databases in that have comments like "he's an idiot", "owes money" or "don't deliver to this address" etc.   Can you imagine the person getting your mailpiece delivered to their home with the comment in the address field?  


Train the people entering your data to be mindful of the importance of being accurate and enter the data into the correct fields.

If you need help getting your data cleaned and updated, DBS can help!

DBS - helping you mail better - and smarter!




Email Confusion

Several times in the past few weeks I have had conversations with different non-profit organizations about their use of emails and the confusion that exists about how they use member email lists.  And, I'm confident this same confusion crosses over to for-profit corporations as well.

The dilemma comes up when the organization wants to advertise a specific event coming up and they encourage its board members (and others)  to give their personal email lists to the organization so they can get the word out about the upcoming event and increase its email base.

Seems simple enough - wouldn't my friends want to know about my favorite organization's event?  I bet they would even like to come to it.   If I give my email list to the organization to use so I don't have to forward their emails - my friends could get the information straight from the organization and join in the fun.  Less hassle for me if I just let the organization send the information to my friends directly.

So what's the problem?

The problem is - it probably does not comply with the Federal Can Spam act that makes it illegal to send information to an email recipient unless that person has specifically opted in to receive emails from that specific organization.

So, while you as an individual can forward an email you got to all your friends, it would be illegal for everyone to just give their whole email list over to the organization to use -- unless the recipients opted in.

The solution?   Everyone should email their friends - forward the information on about the organization - and tell them to go the web page and sign up to be on their email list.  That way, they are opted in, get information on upcoming events - AND, they comply with the regs.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Postage Rates take another hike for 2019

The United States Postal Services has set new pricing for postage rates taking effect on January 27, 2019. The rates increases by about 2.5% across all mailing services and impacts mostly First-Class and Priority mail. The cost of a First-Class stamp will now be .55/each.  The good news for commercial mailers are though, the rate increase for Marketing Mail (aka Bulk mail) is minimal. Here's a quick comparison:

MAIL TYPE MINIMUM QUANTITY
2019 RATE
2018 RATE
First-Class Presort* 500 pieces $0.428 $0.424
Marketing Mail * 200 pieces $0.291 $0.287
*Mixed AADC

See a more detailed look at the new postage rates for 2019 here: 
 2019 Postage Rates  












Monday, October 7, 2013

Are you getting the best postage rates?



The best postage rates - Automation and Presort - for large volume mailings require certification that your mailing list has been matched against NCOA (National Change of Address) within 95 days of mailing.  If you do not have this certification, the only way you will still get the best postage rates is to have "Or Current Resident" below the person's name.

What is NCOA ?   When people move, they fill out (or should anyway) a Change of Address (COA) form for the Post Office so that their 1st Class mail gets forwarded to the new address. Your mailing list is matched against the Change of Address (COA) records that will indicate COA orders sent to the U.S. Postal Service by individuals, families, and businesses.   Luckily, most  lettershops run mailing lists through a NCOA process prior to mailing, but not all do - this is something you should verify with your lettershop.

Why does the Post Office require NCOA matching?  According to their statistics, 45 million people move every year.  No matter how often a mailing list is updated, there will always be a certain percentage of your mailing that reaches households where people have moved.  Plain and simple - delivering mail to addresses where people have moved costs the Post Office money.  And, ultimately, it costs you a lot of money as well - producing a mail piece, paying for printing and postage for something that might not ever be delivered if the person who is on the address label have moved.  Best case is that if mailed 1st class, the mail will be forwarded.  But, is it best for you to have mail forwarded to someone that may have moved to a whole new area?  Or is it best for your mail piece to get to the people who are currently living at the address. 

If you are mailing something that is subscription or member based, it would be best to have the mail follow the person who moved.  But, the majority of mailings are intended to reach a base of people living within a geographic area and even if the person whose name is on the mail piece moved, it would be better for the mail piece to stay at the address rather than being undelivered or forwarded.

 Should "Or Current Resident" be on your address label?

Won't putting "Or Current Resident" make my mailing look like junk mail?  The only real answer to this is to test it.  In my opinion however, if your offer or message is relevant to a specific geographic area, it will rarely matter unless it is something formal like an invitation.

The question you should be asking yourself is..... is it more important for my mail piece to be delivered to a specific address that is in my geographic area - or is it more important that the mail piece follow the person regardless of where they live.

You can read more about NCOA and Move Update requirements at:  USPS - Guide to Move Update

DBS can help you mail smarter -- call us to see how we can help.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Direct Mail STILL works!


There is more opportunity than ever to 
get your advertising message out!

Internet and social media has fast become an alternative method of advertising but......

Direct Mail is still one of the best methods for getting a good return on your advertising budget.

Studies show that receiving a physical piece in the mail will improve the chances of it actually getting read.  The trick is to mail to those people who are most interested in your product or service and use smart mailing techniques to reduce costs.

Using a list brokerage like DBSLists.com can help target your mailing to those that most likely to be interested in what you have to sell by using demographically enhanced or direct response lists.  

The best example I can use is one of my clients who sells fishing supplies.  Rather than mail to a broad base of people in a given zip code or geographic area, we find lists of people who are actually interested in fishing.  On the other hand, a local restaurant or hospital might want to mail to every household in a given radius or apply other demographic overlay, like age, income or home value.

Your direct mail costs can be reduced by cleaning and updating your in-house database.   

DBS can standardize your address list, check for people who have moved, remove duplicate addresses or people who are deceased, update for zip code changes and more.....


DBS can help you mail smarter -- call us to see how we can help.
AZ - 480-227-8685 / CO -  303-257-2923
Info@DBSLists.com