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Commentary & Analysis

FREE: You Printed It, Now Mail It

By Gail Nickel-

By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: October 7, 2004

By Gail Nickel-Kailing October 7, 2004 -- It’s here! If you’re not in the mailing business, now is the time to take a closer look. The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) has told us that more than 58% of you view direct mail and direct marketing as a growth market. So now is the time to dig in and find out more about mailing and meet some of the folks who can help you be successful at it. Marketing executives – our customers, the users of most printed materials – are all feeling the same economic pressure we feel: to do more with less. The smart marketer is looking to reduce the “total cost of use” of print and is examining not just the cost of the printed page but also inventory costs, distribution costs, and the cost of waste and obsolescence. Print on demand and variable data printing are ways to achieve lower cost of use. Yes, we keep hearing that digital and variable data printing are the way to go, but now is the time to clarify something. Remember, what we call variable data printing, print customers call direct mail. Digital and variable data printing is not the only path to direct mail; long-run web printers produce a huge amount of direct mail. Those are the folks producing all those millions of LL Bean and Eddie Bauer catalogs! Lest we succumb to the fear that direct mail is on its way out, take note of a Household Mail Preference Study: Regular Mail vs. Electronic Mailcompleted and reported by Pitney Bowes, in December 2003. The findings? Simple and to the point: “Given a choice, the majority of those surveyed prefer to receive documents, letters and messages via regular mail.” Even though 62% of the respondents had access to e-mail at home! So you want to get into mailing? Choosing a mailing application provider just got easier; there are a number with whom you can meet at Graph Expo this year. Before you make that appointment to chat, here are a few suggestions to help you make your choice. You want a vendor who: Offers a variety of products to handle all the functions of mail list maintenance, such as list hygiene, duplicate detection, file import and export, and case conversion and personalization. You may even want to consider gender coding and geocoding (appending latitude and longitude). Is CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System)-certified by the USPS to standardize and ZIP+4 code mailing list addresses. Is PAVE (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation)-certified by the USPS to presort and prepare mailings and can help you qualify for the highest postal discounts available. Provides prompt updates to meet USPS requirements and on-going, long-term maintenance on their applications. Offers services such as high quality technical and customer support, as well as peer support through customer advisory councils, user groups, and on-line forums. Remember, your mailing software provider is your partner; they can help you track industry trends and comply with USPS standards. Mailing at Graph Expo 2004 First, for those of you who want to learn more about direct mail, direct marketing, and fulfillment, there are two excellent resources at the Expo. The US Postal Service will be glad to provide you with lots of useful information, so swing by booth # 3385. And if you’re considering a move into mailing and fulfillment, talk to the folks at the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, booth #3492. These are folks who have been there and done that! Now, for a quick review of the mailing application providers in the Mailing and Fulfillment Pavilion. Pitney Bowes/Group 1 Software: Booth #3474 (www.pb.com, www.g1.com) As I planned my tour of the Pavilion, I noted Pitney Bowes in one booth and Group 1 in another, however they have been combined into one. In April this year, Pitney Bowes announced they would be acquiring Group 1; now that the closing of the acquisition is immanent, G1 is a wholly owned subsidiary. Take a look at: Streamweaver – a print-stream manipulation tool that allows integration of data quality (read: postal standardization and ZIP+4 coding) and postal presorting functions. Code-1 – a suite of address validation, standardization and postal coding applications for the US, Canada, and 220 other countries. MailStream (US)/SortStream (Canada) – postal presorting applications And a number of other data management tools for manipulating databases. Check out the Global Mailing area in the PB/G1 booth where you will find software and hardware for lower volume mailers. Firstlogic: Booth #3571 (www.firstlogic.com) You will find three Postalsoft solutions, Postalsoft Professional Edition, Postalsoft Business Edition, and Postalsoft DeskTop Mailer, in the Firstlogic booth; each offering a different level of capability from the same basic technology. Address Correction and Encoding - Correct and standardize address components to increase mailing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. International Addressing - Standardize and enhance address data for over 190 different countries for improved accuracy and cost-efficiency. Data and List Management - Effectively manage and maintain your database. Merge/Purge - Eliminate duplicates and consolidate overlapping records for an accurate single customer view. Presorting - Achieve the highest available automated-mail postage discounts from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and other postal authorities around the world. Label Design and Printing - Create accurate, USPS-approved printed output in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) environment. BCC Software: Booth #3980 (www.bccsoftware.com) A tour of the BCC booth starts with Mail Manager 2010 high-performance software and Mail Manager 2010 LE, the “Lite Edition.” The LE version is designed for lower volume and occasional mailers. You will also find BCC Data Services, providing MOVE Update address-updating capabilities like USPS NCOALink, all accessible from within Mail Manager 2010. For barcoded tray tag solutions there’s TagIt Pro software, which works with any Windows-compatible printer. Satori Software: Booth #3589 (www.satorisoftware.com) Satori’s products feature USPS PAVE presorting, standardizing and cleaning addresses to meet CASS specifications, Move Update (change-of-address) processing, duplication elimination, and more. BulkMailer 5 is a stand-alone mailing solution that offers Import/Export - Data exchange with more options. Address Quality - CASS-certified address correction, real-time USPS change-of-address updating and duplication searching. Mail Sort - Complete, advanced support for First-Class, Periodicals and Standard Mail. Print Mail – A label designer using full graphical capabilities. Optional Add-Ons - Delivery Point Validation (DPV), Package Services sorts, Mixed Weights sorts, international data sets, and more. Good news: You can also get a Mac version – BulkMailer 4.6. MailRoom ToolKit is built on COM technology, which makes deployment easy within a number of different environments and simplifies ongoing maintenance. Installs instantly inside Microsoft Office (Access, Excel & Word) and includes its own toolbar. Offers compatibility with COM-friendly applications and databases. Has an interface accessible using VBA, C/C++, FoxPro, Paradox, SQL, Oracle, PowerBuilder, and others. Melissa Data: Booth #3289 (www.melissadata.com) Melissa Data’s MAILERS+4 verifies delivery addresses, eliminates duplicate records, presorts for the lowest postage rates, and prints required labels, container tags and forms. MAILERS+4 works with any laser or inkjet printer to produce labels, tags, envelopes, and cards. There are optional components for higher-volume production applications: Delivery Point Validation - provides the highest level of address accuracy by verifying that an address actually exists… down to the apartment or suite number. GeoCoder - appends latitude/longitude, Census tract and block, and County FIPS code to the ZIP+4 level. Link addresses to valuable demographic data, determine distance and direction between any two locations, pinpoint customer locations, or find the closest dealer to a customer. Enhanced Line of Travel – sorts mail in an approximate carrier-casing sequence and provides mailers the means to access the Enhanced Carrier Route Basic Rate to save on postage. Canadian Addresser - verifies Canadian addresses, standardize them to Canada Post requirements, and print labels. Good news: you can do this at the same time you are processing your US addresses, no second pass. And MAILERS+4 will open and process files from your favorite contact and database management programs including Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Act!, Goldmine, FoxPro, dBase, ASCII and others. There’s no need to convert files, and no import/export hassles. More good news: Melissa Data is offering a 45-day evaluation trial. You may request a full working version of MAILERS+4 Pro series to prepare mail for up to six weeks at absolutely no cost. See you at the Expo! By Gail Nickel-Kailing October 7, 2004 -- It’s here! If you’re not in the mailing business, now is the time to take a closer look. The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) has told us that more than 58% of you view direct mail and direct marketing as a growth market. So now is the time to dig in and find out more about mailing and meet some of the folks who can help you be successful at it. Marketing executives – our customers, the users of most printed materials – are all feeling the same economic pressure we feel: to do more with less. The smart marketer is looking to reduce the “total cost of use” of print and is examining not just the cost of the printed page but also inventory costs, distribution costs, and the cost of waste and obsolescence. Print on demand and variable data printing are ways to achieve lower cost of use. Yes, we keep hearing that digital and variable data printing are the way to go, but now is the time to clarify something. Remember, what we call variable data printing, print customers call direct mail. Digital and variable data printing is not the only path to direct mail; long-run web printers produce a huge amount of direct mail. Those are the folks producing all those millions of LL Bean and Eddie Bauer catalogs! Lest we succumb to the fear that direct mail is on its way out, take note of a Household Mail Preference Study: Regular Mail vs. Electronic Mailcompleted and reported by Pitney Bowes, in December 2003. The findings? Simple and to the point: “Given a choice, the majority of those surveyed prefer to receive documents, letters and messages via regular mail.” Even though 62% of the respondents had access to e-mail at home! So you want to get into mailing? Choosing a mailing application provider just got easier; there are a number with whom you can meet at Graph Expo this year. Before you make that appointment to chat, here are a few suggestions to help you make your choice. You want a vendor who: Offers a variety of products to handle all the functions of mail list maintenance, such as list hygiene, duplicate detection, file import and export, and case conversion and personalization. You may even want to consider gender coding and geocoding (appending latitude and longitude). Is CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System)-certified by the USPS to standardize and ZIP+4 code mailing list addresses. Is PAVE (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation)-certified by the USPS to presort and prepare mailings and can help you qualify for the highest postal discounts available. Provides prompt updates to meet USPS requirements and on-going, long-term maintenance on their applications. Offers services such as high quality technical and customer support, as well as peer support through customer advisory councils, user groups, and on-line forums. Remember, your mailing software provider is your partner; they can help you track industry trends and comply with USPS standards. Mailing at Graph Expo 2004 First, for those of you who want to learn more about direct mail, direct marketing, and fulfillment, there are two excellent resources at the Expo. The US Postal Service will be glad to provide you with lots of useful information, so swing by booth # 3385. And if you’re considering a move into mailing and fulfillment, talk to the folks at the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, booth #3492. These are folks who have been there and done that! Now, for a quick review of the mailing application providers in the Mailing and Fulfillment Pavilion. Pitney Bowes/Group 1 Software: Booth #3474 (www.pb.com, www.g1.com) As I planned my tour of the Pavilion, I noted Pitney Bowes in one booth and Group 1 in another, however they have been combined into one. In April this year, Pitney Bowes announced they would be acquiring Group 1; now that the closing of the acquisition is immanent, G1 is a wholly owned subsidiary. Take a look at: Streamweaver – a print-stream manipulation tool that allows integration of data quality (read: postal standardization and ZIP+4 coding) and postal presorting functions. Code-1 – a suite of address validation, standardization and postal coding applications for the US, Canada, and 220 other countries. MailStream (US)/SortStream (Canada) – postal presorting applications And a number of other data management tools for manipulating databases. Check out the Global Mailing area in the PB/G1 booth where you will find software and hardware for lower volume mailers. Firstlogic: Booth #3571 (www.firstlogic.com) You will find three Postalsoft solutions, Postalsoft Professional Edition, Postalsoft Business Edition, and Postalsoft DeskTop Mailer, in the Firstlogic booth; each offering a different level of capability from the same basic technology. Address Correction and Encoding - Correct and standardize address components to increase mailing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. International Addressing - Standardize and enhance address data for over 190 different countries for improved accuracy and cost-efficiency. Data and List Management - Effectively manage and maintain your database. Merge/Purge - Eliminate duplicates and consolidate overlapping records for an accurate single customer view. Presorting - Achieve the highest available automated-mail postage discounts from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and other postal authorities around the world. Label Design and Printing - Create accurate, USPS-approved printed output in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) environment. BCC Software: Booth #3980 (www.bccsoftware.com) A tour of the BCC booth starts with Mail Manager 2010 high-performance software and Mail Manager 2010 LE, the “Lite Edition.” The LE version is designed for lower volume and occasional mailers. You will also find BCC Data Services, providing MOVE Update address-updating capabilities like USPS NCOALink, all accessible from within Mail Manager 2010. For barcoded tray tag solutions there’s TagIt Pro software, which works with any Windows-compatible printer. Satori Software: Booth #3589 (www.satorisoftware.com) Satori’s products feature USPS PAVE presorting, standardizing and cleaning addresses to meet CASS specifications, Move Update (change-of-address) processing, duplication elimination, and more. BulkMailer 5 is a stand-alone mailing solution that offers Import/Export - Data exchange with more options. Address Quality - CASS-certified address correction, real-time USPS change-of-address updating and duplication searching. Mail Sort - Complete, advanced support for First-Class, Periodicals and Standard Mail. Print Mail – A label designer using full graphical capabilities. Optional Add-Ons - Delivery Point Validation (DPV), Package Services sorts, Mixed Weights sorts, international data sets, and more. Good news: You can also get a Mac version – BulkMailer 4.6. MailRoom ToolKit is built on COM technology, which makes deployment easy within a number of different environments and simplifies ongoing maintenance. Installs instantly inside Microsoft Office (Access, Excel & Word) and includes its own toolbar. Offers compatibility with COM-friendly applications and databases. Has an interface accessible using VBA, C/C++, FoxPro, Paradox, SQL, Oracle, PowerBuilder, and others. Melissa Data: Booth #3289 (www.melissadata.com) Melissa Data’s MAILERS+4 verifies delivery addresses, eliminates duplicate records, presorts for the lowest postage rates, and prints required labels, container tags and forms. MAILERS+4 works with any laser or inkjet printer to produce labels, tags, envelopes, and cards. There are optional components for higher-volume production applications: Delivery Point Validation - provides the highest level of address accuracy by verifying that an address actually exists… down to the apartment or suite number. GeoCoder - appends latitude/longitude, Census tract and block, and County FIPS code to the ZIP+4 level. Link addresses to valuable demographic data, determine distance and direction between any two locations, pinpoint customer locations, or find the closest dealer to a customer. Enhanced Line of Travel – sorts mail in an approximate carrier-casing sequence and provides mailers the means to access the Enhanced Carrier Route Basic Rate to save on postage. Canadian Addresser - verifies Canadian addresses, standardize them to Canada Post requirements, and print labels. Good news: you can do this at the same time you are processing your US addresses, no second pass. And MAILERS+4 will open and process files from your favorite contact and database management programs including Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Act!, Goldmine, FoxPro, dBase, ASCII and others. There’s no need to convert files, and no import/export hassles. More good news: Melissa Data is offering a 45-day evaluation trial. You may request a full working version of MAILERS+4 Pro series to prepare mail for up to six weeks at absolutely no cost. See you at the Expo!

 

 

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