Showing posts with label Mailing Lists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mailing Lists. 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!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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!

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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

When Customers Want Their Name Off a Mailing List

I recently had a client that contacted me wanting to know how to respond to a phone call they had from someone that received their mailer - upset that they were receiving the mail and worried that their personal information was being shared.

As I told my client, "there will always be people who will complain about the things that get mailed to them - and they are rightfully concerned about lack of privacy - especially in these days of identity theft.    Just because she has received mail from you and from others, does not mean that her private information about her health problems was leaked by the health institutions". 

Most mailing lists comes from public records - like home ownership records and US Postal records - but lists  also come from the census bureau, telephone directories and other places where they may have even given information themselves - like signing up for a free registration, magazine subscription, or a product purchase.  The credit bureaus track purchases and sometimes mailings are received merely because the mailing is going to every resident - regardless of any thing going on with them personally.

People can limit the mail that comes to their house by registering with the DMA (Direct Mail Association).  The DMA maintains a list of people who do not want their names on direct mail offerings.   Most legitimate list compilers bounce their mailing lists against this file routinely and should reduce the amount of mail they receive.  This is one of the best reasons why I routinely recommend that companies let me run their own internal files against the DMA lists to flag people who do not want to receive mail - and this also removes deceased names.

No company wants to spend money mailing to people who have no interest in their product or service. 

Here is a link to the DMA that explains almost everything you would need to know about getting your name removed from mailing lists:

http://www.dmaconsumers.org/offmailinglist.html#6

The DMA - Direct Mail Association

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ordering Medical Lists? Things To Know.

 There are many things to consider when ordering any list, but medical lists have some unique things to consider.  Some questions to ask yourself:

Friday, April 9, 2010

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, but once that list has been sold to advertisers to use, it would be up to the advertiser to keep the list updated.  A deceased name can come back on when people don't remove the person's name from telephone directories, utility billings etc. perpetuating the problem.

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 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.

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.