5 Pointers for Zapping Dupes
July 16, 2008

When every budget dollar counts, marketers can’t afford any campaign profit leaks due to bad data hygiene. In addition to cutting costs, eliminating duplicate records—both in your customer database and when bumping up against prospecting files in the merge/purge process—helps keep the tarnish of social irresponsibility off your public image. Mike Yapuncich, vice president of product development, list processing at global data solutions firm Experian, shared the following advice for rooting out dupes during Target Marketing’s recent All About: Sustainability webinar, “Manage Your List the Green Way.” 1. Look for female married/maiden name duplicates. 2. Cross-reference first, middle and last names to find more

Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk
July 1, 2008

Automating Mail Campaigns IWCO Direct, a Chanhassan, Minn.-based provider of integrated direct mail production services and marketing solutions, recently introduced AMP, which stands for automated marketing program. Built to address marketers’ growing demand for trigger mailings and response management services, AMP is an extension of IWCO’s existing solutions that power year-end summary programs and loyalty mailing platforms. Some of the types of campaigns that AMP will drive include trigger mail, event marketing and loyalty programs. Web: Faster Data Cleanup Wesley Chapel, Fla.-based DataMentors, a data quality and management solutions company, has launched NetEffect, an Internet-based, real-time transactional cleansing and matching solution.

Stat of the Month: Financial Services
June 26, 2008

The slowing economy affects all direct mail, of course, but the sector that always takes the biggest (and “direct”) hit is financial services. According to research complied by Chicago–based Mintel Comperemedia, mail from banking, credit card, investment and mortgage loan companies dropped a significant 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same period a year ago. It seems banks and consumer lenders are reassessing their marketing to credit-stressed consumers, and both may also be peeling back their mail volume because of lower-than-usual response rates. Among financial services companies, credit card issuers slashed their direct mail the most, as their mail

2 Tips to Avoid Soaring Parcel Rates
April 16, 2008

When the U.S. Postal Service restructured postage rates last May, some businesses took a wait-and-see approach, hoping the organization would change its mind and return to the old system of weight-based pricing. But the USPS made it clear that it wouldn’t back down. Instead, another price hike slated for next month will further widen the cost gap between automated mail, like letters and flats, and nonautomated parcels. Companies that mail large volumes of lightweight objects have been hit the hardest under the new system. Those that haven’t adapted their mailings to meet the new requirements have seen postage costs increase 40 percent since last

Nuts & Bolts: Postal
April 1, 2008

Sophisticated mailers triple bid printing and lettershop services, buy paper direct and seek out volume discounts, but often stop short at maximizing, or even fully understanding, logistics methods, tools and techniques. Here are six places to tap for unrealized savings: 1) Deliver directly. The closer mail is delivered to its ultimate destination, the deeper the discount. For instance, if you can deliver your mail to one of 29 Bulk Mail Centers nationwide, or even one of the 400-plus Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs), it saves the post office time and money—and it will pass those savings on to its customers. There are more than 38,000

Nuts & Bolts: Global Update
March 1, 2008

China Post boasts a long history, with more than 3,000 years of national post, more than 500 years of private post and more than 100 years of contemporary national post. But still today, the concept of “post office” for this organization is very different than that of the USPS. For example, China Post is also one of the largest banks in the world. And while its customers have one of the highest savings rates globally, Chinese consumers physically go to their local branches to make remittances for other banking services. In the midst of a rapidly emerging marketplace, China Post sought to create

In the Same Boat
March 1, 2008

More than a year has slipped away since postal reform legislation was enacted. During that time, a rate case developed under pre-reform rules was enacted and decimated flats mail; overall mail volume was down for the U.S. Postal Service’s first fiscal quarter of the year; and the Federal Trade Commission reported that the USPS is hampered by regulations requiring it to use more resources than necessary to support its products and services. So, the real work of postal reform continues. To get some perspective on what mailers can expect in the near future, Target Marketing called on Leo Raymond, director of postal affairs for

Prep Now for ’08 Move Update Changes
February 13, 2008

Undeliverable-as-addressed mail costs the USPS nearly $2 billion annually to process. That’s a financial burden the organization cannot continue to shoulder while maintaining a healthy postal delivery system that provides benefit to all stakeholders. To that end, business mailers are being asked to upgrade their role in using addresses that are clean and deliverable. As of Nov. 23, 2008, the USPS’ Move Update standards will require mailers to: - increase the minimum frequency of Move Update processing from 185 calendar days to 95 calendar days prior to the date of mailing, which means mailers should have scrubbed their lists as early as Aug. 20, 2008; - apply

Editor’s Notes: Game On
December 1, 2007

Tongues were wagging at DMA07 in October, following Direct Marketing Association (DMA) President and CEO John A. Greco, Jr.’s announcement of the organization’s new Commitment to Consumer Choice (CCC) program. The program also could be referred to as “Consumers Compel Competition.” After all, steps that restrict a company’s ability to communicate marketing offers directly to consumers pretty much require that company to up its game on other levels to avoid a falloff in revenues. But as the DMA knows, marketers don’t have much of an alternative. Fifteen states proposed state do-not-mail registries or other limitations on direct mail in 2007, a 375 percent increase over

Make Sure Your Mail Gets Delivered
November 1, 2007

You’re planning a mailing to a list of customers or prospects. You have spent a lot of time thinking up a really great offer and a clever creative piece. You get a good list and mail it. Let’s say the response is poor. What went wrong? The chances are good that it was the processing of the list. Most marketers don’t seem to know this. Twenty four percent of the Standard Class mail given to the U.S. Postal Service is undeliverable-as-addressed because the address or name is wrong. While you were asleep, the USPS became very efficient and mechanized. It requires that addresses on bulk