Let me share with you a scenario that happens every so often when I am giving a customer an estimate or an invoice.They will ask me about the line item simply named “data processing.” So what exactly is data processing? I’m gonna let you in on a little secret…
The list the customer gives us doesn’t magically transform into the list that is mailed out!
Allow me to walk you through the journey of your list. When our customer service representative receives the list from the customer, it is put into a designated folder associated with a job number on our server database. Once the paperwork is made up by the rep, the data processing department is the next stop along the route as the job passes through the shop. One of our data processors accesses the list with our advanced software and then begins to follow a series of steps and check offs that have been developed over years of experience. This list processing checklist covers each and every detail that goes into a developing a final mailed list.
For example, some of these items include: removing duplicates, correcting fields, removing floating fields, updating addresses from NCOA, unifying the case of the text, checking the length of the longest record, postage verification, etc… All in all, there are 31 different items on this checklist that they work through by the time they are done with the list.
This eliminates any opportunity of error for grabbing the wrong list, including bad records and addresses, or even sending an incomplete list. Working through this process can take anywhere from 45 minutes for a cleaned up list, to four or five hours for a complex, messy list. Other factors that can add to the length of the data processing are how many fields are being included with each record or the amount of lists being merged together to form the final mailing list.
If the customer’s spreadsheet list has four or five different tabs or several excel files, that can take a lot of time for our data processors to import into the mailing software we use to presort the lists.
Well, as you can tell, there are a lot of little steps that are taken to ensure your mailed lists are as accurate as possible. Because these steps are executed correctly, we can provide the best mailing list for your direct mail campaign.