You have decided to do a direct mail campaign, do you know where to start? Every campaign should start with a mailing list that has been run through list hygiene. So you have 20,000 customers in your database and you think that you want to mail to all of them. How about the ones that have moved and the ones who are on your list more than once. Do you have husband and wife on the list but you only want one to go to each household? I have had customers tell me that they have spent hours taking out duplicates and working on their list. You really don’t have to do that. Our software can take out duplicates and list only one per household, if desired, in minutes. Do you know what an NCOAlink update is? This is the National Change of Address database maintained by the United States Postal Service. We are licensed to have access to the NCOA database. For our customers, we run a FREE NCOAlink update on every list that we mail. If someone has moved and their forwarding request has not expired, we can provide their new address. The NCOAlink update also takes out addresses that are deliverable for various reasons. The addresses that cannot be cleaned up are sent back to us and codes are assigned so that we know why the address cannot be cleaned up. We send those to our customer, on request, so that they can take them out of their database. The USPS requires that a list be cleaned up before doing an automated mailing. This is not required on straight first class.
The list is cleaned up and the 20,000 customers that you thought you had are now down to 18,000 because you had 2000 bad addresses. This is good news because you are not paying to print, paying mailing labor and postage on 2000 addresses that were never going to be delivered.
Now that you know how many you are mailing, you should proceed with getting a printing estimate, a mailing labor estimate and if you send the list to us, we can give you postage to the penny. Now you know exactly how much your mailing campaign is going to cost. After you know the cost you are ready to design the mailing. We prefer our customers to let us design to insure that all USPS specifications are met. However, if we are not designing the mailing piece we would like to check it over before printing to see if it meets the USPS requirements. The weight of the paper can affect the mailing so it is best to let us advise you on paper before finalizing the campaign.