Monthly eBulletin

The eBulletin is BCC Software's monthly e-mail newsletter, discussing the most up-to-date product release information, industry events and tradeshows, and other postal industry topics. Subscribe today!

Contact BCC Software for more details on any of the articles in the eBulletin. Just Let Us Know: How Can We Help?

sales@bccsoftware.com
Phone: 800.337.0442
Fax: 585.272.9222

Top Social Posts for March

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If you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you’re missing out on news and information about BCC Software and important, real-time industry news. Here are the three most popular posts from March:

You can click a button below to follow us and have this great content delivered to you directly.

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If you or your company has interesting news or educational content you think we should consider sharing with our audience, we’d love to hear from you at marketing@bccsoftware.com.

NCOALink vs Address Change Service: How to Choose

Posted by on 1:16 pm in eBulletin | Comments Off on NCOALink vs Address Change Service: How to Choose

Although NCOALink® and Address Change Service (ACS), are both Change-of-Address (COA) services maintained by the USPS®, each one serves a different purpose and can provide different results.

The USPS recommends “to use NCOALink  prior to the mailing and ACS to pick up the additional moves and the reasons for nondelivery other than a move.” It is possible for a COA to never match using NCOALink, which can happen due to various reasons, making ACS an important step in data cleansing.

The matching logic also differs between these two processes. According to the USPS, “name and address matching rules are strict when processing a mailing list through NCOALink so if the name or address on your list does not meet the strict rules defined, or if the COA was submitted after the most recent product update, it will not update the list. The match rate runs from 70 to 80 percent of the possible moves. The matching logic is controlled by USPS regulations and is designed to prevent mismatches.”

Still, there are many benefits to using NCOALink processing:

  • It meets Move Update requirements for first-time lists to qualify for discounted First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail®
  • Addresses are updated prior to the mailing, reducing return mail and/or forwarding delays
  • Strict matching rules ensure accuracy of updates being provided

ACS supplies COA information after the mailing. It is meant to be used as a secondary Move Update source. Also, “ACS notices are detected and generated by one of two basic methods – via automated equipment and process, or as the result of Carrier identification.” Please refer to this month's other eBulletin article Address Change Service Explained and/or MTAC – Best Practices for ACS, for further information on this process.

If you have any further questions, please call Data Marketing Services at 1.800.337.0372.

Address Change Service (ACS) Explained

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Recently the USPS® made one of its most efficient Move Update methods free when used with a Full Service mailing. The sheer variety of options and possibilities for ACS can make it feel daunting to navigate, however, the benefits are worth it once you determine which of the dozens of service options best fit your needs.

First, before we even delve in to the different service options available, we will discuss the three primary ACS types.

  • Traditional ACS is the original offering, but does not fully leverage the IMb® and requires printing the ACS Keyline on each piece. This harkens back to well before any of the other ACS types, but despite its age is still an acceptable way to get the most current Move Update information from the USPS. Like all of the ACS types, this uses a Keyline which uniquely identifies each mailpiece in the mailing, so that results can be easily mapped back. In BCC Mail Manager, this is simply called the ACS Keyline. It has a unique look, with # wrapping the alphanumeric code.

    ACS Keyline

  • OneCode ACS utilizes the IMb for ACS information and is only available for basic mail pieces. The keyline is actually the IMb serial number, and nothing additional needs to be printed on the mail piece. This uses the Mail Manager “OneCode ACS Keyline” field to populate the serial number in the IMb. This code is also used to link the results of the ACS service back to the individual record.
  • Full Service ACS is just like OneCode, all of the relevant information is contained within the barcode, but it is only available for Full Service pieces. It uses the OneCode ACS Keyline to populate the serial number and uniquely identify each mail piece. Full Service ACS is offered by the USPS free of charge, as long as the mailing itself is Full Service. Although it is “free” there still may be fees assessed, depending on the service, if that service involves returning pieces to you. This is done at the full single piece rate.

To complicate matters, each type of ACS outlined above has three or more Ancillary Services variations for how mail pieces and return data are handled. To further complicate matters, each Mail Class has a different set of available endorsements. The three main types of Ancillary Services are:

  • Change Service Requested – focuses on getting you the updated address information. There are two variations, Option 1 and Option 2. With Option 1, you will only receive the new address or reason for non-delivery, any errant mail pieces are discarded. With Option 2, as long as the move occurred within the last 12 months, your piece is forwarded and a notification is generated. The mailpiece is discarded for any moves outside of those 12 months, and only a notice is generated.
  • Address Service Requested – focuses on getting the mail piece to the intended recipient when possible, and of course getting you the updated information. Both options forward the mail piece if the move is within the last 12 months while generating a notice of the new address. For moves that are between 13 and 48 months, the results vary by options. With Option 1, you get the piece back with the corrected information affixed and no ACS notice; while Option 2 generates a notice, and sends back the piece with updated information. All Nixie or undeliverable pieces are handled in a similar fashion, with Option 1 sending you just the returned mail with reason for return affixed and Option 2 doing the same but also generating an electronic notice
  • Return Service Requested – always returns the mail piece in question, and requires a printed endorsement. Option 1 generates no electronic notice (but again the reason for the return or new address is affixed). Option 2 generates a notice, and also has the information affixed to the returned piece.
  • Temp-return service – is unique to First-Class Mail®. It behaves exactly like Return Service except it has the ability to forward information for Temporary moves, without generating any notice for the mailer.

Periodicals have a number of additional caveats, and in truth, almost all Mail Class, Ancillary Service combinations are in some way unique, but hopefully this primer has assisted you in deciding which ACS type and services are worth exploring for your mailings.

As always, please contact BCC Software Customer Support at 800.624.5234 with any questions regarding ACS services, or for help in setting up BCC Mail Manager.

Bird’s Eye View Direct Marketing

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Have you ever marveled at how some direct marketers seem to have an eagle eye when it comes to targeting the ideal customers? You can too with Rooftop Geocoding service from BCC Software.

By converting traditional street addresses into geographic coordinates of latitude and longitude, you can pinpoint the exact location for delivering your message directly to your most desired customers.

Here are other ways that Rooftop Geocoding can be used to improve your direct mail efforts:

  • Avoid sending mail pieces to invalid prospects (ex: window replacement deals to renters at apartment communities).
  • Identify where your best customers live so you can profile prospects that have similar attributes.
  • Create profiles of your best customers as to where they live or where they live in relation to a retail outlet or other services.
  • Build better targeted campaigns for store openings and regional events.
  • Map locations in relation to where your customer lives and where product is available.
  • Identify the taxing jurisdiction or school district of your best customers.

The service is based on the combined intelligence of multiple sources for the most accurate and precise results. As part of our service, Census Tract, Block Groups, and Block Numbers are also appended. The USPS uses information pulled from the last census and does not have the accuracy of our Rooftop Geocoding service.

BCC Software can help put your company’s direct mailing efforts on the map with our Rooftop Geocoding service.

Coming Soon: Rooftop Geocoding for Mail Manager products

Soon to be available from the DMS wizard in Mail Manager products, Rooftop-Level Geocode processing adds the exact latitude and the longitude of the address to each record, putting the power of targeted and personalized communications in your hands.

Watch for more news and other information on when this powerful service will be available to you.

Dearing, Lien Join Efforts to Educate Industry on Informed Visibility

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USPS Director to lend first-hand knowledge of innovative program to webcast attendees

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – March 20, 2017: BCC Software is pleased to announce a special edition of its monthly webcast, Lien In, on April 4, 2017, focused on the Informed Visibility® initiative featuring Stephen Dearing, Director of Corporate Reporting, for the United States Postal Service®. Dearing will join host, president of BCC Software, Chris Lien for a live, hour-long educational session, helping attendees understand Informed Visibility’s impact on the print and mail industry. Click to register for the webcast.

“Steve Dearing has been on the forefront of Informed Visibility, and is an utmost authority of the current testing and future roll-out,” said Lien. “Informed Visibility is important for modern mailing service providers to understand and Steve will provide tremendous insights. BCC Software is honored to have him join the Lien In webcast and share with our audience.”

Dearing is a 30-plus year veteran of the USPS®. His work focuses on new approaches to leverage technology and data to create business intelligence to enhance service performance measurement and diagnostics for letters, flats, and packages; improve understanding and performance in postal operations, provide innovative products and services to customers, and increase the understanding of postal costs, product use and resource use. He also manages the key information systems supporting letters, flats, and packages as well as barcoding and other identification standards that support visibility initiatives.

Informed Visibility is for commercial mailers who are tracking barcoded letters, flats, bundles, handling units, and containers. According to the USPS, Informed Visibility offers the following advantages:

  • Event-driven internal measurement of all mail
  • Real-time service performance diagnostics
  • Predictive workloads and mail inventory management of mail and packages

Read more at the Informed Visibility PostalPro™ webpage.

Lien In brings hundreds of professionals in the print and mail industry together for a monthly educational webcast. Launched in January 2017, these free broadcasts have covered topics ranging from the Mailer Scorecard to staffing in the current era of direct communications. Click here to register for this special edition of Lien In.

About BCC Software, LLC: Based in Rochester, NY, BCC Software creates innovative postal software solutions and provides extensive data marketing services. The company was founded in 1978 and employs approximately 80 people. More information on BCC Software can be found at www.bccsoftware.com or by calling 800.624.5234.

BCC Software Media Contact: Shawn Ryan, Vice President, Product Strategy, shawnr@bccsoftware.com, 585.341.3357

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© 2017 BCC Software, LLC. All rights reserved. BCC Software, the BCC Software logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of BCC Software, LLC. The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service: Informed Visibility, United States Postal Service and USPS.

 

Top Social Posts for February

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If you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you’re missing out on news and information about BCC Software and important, real-time industry news. Here are the three most popular posts from February:

You can click a button below to follow us and have this great content delivered to you directly.

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If you or your company has interesting news or educational content you think we should consider sharing with our audience, we’d love to hear from you at marketing@bccsoftware.com.

Guest Article: A Message for Direct Mail Innovators

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Are you on the cutting edge of direct mail trends?

If you’re a mail/print shop or marketer, do you focus on giving your customers only what they ask for? Or do you present them with additional ideas on how to send out better and more effective direct mail campaigns?

The answers to these questions can identify those companies that are growing and defining the industry.

There’s an interesting article on the “5 Hottest Trends in the Direct Mail industry” put out by list wholesaler, Mailers Haven. These trends run the gamut from targeted saturation data to “nthing” data according to postage density.

  1. Micro-Selects. The days of targeting income and age are slowly fading as more and more “micro-selects” (a.k.a. Propensities) are becoming available. Imagine targeting the exact prospects you are looking for. Results have proven to increase significantly – as high as 14%.

Check out the other tips from Mailers Haven here.

Now’s the Time for Investment: Free Option Trial

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Have you been wanting to try a new option with your current BCC Mail Manager software, but you are unsure if it’s worth the investment? Well, now is the time! We are currently running a trial option promotion through May 15, 2017, where you can try a BCC Mail Manager option for free!

Consider TaskMaster – a powerful automated scripting tool for one-touch processing. TaskMaster is a very powerful tool that we have successfully set up in hundreds of companies. With this easy-to-use tool, you can record repetitive steps within your mailing process saving you time and reducing ‘human’ entry errors. Read more about the power of TaskMaster in this case study.

Here are some other options to consider:

  • Bound Printed Matter/Parcel Select
  • Customized Market Mail *
  • Data Preflight
  • Firm Packaging
  • Library/Media Mail
  • Mail.dat
  • Manifesting: Choose between First-Class or Standard Class
  • Palletization: Choose from First-Class, Package-Based, Sack-Based or Tray-Based.
  • Priority Mail

If you are still looking for the ‘catch’ of this offer, there isn’t one. We want to help you make the best investment in your company by offering you the opportunity to try a new option free. Click here to begin the trial offer process.

*USPS® prior approval is required to mail this class.

Every Door Direct Mail: The BCC Mail Manager Advantage

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With the rise in popularity of Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM) many mailers are commenting on how difficult it is to get accurate counts for their routes. Combined with the fairly recent change where every route in an EDDM mailing must achieve the Saturation level to qualify, this can be quite frustrating. However, this can be resolved with a little known Mail Manager feature, repeat counts on import.

When you see the presort error indicating one or more of your routes has insufficient pieces to qualify for Saturation in your EDDM mailing, you are faced with the daunting task of tracking down the route that is lacking. This can be done by comparing each route to the EDDM list on USPS.com, but depending on the size of your list this might be a Herculean task. Instead, we suggest you use our repeat counts import feature for creating a secondary list. That list can be used to find the routes that are not populated correctly.

  1. Create a new list, ideally from the same template as your EDDM list.
  2. Import from your existing EDDM list, assigning every field except the Business/Residential flag and Walk Sequence.
  3. From the Options tab in the Import Wizard, check “List has repeat count field” and set your repeat field and maximum repeats values to match those in your EDDM list.
  4. Once imported, confirm you have one record per stop, not per route.
  5. Go to Maintenance > Modify Selected Records, right click the Walk Sequence field and select ‘Calculate Walk Sequence”.
  6. Presort the list as an ECR/WS mailing, without repeats.
  7. Compare the totals from your EDDM list quantity or the quantity for each route on the USPS Qualification Report to the totals for each route listed on the right-hand side of the Qualification Report.
  8. Update the quantities in your EDDM list, and run the presort.

This allows you to not only update the routes, but to update them using the data identical to what Mail Manager uses when validating the routes.

As always, please contact customer support at 800.624.5234 with any questions or if you need any assistance setting up this process.

What To Expect: Information Exchange 2017

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Information Exchange is BCC Software's annual user event. Hosted in Rochester, New York, at beautiful Brook-Lea Country Club, this event is a benefit exclusively for BCC Software customers.

The event kicks off Monday, July 31, 2017 with a complimentary, welcome reception at Grappa, a casual Italian restaurant located at this year's selected hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester.

On Tuesday, August 1, guests begin a day filled with educational seminars, presentations, networking, and of course — terrific food. All meals will be provided on-site at Brook-Lea Country Club. Transportation to and from the Hilton Garden Inn is also provided.

The event continues Wednesday, back at Brook-Lea Country Club. Workshops run until midday when all guests return to hear the company's Roadmap Preview, presented by president Chris Lien. The conference concludes early Wednesday afternoon. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, along with transportation to the Hilton Garden Inn or airport.

New this year, for customers looking to take their product knowledge to the next level, BCC Software is hosting an optional third day dedicated to hands-on training on Thursday, August 3. Transportation to training from the hotel will be provided, as well as breakfast and lunch. Training will last until approximately 2 p.m., where then transportation back to the hotel or to the airport will be provided. Seats are limited for these training sessions. The fee for the training classes is $150 per attendee.

Curious about what is included in the price of admission? Let us help!

  • Admission. The admission fee covers your attendance to all of the two-plus days of expert-led workshops, in-depth presentations, and unique networking opportunities with fellow BCC Software users.
  • Food. All meals are included in your conference fee. From breakfast on Tuesday till lunch on Wednesday (and more if you opt for the training day!) will be provided. One of the terrific benefits of Information Exchange's conference site, Brook-Lea Country Club, is a one-on-one collaboration with the staff. This isn't another cookie-cutter conference. The chef will be able to accommodate any dietary needs or restrictions to make your experience the best it can be. This allows you to focus on the materials and not worry about not finding a suitable dining experience.
  • Transporation. Rochester, New York is a very commuter-friendly city, but if you will be traveling in by plane for the conference, the Hilton Garden Inn provides complimentary transportation to and from the Rochester International Airport. If you are driving, your parking will also be complimentary. BCC Software also includes daily transportation to and from the hotel to the country club. At the end the event, BCC Software will happily ensure you get where you need to be, whether the airport or hotel. Local customers can also take advantage of complimentary parking at the country club each day of the event.

We are looking forward to another wonderful Information Exchange. Please view more information at bccsoftware.com/informationexchange. For additional questions, please contact Alanna Stage at marketing@bccsoftware.com.

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