Direct Mail Tips & Insights

3 Ways to Make Your Direct Mail Data Processing Faster


Managing diret mail projects can be challenging. If you aren’t careful, they can eat up a ton of time, money, and resources, especially if you aren’t organized.

Faster Direct Mail Data Processing.jpgAlthough working with a reputable vendor can help immensely in the direct mail data process, there are also some ways to make your vendor’s life easier, which can save you and your business time and money.

Here are some helpful behind-the-scenes hints that will help you and your vendor execute an efficient direct mail data processing hand-off and fulfillment.

1. Make Sure Your Vendor Requires NCOA and Deduping

A clean list can ensure more targeted recipients as well as save money on postage. Some processes are required by USPS and others are recommended. Coding Accuracy Support System or CASS certification is required with every mailing. It evaluates the accuracy of address formats such as 5-digit zip, zip+4 and others. Pre-sorting is also required for sorting the list order into delivery areas and as detailed as the postman’s walk sequence. NCOA (National Change of Address) is another required process. However, it only needs to be run on a list every 90 days.
A highly recommended task is to de-dupe a list. This process removes duplicate names or multiple recipients residing at the same address. This can certainly save money on postage but more importantly it targets your recipient. Multiple copies of a mailing campaign in a single household can lose its impact when received in one mailing.

HINT: A fully cleansed list can save you enough money in postage so you can repeat the mailing again in the near future. Repetitive mailing campaigns increase your chance of piquing your customers interest.


2. Focus on the Zip Codes

When an assortment of different zip codes are purchased each list has to be imported separately to compile the full mailing list.

HINT: If this is a regular mailing technique you use, then consider researching the top performing zip codes for your message and focus on building that list out, creating a 'house' list with that segment, and/or having your direct mail vendor further cleanse the mailing list. Taking the time to compile a strong list from an assortment of zip codes rather than buying different types of zip codes each time will save time and money on both ends.

3. Separate the Parts of a Name

 If a list with names is given to your direct mail provider as one full name, “Jade Smith” for example, it is harder for the software to detect the separation of the two names. This can make the process longer due to the inconsistency. It is much better to provide the direct mail vendor with names in the following format: salutation, first name, last name. This makes the process faster and makes for a more readable and personal piece.

HINT: An added bonus is the ability to call out the first or last name for further personalization.


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