EVEN THOUGH mailing and database management services have been around since the 1980s, a substantial number of printers expanded into this highly technical (and profitable) market as competition heated up with the new millennium. Today, more printers are continuing to invest in these capabilities in spite of—or, perhaps, because of—the bleak economy. After all, the weaker the financial outlook, the more important it is for service providers to ensure a bigger bang for their clients’ shrinking print dollars. And, in the world of mailing services, the more accurate and targeted the database, the higher the response rate. The higher the response, the better the marketer’s ROI. Ultimately, the key is list hygiene.
Baltimore-based Vertis Communications has been providing data management and list hygiene services for 25 years. Art Hall, vice president of integrated data solutions, reports that recent changes in USPS requirements have Vertis’ clients asking for more consultation on how to comply with the new regulations to increase their postal savings.
Certainly savings are important, but does that mean services like list hygiene become more important during tough economic times, when marketers are cutting back on printing spend? “The cleaner your addresses, the better chance for your message getting into the hands of your target audience. This also reduces the number of pieces to be printed, the number of undeliverable pieces and the postage required for those pieces,” Hall says.
“And the new postal regulations require more hygiene processes to be performed in order to obtain the best postal discounts available. Without the postal discounts, the postage incurred could cost more than the printing of the actual mailing.” In the past, Hall notes, a certain amount of non-deliverable pieces were not only tolerated, but often expected. However, companies are now coming to Vertis seeking solutions that can help them get to 100 percent deliverability.