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

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Even with excellent data input, there are  other factors that can cause your database to be outdated.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


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, February 18, 2019

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.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Important - Required New Design Changes for Self Mailers

Design Changes Required for Self-Mailers in 2013

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) published the final regulations for Folded Self-mailers (FSM's) and other unenveloped pieces in the December 1, 2011 Federal Register.

These final rules take effect on January 5, 2013, so Mailers need to make plans to use up remaining stock and to make design changes for affected mailpieces that will mail after the effective date.

 These new rules do not apply to cards, envelopes, booklet style letters or mailpieces designed to carry discs - only self-mailers.

The notice lays out other specific requirements:
  • Length: A minimum of 5 inches and a maximum of 10.5 inches.
  • Height: A minimum of 3.5 inches and a maximum of 6 inches and
    Maximum thickness of 1/4".
  • The final fold must be at the bottom
  • Rectangular within an aspect ratio (length divided by height) of 1.3 to 2.5, inclusive (see Domestic Mail Manual 601.1.4)
  • The paper basis weight for folded self-mailers is based on book-grade paper unless otherwise specified and varies depending on the total weight of the mail piece.
  •  Minimum of two tabs
  • Can not use perforated tabs.
After January 5, 2013, folded self-mailers that do not meet these requirements will be assessed postage as follows: First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® customers will pay nonmachinable prices; Periodicals mailers will pay nonbarcoded prices.

Please visit the USPS website to see all of the new rules affecting self-mailers.

https://ribbs.usps.gov/fsm/documents/tech_guides/FSMWorkshopPresentation.pdf

DBS - Helping You Mail Smarter

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Intelligent Mail Barcode

Will you be ready?


One of the biggest change is that instead of just being an option, the USPS is making IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode) a requirement in order to qualify for automation discounts.

Intelligent Mail Barcode replaces the barcodes that are currently used for processing high voume mail for automation discounts.  The final ruling was posted on the Federal Register website on May 3rd.


The Intelligent Mail barcode is used to sort and track letters, cards and flats and offers greater versatility by allowing many services to be requested and embedded within one barcode. 

This REQUIRED new change will impact ALL volume mailers that get automation postal discounts including:

      - First-Class Mail - letters and flats
      - Standard Mail (Bulk) - letters and flats
      - Periodicals - letters and flats
      - Bound Printed Matter - flats
      - Business Reply Mail

You should immediately start thinking about.............

-- Who prepares your mail - do you process in-house or is it outsourced to a mail service provider (also known as mail house, or lettershop).

-- Does your mail service provider plan to have the software installed and be fully compliant before January 28, 2013 to print IMB and will their capabilities include basic or full-service.

-- If your mail is processed in-house, steps should be taken now to get your mailer ID code and make sure software is installed and compliant prior to January 28, 2013.

-- Do you need to change providers based on capabilities?

-- Compliance with IMB could result in needing to make design changes that could include more white space for addressing and the barcode on business reply mail.

-- Has your database been cleansed and updated?  NCOA (National Change of Address) is required now for all automation discounts and is currently enforced (or in the alternative, add "or current resident" to the addressing).

Failure to comply with IMB will result in loss of automation discounts on your mail - result:  higher postage.

Diversified Business Services (DBS) is already working with our mail service providers to make sure your mail will be fully compliant before January 28, 2013.  Make sure your outsourced providers are aware of this new requirement and fully on board -- this includes printers, graphic designers, mail houses and letteershops, and database managers.

Go to the USPS site for more information on Intelligent Mail Barcoding:

Overview to Intelligent Mail Service: 
https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_guides/documents/tech_guides/OverviewIntelligentMailBasicService.pdf

Intelligent Mail Guides and Technical Specifications
https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=intellmailguides

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?

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Service Available for AMA (American Medical Association) Data

A new service has become available for getting mailing lists of doctor's addresses from the AMA.  The AMA list, while usually a better quality list over compiled directory lists, is quite expensive with minimum orders of 5,000 records or more.  In those cases where you only want a small quantity, the cost is the same as if you ordered 5,000 records.   But now, there is a prepay service available to that makes it easier and cheaper to order those lists that are smaller when mailing to a small regional area.

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