Showing posts with label Data Cleanup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Data Cleanup. Show all posts

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.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Have you looked at your database 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!

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

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 records 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 not if mailed at standard (or bulk rate) rates.

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 probably 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.  And, putting "Or Current Resident" will ensure that your mail piece will at least get delivered to that particular household address.

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 

Need your database matched against NCOA?  Let us know - we can help!

In addition to NCOA processing, DBS can also standardize your mailing list, parse fields, remove bad addresses, and deceased names.

Mailing Lists * Database Management * Direct Mail Projects

Friday, June 3, 2011

QR Codes

QR Codes are being seen everywhere - are you using one?



A QR Code (it stands for "Quick Response") is a mobile phone readable barcode that's been big in Japan forever, broke into Eurpoe a while back, and is now getting traction in USA.

 QR Codes are scanned from "Smart" phones that have a free downloadable QR Reader App.

This QR Code sends an email to me for information on our services.


You will soon be seeing these used to enhance marketing activities everywhere.  What are some ideas where this can be used?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

When is it a bad thing to NOT be on a mailing list?

When it is your own project - that is probably the one time you actually want to be on a mailing list.  We just completed a project for a client who had us obtain a mailing list for them that was pretty broad based and her name was not on the list that she ordered and she questioned why wasn't it there - it should have been, according to her.  Since her name didn't show up, she wondered whether the list was even good at all - after all, if it was any good, her name would be there.

Well, the bottom line is that the list compilers don't know everything about everyone (contrary to popular belief).  The names on a mailing list come from a variety of places - from directories, telephone and utility hookups, warranty registrations, subscriptions, purchases etc.   Does it mean the list choice was a bad one -- not at all - especially if it meets the criteria and quantity that the project calls for.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Problems with Databases

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?  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1st Class Mailings and Returned Mail

Mailing at 1st-Class rates can result in mail being returned and not being deliverable as addressed.   There can be a lot of reasons why mail could be returned as not deliverable.  Some of the biggest reasons could include:
  • The person addressed moved and did not file a change of address with the post office
  • An apartment number or suite number was not included as part of the address.
  • An internal mailstop number wasn't included - some large companies require this before their internal mailroom will deliver it.
Most reputable list compilers keep their lists updated on a regular basis - but