Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How Should I Send The File?

Those five words can prompt a 100 gigabyte response (or the size of several encyclopedias). But we'll limit the discussion to just a few important points.

GT Marketing has broad technical capabilities and can accommodate a variety of file types. So, when clients typically send their mailing list to us, we can read the list if it is properly formatted.

And just what is that proper format? Well, that's another 100 gigabyte answer. Essentially, it's that every piece of information has its own place in the database. For instance, all first names should be in the first name field, all last names in the last name field, etc. Separating a first and last name that is in the same field is difficult, and it's the kind of fix which adds extra steps and costs to the job.

With the data properly formatted and in the correct fields, you're assured that the list can be run through the different address checking processes that GT Marketing runs a list through. Such processes include checking the list against the National Change of Address database to confirm a recipient's address hasn't changed. GT also runs other processes to ensure that the the name and address is formatted to USPS requirements so that the mail piece goes quickly and efficiently to its destination.

We generally recommend a maximum of 50 characters per line of address, but the size of the mail piece will ultimately determine the number of characters which can fit on a line. For instance, a postcard can only fit about 30 characters per line.

One of the simplest things you can do with the file of names is to open the file. Using Excel or Access, look at the data. Are the names in one field? Are the greetings and salutations in separate fields? Are there two address fields for street and apartment number? And how long is the data in the fields?

Following these few simple checks will save time and money, while ensuring that the names and addresses are in the best shape for the success of your mailing.