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

Execute Informed Delivery Campaigns through BCC Mail Manager

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The most recent and exciting buzz from the USPS® is Informed Delivery®. This service provides consumers with scanned images of their mailpieces via email before it arrives in the mailbox each day. It also allows mailers to submit a designed image and link along with each mailing so that the addressee can preview and directly access special offers electronically. This eliminates the need to include a complex and rarely scanned QR code on mailpieces, as the consumer can now click directly through the image in their email to see the site and offer.

BCC Software team members have consumer experience with Informed Delivery first hand. We receive an email each morning around 8:00am EST from the USPS entitled the “Informed Delivery Digest.” In normal circumstances, this email features scanned greyscale images of our daily mail, pulled from the USPS sorting machines. This is done for every letter sized mailing. Occasionally we will get an image of a mailpiece that has links and color photos, including one of the mailpiece itself, and one of the offer contained within – these mail pieces are part of a campaign created by a mailer.

Interested in leveraging Informed Delivery for your next marketing campaign?

To create a campaign within BCC Mail Manager™, you need to provide the Mailer ID (MID) being used and, potentially, a serial number or date range to narrow down the scope. When your Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb™) and mailpiece are scanned for Informed Delivery, both the MID and serial number will connect to your campaign and populate the appropriate image(s) and link for the consumer to receive in their Informed Delivery Digest. It is recommended that you create the campaign at least two days prior to the start date to ensure everything is setup and linked correctly.

Using Mail.dat®, you can include the campaign details right in your electronic submission, allowing you to create the campaign when you enter the mailing into PostalOne!® If you choose to go this route, you will need to provide all the relevant campaign information within the Mail.dat wizard on the Informed Delivery page. The first step is to select the Informed Delivery checkbox on page six, which will add an entire new page to the end of your Mail.dat wizard where all the campaign information will need to be filled in.

This page is broken out into two sections – Campaign Information and Referenceable Mail. Campaign information is where the details live, including the title of your campaign and the code which allows you to distinguish between multiple parts of a single campaign. It also includes the display name, different from the campaign name, which is what will show up for the consumer as the title of the mailing. Lastly, it has the serial number or date range selection which will allow you match pieces from your MID to each specific campaign.

The Referenceable Mail section is where you fill in all the details of the mailpiece. The template code allows you to select one of the templates the USPS has previously setup to display your Informed Delivery information. Currently, only template A is available, but there are plans to add additional templates from A-Z down the road. There is also the ID type, which identifies what is included in your submission to identify each mail piece. Next, we have the three URLs used to supply the images and links to the USPS – the Additional Image, Additional Target, and Replacement Image URLs.

The Additional Image URL is where you can include the picture to accompany the scan of the mail piece in your addressee’s Informed Delivery Digest. The Additional Target URL is the link to the company website or product that consumers can click on to claim their offer, or complete whichever Call-to-Action the image boasts.

Finally, there is the Replacement Image URL, which will replace the greyscale scan of your mailpiece with an image of your choosing for letters. For Flats, there is never a scanned mailpiece image, so the replacement image will be used to represent your piece along with an additional image and/or link if you wish to include those.

Once you have all that filled out you can complete the rest of your Mail.dat file set up as normal. Upon submitting, the campaign will be created. You can then work with the Informed Delivery team through the USPS to make sure your campaign is handled correctly. You can contact them at USPSinformeddeliveryCampaigns@usps.gov.

As always, please reach out to BCC Software Customer Support at 800.624.5234 with any questions.

5 Things You Can Do Today to Save Money (and Your Budget)

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As we enter the the 4th quarter of 2017, now is the time of year when companies struggle to hold true to preset budgets from the beginning of the year, as well as to start the planning process for the next year’s budgetary needs. BCC Software understands this is a reality that many companies face, because our internal departments face it as well. As this process ramps up, we have some suggestions on how you can maximize your mailing dollars now and in the future.

Here are five easy ways your company can take advantage of some under-the-radar products and services that may save you time and money:

  1. Be Proactive, Not Reactive: Purchase large blocks of prepaid credits or purchase an annual subscription. Depending on usage, these options can equate to thousands of dollars annually.
  2. Offer New Services:Use our in-house presort services for Bound Printed Matter, Parcel Select, Library Mail, Media Mail, and Customized Market mail classes or take advantage of the Data Marketing Services already integrated into your BCC Mail Managersoftware. Both options allow you to expand your offerings to your customers with zero up-front costs.
  3. Ask for Help: Rely on our USPS® Mailpiece Design Certified Customer Support team to provide you with troubleshooting information so you can spend time focusing on your business. We are here to help you, and we want to help you. Why spend hours struggling with a problem that can be addressed in a five-minute phone call? Our Customer Support team can be reached at 800.624.5234, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8AM and 7PM EST.
  4. Continuing Education: Work smart by learning BCC Mail Manager tips and tricks for free through our Express Learning Series, or, for a small fee, register for one of our more in-depth Log-In Live Workshops.
  5. Improving System Performance: Take steps to improve your system performance internally with this tip guide authored by our Director of Professional Services, George Vaisey. Need help implementing any of these tips? Call our Support team and we will walk you through it step by step.

Our team members are happy to speak with you and find other cost savings opportunities that may be available to your company. Call us today for a free consultation, at 800.337.0442, to see how you can save money, optimize your operations and budget, and continue to grow your business.

Top Social Posts for September

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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 September:

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.

Thinking Ahead: How Can Your Company Prepare for PRINT 2021?

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The mailing and printing industries are oft-changing, and will continue to see unprecedented change over the next several years. From uncertain legislation to major disruptions in the workplace, BCC Software hosted a panel of industry experts at PRINT 17 that came together to discuss these changes, and how companies can ensure they continue to be successful.

A changing workforce

While still a major and influential industry, mailing and printing companies have had to hold their own in a world that was seemingly being over-taken by digital advancements. Especially when it comes to the next generation of workers – millennials.

Millennials are not teenagers anymore – they range from ages 20 to 36. They have expendable income and are beginning to reach major life milestones, like purchasing homes.  They are working professionals entering the workforce and filling managerial roles.

Millennials grew up in a digital age. They are digital natives and deeply understand it’s workings and are keen to keeping up with trends and changes. With this, they need to be marketed to by companies who understand the importance of digital, and they are looking to become employees at organizations that do the same.

What does this mean for companies in the print and mail industry?

Industry leaders need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • With so much “hype” around digital, how can the print and mail industry get a new generation of employees not only interested, but dedicated and passionate about their work?
  • How can marketers ensure that their direct mail messages are resonating with millennials?
  • How does the legislative landscape affect all of this, and business in general?

Millennials are marketing managers, industry employees, and consumers. What does this mean? It’s essential for all content put out by leading industry companies to cater to them. This content can’t be the same as it was before. Millennials are looking for more from companies than generations before them did.

This is not to say that direct mail does not influence millennials. Yes, they were born and raised in a digital age, and technology is frequently second nature to them, but they are not “digital addicts.” With such a saturated marketing, they are accustomed to digital advertising and messaging, meaning direct mail is refreshing for millennials, and because of this, it resonates with them.

However, millennials need messaging to be personal. With so many different brands and companies vying for consumer attentions, a personalized message is the one that will stand out. With advancements in print technology making great strides, this can be easy reality. Neurological studies have been conducted that prove that direct mail pieces activate four of the five senses – touch, smell, sound and sight. This alone makes it more powerful than alternative marketing methods, like social media or email marketing.

How can companies remain successful during industry changes?

The industry is complex and fast moving, and has similarities to the Information Technology field, which has been drawing millennials. It’s essential for companies to encourage younger generations to come in and bring new ideas to the table. From tradeshows to local organizations, there are plenty of ways to get involved with the industry so that your company and employees can stay ahead of the curve.

As of September 2017, there is no Board of Governors for the USPS®. If there is none appointed by the end of the year, USPS promotions will not be carried into 2018, which will be another change that the industry will need to deal with.

About the panel:

PRINT 17 brought together some of the most influential minds in the industry. BCC Software was proud to host a panel discussion on currently changes in the industry, and how businesses can prepare for the future:

  • Host, Chris Lien, is president of BCC Software, and has been active in the mailing industry for over 20 years. During that time, he authored several software solutions utilizing Mail.dat for electronic auditing, distribution and logistics planning, palletization, and electronic postage payment. He has been heavily involved in industry associations such as the Association for Postal Commerce, the Association of Marketing Service Providers, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, and the IDEAlliance where he is currently serving as a board member.
  • Chris Bondy is a Gannett Distinguished Professor in the School of Media Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, Bondy leads the effort to transform the School of Media Sciences into a cross-disciplinary educational experience, refreshing traditional courses, and teaching new courses in cross-media, asset management, and database publishing. With three decades of industry experience, Bondy has extensive experience in strategy, business development, product planning, process engineering, and marketing communications.
  • Thayer Long is currently the President of NPES, Long has 20 years of association experience, serving most recently as EVP and CEO of the Independent Electrical Contractors, and prior to that as President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute
  • David Steinhardt is the president and CEO of Idealliance, and has spent more than 25 years building, re-inventing, and managing successful non-profit organizations in media, print, and publishing. He led the transformation of the print-focused Graphic Communications Association (GCA) into the dynamic International Digital Enterprise Alliance (Idealliance) that exists today.

Watch a recording of the panel discussion

PCC Week Highlights

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BCC Software was proud to be able to take part in many PCC events over the past couple of weeks, including Greater Charlotte, Greater Illinois, Rochester, and Buffalo.

The major message from the Post Master General was the unwavering convergence of physical and digital marketing tactics – this is not a fad, but an evolution of the industry. The Post Master General also discussed everything that the USPS® is doing to support this movement, including Informed Visibility and Informed Delivery.

In the same vein, CCMO Jim Chocrane of the USPS focused on the impact of direct mail as part of the marketing landscape, how important its place alongside digital is, and the USPS’ dedication to investing in this across its network. According to Chocrane, attribution is the new battleground in marketing, and Informed Delivery and Informed Visibility are a big part of that.

BCC Software president, Chris Lien, was a keynote speaker at the Greater Charlotte PCC event, presenting on the importance of staying informed and navigating the postal landscape, such as leveraging the USPS, industry associations, and vendor supplied resources (like BCC Software’s monthly eBulletin, user forum, and USPS certified customer support professionals) to their full advantage. Lien will also be speaking at the Lake of the Ozarks PCC event later this month.

BCC Software would like to congratulate the Greater Charlotte PCC for winning the Large Marketing PCC of the year! Glen Swyers from Classic Graphics, a valued BCC Software customer, was recognized with a PCC Industry Co-Chair Bronze Award for his individual contributions to the PCC. We applaud Glen for this great honor.

Learn more about BCC Software’s dedication to the industry here.

Recommended Sequence for Processing Data Marketing Services

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BCC Software is continuously adding to and updating our Data Marketing Services (DMS) suite of products, based on the shifting needs of our customers. While we pride ourselves on the ability to match our customers with solutions that work for them, we also understand that the optimal sequence of process submission may seem confusing, especially with the latest addition of our newest Data Marketing Service, Rooftop Geocoding.

Below is BCC Software’s recommended order for using several DMS services on one list:

  1. CASS/DPV: Validates address information at the physical delivery point level.
  2. ARS: Attempts to resolve incorrect or incomplete addresses.
  3. PCOA: Updates your list using 60 months of Change Of Address (COA) data from a proprietary database.
  4. NCOALink® :Updates your list using 48 months of data from the database of Change Of Address (COA) forms filed with the USPS®.
  5. Suppression: Suppression suite processing identifies records in your list that match to common suppression/pander files including Direct Marketing Association (DMA) mail preference service, deceased, prison, and business.
  6. Rooftop Geocoding: Updates your list with exact latitude and longitude coordinates.
  7. DSF2: Updates your list using the Delivery Sequence File (DSF), and return a Walk Sequence and a Business/Residential flag for each record that matched.

Due to specific updates and regulations associated with each process, these Data Marketing Services must be used in a particular order to ensure the best results.

For further information on our DMS services, or if you have any questions about completing this process, call BCC Software’s Data Marketing department at 800.337.0372.

 

Guest Article: A CCM Provider’s Biggest Fear

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As a service provider managing millions of customer communications for your clients, a double stuff or a lost mailpiece is the cardinal sin, and every print and mail manager’s biggest fear.  Consider the different types of mail your organization sends to customers – from account statements with highly sensitive data to invoices and promotional material, the content varies in volume, dimensions, intention and destination. Reducing the potential for errors in this environment is an ongoing battle.

So, how do you handle the following?

  • Ensure all your jobs are processed accurately while meeting delivery deadlines?
  • Maximize run lengths and productivity in your operations while maintaining high quality?
  • Keep your customers informed as you manufacture and distribute their communications?

You’re facing a long list of demands and let’s not forget government regulations and trying to keep customers trust in your abilities.

To minimize the risks of privacy breaches and missed SLAs, many companies are stepping up to more modern insertion technology platforms that increase accuracy and productivity. Using the latest insertion technology and techniques requires adding barcodes and other manufacturing controls to the jobs/documents. This leads to several questions: where in the workflow will you execute these tasks? Do you rewrite the applications at the composition level, or change the jobs post composition?

In many cases, it is easier and faster to do this work after composition and before printing. This opportunity also allows operations to control the manufacturing process outside of the IT department, leading to more flexibility in larger mixed product environments and multi-site operations.

Post composition work involves interrogating the job files (PDF, PostScript, AFPDS, and others) for document characteristics like the number of sheets for each document, the number of documents in the job, locating the front sides and the backsides, and more. This is referred to as indexing the jobs. Indexing gathers the metadata that goes into constructing the inserter barcodes, applying human readable information, and performing postal processing. Postal processing after composition is especially important for shops using high-speed inkjet printers because multiple jobs are combined to “feed the beast,” and additional postage benefits are achieved when running the combined jobs through software like BCC Mail Manager.

Introducing the indexing and post composition tasks into the workflow can be done with the Alchem-e™ Platform offered by Racami. Operators quickly string together tasks to perform the reengineering of the jobs or documents using a drag-and-drop interface, which makes short work of setting up the indexes, adding the barcodes, task scheduling, email notification, postal processing, document editing, and more.  Alchem-e also tracks all the activity and metadata for auditing the process and supporting departments like accounting and customer service. Overall, it watches over the health of the entire operation, so you can meet your promises and account for every communication you deliver.

For more information and a demonstration of the Alchem-e CCM Platform, visit www.racami.com

Accuracy is Key When it Comes to PAFs

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As a NCOALink® Licensee, BCC Software would like to remind our customers of the importance of properly assigning the list ownership when submitting a NCOALink job.

We are required to obtain a Processing Acknowledgement Form (PAF) either electronically or in hard copy for every list owner. This information is included in the monthly NCOALink  reports, which is closely monitored and reviewed by the USPS. They do notify BCC Software of any companies who appear to be falsifying their role, as List Owner on the PAF instead of Broker-Agent/List Administrator. Therefore, it is imperative that the PAF is completed with accurate information.

The PAF Guide located on the USPS RIBBS® website defines the List Owner as:

  • The person or company for which NCOALink  processing will be performed
  • The owner of the mail created from the mailing list; the one party in the NCOALink  process that is driving the mail without whom any mailing would occur
  • The List Owner is the beneficiary of the NCOALink  processing

As a Broker-Agent/List Administrator, you must not sign the PAF as the List Owner if you do not own the mailing list that is being prepared for NCOALink processing.

If you have questions regarding the NCOALink  PAF, please do not hesitate to contact our Data Marketing Services team at 800.337.0372.

Software Updates: What You Need to Know

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With the switch to eFulfillment, more and more customers are beginning to sign up for electronic update notifications. This change has led to many inquiries about the different updates BCC Software provides, and we want our customers to be as informed as possible—know what various updates are provided, what they do, where to get them, and, of course, which ones you may need.

Update notifications are posted to the BCC Customer Forum, which is accessed by logging into the Customer Portal. All customers can see the various forums, which are separated for each product family so that you can easily find the relevant and specific topics you need. By clicking on each forum and then selecting the link in the upper right corner named “Subscribe to this Forum,” any BCC Software customer can sign up for email notifications for posts and updates to that specific thread. Receive the most up-to-date, critical information you need to ensure your company stays ahead of the curve.

Please note: If your email address has changed since you first partnered with BCC Software, you may need to navigate to “Control Panel” in the upper right corner and select “Edit Profile” to update your account email address. If you sign up for notifications, but then fail to receive them, checking this screen is a great place to start your troubleshooting.

What are the updates and where can I find them?

There are six major types of updates for BCC Mail Manager™ and BCC Mail Manager Full Service™. While most other products have fewer types of updates, all generally conform to this same naming scheme.

The first and most important type is the bi-monthly program updates. These notifications will include the month the update is for and state that the UDF and ISO are available. Along with these, there are monthly CASS updates that appear on the odd months for BCC Mail Manager and BCC Mail Manager Full Service customers who subscribe to the monthly data updates. These will also mention the month name, but will specify that the CASS data files are available. Both of these updates are posted to our eFulfillment page on the Customer Portal under My Profile > My Product Downloads.

The second group of updates are the web, table, and DSF2 updates. Web updates are patches to the main programs and will always spell out the exact version number in the notification. Table and DSF2 updates explicitly state the type of update, and in the case of table updates, the dates for these, making them fairly easy to recognize. All of these updates are also posted to the BCC Software Updates Page.

What does each update consist of?

Regular updates include everything new that BCC Software is announcing at the time of release. This includes updating the main program, recent table updates, recent DSF2 updates, and CASS files. The CASS updates only cover that current month’s CASS data and nothing else. Web updates are patches to a main program version, but often also include any table updates released since the last web or main program update. Table updates will only amend the presort tables for your program, while only the Walk Sequence tables are updated with DSF2 updates.

Updates are your key to success

Knowing which updates you need, where to find them, and how to make sure you are notified is key in maintaining and utilizing your software to its fullest potential and avoiding postal issues. The USPS releases new data every month and will expect your mailing and encoding results to conform to the newest data in the case of a discrepancy.

We recommend staying on top of every update that concerns any part of the software you normally use.

As always, please reach out to customer support at 800.634.5234 with any questions or concerns.

Top Social Posts for August

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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 August:

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.

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