Three USPS Insider Tips for Effective Direct Mail
October 24, 2007

As a member of the panel speaking on “Maximizing Customer Engagement in Direct Mail” at last week’s DMA07 Conference and Exhibition, Carlton Shufflebarger, brand manager of direct mail for the USPS, shared some tips to help mailers increase impact and response. 1. Create mail and online synergy. Send catalogs and mailings to online shoppers who might enjoy receiving product information this way. “In sending someone a catalog, you create a stronger online prospect. They are more likely to visit the site, spend more time on the site and more likely to make purchases,” Shufflebarger said. Catalogs also discourage comparison shopping because when shoppers visit

Watch Three Key Fields To Keep Your Data Clean
October 3, 2007

You may be surprised to learn that just three key fields in your customer database will contain most of the mistakes in your file. They are the name, address and date fields. This information often is entered by people not trained in data accuracy and is subject to mangling when reformatted. Why do these fields deserve your attention? Because mistakes will cost you in undeliverable, wasted materials, postage and lost sales. Name Field: Names are subject to phonetic misspellings and typos. Even if they’re wrong, they’re still deliverable. However, an incorrect name does little to build a relationship with a customer and can result

Tighten Your Mail Programs with Merge/Purge Insights
September 19, 2007

Faced with the realities of postal rate hikes and increasing production costs, marketers must constantly evaluate their mailing procedures to identify incremental sources of profitability. Taking a closer look at the merge/purge process can provide valuable insight for uncovering additional “hidden” benefits in your mail programs. The merge/purge process serves as the basic mechanism to match records across list sources and eliminate duplicate records. While this process seems trivial, most marketers have failed to recognize—and benefit from—some of the targeting opportunities that can boost profitability. To optimize the merge/purge process and leverage additional insights, marketers must focus on five dimensions: List Source Classification and

Mayo Clinic Publications
September 1, 2007

Mayo Clinic, a household name for consumers researching health and wellness information, strives to maximize brand reputation with its more than 900,000 paid publication subscribers. According to James Hale, director of consumer marketing, high brand name recognition, high-quality products and “a team of professionals dedicated to creating successful marketing programs” helped the company achieve about $30 million in product sales last year. The company’s two newsletters are Mayo Clinic Health Letter, which is aimed at a 60-plus age demographic, and Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Source, which is focused on the mature female market. Mayo Clinic Health Solutions also publishes a line of nearly 20 consumer

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
September 1, 2007

On a mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) regularly conducts market research to target its audience as well as to develop and test all of its services. From fundraising programs to patient education and support initiatives, market research keeps the society in touch with its members’ needs. At the core of its membership are people for whom struggling to survive is an everyday reality, and so the reader surveys in its direct mail reflect that urgency. In addition, LLS works to leverage the large pool of consumers who take part in its Team in Training fundraising runs. Developing

September 1, 2007

The full list of 2007’s Top 50 Mailers (excludes catalogers) Company Sales/Revenue Industry List Manager(s) (in millions) Citigroup $146,558 Financial Does not rent Bank of America $117,017 Financial Does not rent JP Morgan Chase $99,845 Financial Does not rent 4 Sprint/Nextel $41,028 Telecommunications Does not rent American Express $27,136 Financial/Media Millard Group Washington Mutual $26,454 Financial Does not rent Capital One $15,191 Financial Does not rent Time Inc. $5,846 Media Millard Group/ Belardi-Ostroy Inc. 4 Pitney Bowes Co. $5,730 Business Services MeritDirect Salvation Army $5,300 Nonprofit Does not rent 4 Discover Card Services Inc. $5,000 Financial Does not rent Hearst Magazines $4,550 Media Direct Media International American Red Cross $3,919 Nonprofit The Carol Enters List Co./ American List Counsel The New York Times Company $3,289.9 Media American List Counsel BMG/Columbia House $2,400 Media Specialists Marketing Services/American List Counsel Reader’s Digest Association $2,386.2* Media American List Counsel/ The Catamount Group 4 Scholastic Inc. $2,283.8 Media Specialists Marketing Services/ Millard Group/List Services Corp. Dow Jones & Company $1,783.9 Media American List Counsel Meredith Corp. $1,600 Media American List Counsel/ Millard Group Company Sales/Revenue Industry List Manager(s) (in millions) Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Society $1,623 Nonprofit Direct Media International Conde Nast Publications $1,400 Media Millard

Nuts & Bolts: Tech Talk
August 1, 2007

Bill Pay on the Go A recent Harris Interactive survey reports that 35 percent of consumers pay bills online. Now, mobile bill pay is making online payments even easier. Cyphermint recently partnered with financial services company Fidelity Express to provide mobile bill payment services through PayCash Mobile via Fidelity XpressPay. After registering at, consumers can initiate a payment from their cell phones or schedule a mobile bill pay alert. When a payment is due, customers receive an alert and can pay with a single click from a Fidelity mWallet, or mobile wallet, account managed from any cell phone, personal computer or PayCash-enabled

Mailers Go Multichannel, Or Else
August 1, 2007

To remain in your current line of work, imagine you had to move to New York City. It doesn’t matter if the move provokes mostly fear or excitement; similarly, it doesn’t make any difference whether you’ve got deep pockets or are low on funds. You don’t have a choice—you’re going to the Big Apple! Rents are high and competition is fierce, so you have to take on some roommates and find a way to make it work. But do you hope to simply survive, or succeed? That’s life for direct marketers, including mailers, today. Most companies have at least tested multichannel campaigns by now—direct

USPS® Certifies Melissa Data with NCOALink® Full Service Provider License
July 11, 2007

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (June 19, 2007) — Melissa Data ( is pleased to announce it has been licensed as an NCOALink Full Service Provider by the USPS® (United States Postal Service®). As one of only a handful of Full Service Providers, Melissa Data can update third party mailing lists and customer files against the full 48-month change of address file containing over 160 million change-of-address records, as opposed to the 18-month file provided to Limited Service licensees. “We are very proud to be a certified Full Service Provider,” says Chris Rowe, vice president of data enhancement services at Melissa

Straight Talk: Do Not Pass!
July 1, 2007

Last year, four states had do-not-mail registry legislation on the books; to date, the number has increased to 15. While three have withdrawn their bills, this trend nonetheless alarms direct mailers. Add in the growing concern that the Federal Trade Commission will institute a do-not-mail list like the National Do Not Call Registry, and you’ve got downright panic. After all, nearly 47 percent of all print is delivered by the USPS, and advertising mail makes up 30 percent of its total revenue. Fortunately, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is on the case. The DMA is actively working with state business groups and communicating with