What does "one per household" mean?

Most times, our clients want a list that is "one per household". Generally that means they want "one per address" so there aren't duplicate addresses being mailed. But what about when household isn't so clearly defined.  What if there are unrelated roommates? What about grown adults living with parents or grandparents? Should each of them get their own mail piece?

Most mailing list compilers do think of one per household as being one per common last name. If there are roomate situations or other configurations within the home, there will likely be duplicates to the address, resulting in the need to remove duplicates prior to mailing, if in fact you only wanted one per address.

There is not any one answer to this - so, each mailing campaign should carefully consider this.  It's an important distinction to make when ordering the data.  

DBS - Helping You Mail Smarter!

Is it K or M when referring to "per thousand"?

 Have you noticed.... that the print / mailing / marketing services world uses "M" in their pricing quotes while the financial world uses "K" and each one means "per thousand? 

In the marketing and data world, "M"  stands for per thousand records of data. In the print world, it would stand for per thousand sheets of paper, or other print functions like inserting, or completed print pieces. Many manufacturers also use "M" in their per unit pricing.

M and MM are Roman numerals where M stands for "one thousand" and MM is intended to denote "one thousand thousands"or "one million". A quote for mailing services would commonly show as $ /M.  For example, a cost quoted as $25/M would equate to $25 for every thousand pieces. It has its roots in the British Imperial System using Roman numerals and can also be referred to as USCS (US Customary System).

CPM - Cost Per Thousand  (M=1,000) - is a marketing advertising term referring to the cost usually referred to for internet pricing. For example - the cost of a Google or Facebook ad might show as $10 CPM, meaning $10 for every thousand times your ad appears. CPC means "cost per click".

The financial world uses "K" when referring to "per thousand dollars". Why is there such a difference in terms when they basically mean the same thing?

K comes from the Greek world "kilo" which means one thousand and is used in metric / decimal systems. The corresponding prefix for one million is M. An amount in the accounting and financial world shown as $14K would equate to $14,000.00. 

It is entirely possible when dealing with a vendor that both terms could be used in the same sentence:  An example would be a marketing quote for 80,000 records of data for a list order or pertaining to a large print order:

                        $45/M x 80 = $3.6k ($3,600.00)

One answer I came across as to why industry uses USCS and not metric is that when the industrial revolution happened, measurements were based on the imperial system and as time went on, it was too cost prohibitive to change. Industries dealing with international business would likely use metric.

Otherwise, I can't really find an answer as to why these two professions use different ways of of expressing "per thousand". Trust me though -- it makes a big difference when talking with various vendors for services. It's good to understand that these differences exist. 

DBS - helping you to mail smarter

When things don't go right.......

I recently took on a very small project of printing and mailing a postcard for a local non-profit group - under 150 pieces.  I donated my time and costs for getting a mailing list for them.   Because it was so small and virtually no budget, and the local printers had minimums, setup fees, etc. that made it not feasible to order from them, I ordered postcards from an online East Coast print company that was offering a great deal - and they provided mailing services as well with a guaranteed two-day turnaround.   Sounds like a great solution, right?  Except it was for a specific event and the postcards never arrived in time for the event even though the postcards were sent 1st class.

The print company dropped the postcards into the mail stream when they said they would (two day turnaround) The Post Office said they did not think we allowed enough time. WHHHHAAAATTTT?   Eight days for delivery not enough time??????? 

So what's the moral of the story???   Not sure if I should focus on the fact that the Post Office now believes eight days is not sufficient time for 1st class mail to get delivered OR to extol the virtues of using local printers who would drop the mail locally.  On the other hand.... the nonprofit didn't have the funds to use the local source, so the alternative was not to do the advertising to start with.

In the end......... the event didn't get the promised advertising, the donor who paid for the mailing is out some money and I look bad for suggesting a service that didn't pan out.  Hmmmm - sometimes ya just can't win :(

California New Privacy Law

Notice to Marketers:  California has a new privacy law that took effect January 1, 2020

This law grants consumers a right to request companies that are in the business of selling data to disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal information that is collected about the consumer. It grants the consumer the right to request deletion of personal information and requires the business to delete their information upon request. Failure to respond could result in penalties.

"Personal information" means information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household. Personal information includes, but not limited to using a real name, alias, online identifier,  postal address, email address, etc.

The bill, however, specifically allows use of personal information that is gathered from "publicly available information". 

DBS is in the business of selling data for use in advertising goods and services. This data is obtained through a variety of sources - most comes from public data and others is inferred or obtained by other self-reported sources.

To comply with this, a suppression file would need to be created of people who make this request. We would have to rely on each client to keep a file of people requesting to be taken off a list and suppress from each mailing. 

Because we do not believe a suppression list could be maintained without error, we will change our practices, for the time being, to be in compliance by selling lists for mailing in California that are addressed only to "Resident" rather than a specific name. 

We value our California clients and hope implementation of this law does not affect your marketing efforts. Please reach out for any questions or follow-up on this issue. 

DBS - Helping you mail better and smarter

Go to this link to read the language in the full bill,  California Privacy Law 2020