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

Rooftop-Level Geocode Processing Now Available Through Wizard

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BCC Software is excited to announce that Rooftop-Level Geocode processing is available in BCC Mail Manager, starting in version 03.10.38.01 or higher, through the Data Services Wizard.

This great service offers:

  • Exact latitude and longitude of your addresses – coordinates are at the delivery point level.
  • DPV/LACS/SuiteLink® results
  • Same day turnaround
  • Several payment options available – Prepaid Credits, Subscription or Invoice

In order to get the most from this service, make sure to add the Z4, Latitude and Z4, Longitude fields to your list layout. Also, for further information on how the coordinates were found for each address, add the Geocode Return Code to your record layout, prior to creating the job.

Here are other ways that Rooftop-Level 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 characteristics.
  • 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.

Top Social Posts for April

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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 April:

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.

Interpreting Return Codes

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Beyond the return code there is a wealth of information that CASS returns which can inform you about the mailability of the piece, and often how the information on it could be corrected.

First, there are several return codes that mailers often are unfamiliar with. The most misunderstood is Return Code 39. This is a LACSLink conversion which can drastically change the delivery address on a piece. These conversions were originally created by emergency first-responders wanting to make rural addresses easier to locate when calls came in. The Post Office borrows this database to improve deliverability. So while the addressee or the mailer may takes issue with this conversion, these changes almost always lead to more reliable deliveries.

Most mailers know the basics of the return code field – namely that Return Codes 31 and 32 are generally deliverable.

  • Return Codes 21, 22, and 23 may not be deliverable, for a variety of reasons. A match, or close match could not be found; there were multiple responses; or an error in the Primary.
  • Return Codes 33, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17 are usually undeliverable, but the return code should give you an indication of what needs correcting.

We find that most mailers stop here and do not pay attention to the plethora of additional information CASS provides across several other fields. ZIP+4 and DPV Footnote codes tell you either which part of the address was used to make a match or which part is incorrect. There are 44 possible ZIP+4 Return Codes that can occur in almost any combination, helping to further narrow down the problem area of a bad or questionable record. Additionally, there are 14 DPV Return Codes which confirm what part of the provided address information was used to supply the DPV results.

The DPV Confirmation, DPV No Stat and DPV Vacant codes, along with the actual Delivery Point information, is a frequently overlooked set of return information. DPV Vacant is simply a Y/N field, telling you if the address is flagged as vacant despite being a valid USPS address. DPV No Stat identifies an established delivery address, versus addresses that are recently vacant or new construction. DPV Confirmation, along with the presence of a Delivery Point, often makes or breaks an address. The Delivery Point is the last two digits of the Primary Number, but it is only assigned if an address is confirmed as deliverable. Any such address will have a DPV Confirmation = Y. The opposite of this is a DPV = N, which represents a record marked as undeliverable. The main point of contention is that a record with a Return Code = 31 can receive a DPV = N, resulting in no Delivery Point and no ZIP + 4.

These records are explicitly undeliverable, despite the seemingly valid return code. The most common explanation is that the Primary number is within an acceptable range for that street within the ZIP Code provided, but the actual primary number does not exist.  For example, ZIP Code 12345 has a primary range of 1-99 on Main Street. This means 75 Main Street falls within the range, and will get a return code = 31. After this is established, DPV checks the actual deliverable addresses listed in their records for 75 Main Street. If no such record exists, this address receives a DPV = N, as it is not deliverable despite being within the expected range of street addresses. There are two other possible values for this field, an S and a D. Generally speaking, they mean that the address secondary or box number has not been confirmed as deliverable, but the address has not been explicitly deemed undeliverable either. These are similar to the 21-23 Return Code range, in that they may be correct enough to be delivered, but often are not eligible for a 31 due to an error in the provided information.

The last bit of return information we find underused is the LACSLink return code. The most basic return is A, which mirrors Return Code 39, and simply tells you a match was made to the LACSLink system and return information was provided. Other LACSLink Return Codes are defined below.

Code Definition
00 No match was made
09 High rise default, and is likely missing some secondary information. This was then matched to a LACSLink record but since it was missing an apartment or suite number, it is likely not complete
14 A match was made, but the new address could not be furnished as the resulting address was not deliverable
92 A match was made, new information was provided but the secondary information provided did not match the range of suite/apartments for the return address. Similar to 09, the resulting address is deliverable at least to the building in question, but is likely missing the required apartment/site information to guarantee deliverability

Armed with all of this information we can make better decisions about what can be delivered and how to correct pieces that are lacking. Leveraging this information to leave out bad addresses that look good, and correct mediocre addresses will go a long way to improving your relationship with the post office as well as your return for each mailing.

As always please contact BCC Software Customer Support at 800.624.5234 if you have any questions regarding this trove of information that is hidden in plain sight in your CASS returns.

Spring Into Action with Professional Service Offerings

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Now is the time to help your team spring into action with customized training with BCC Software. Our professional services can help your company grow by offering unparalleled training options ranging from various in-depth workshops to custom on-site training. BCC Software’s Professional Service Engineers are dedicated to helping our customer’s mailing processes run smarter and faster with custom solutions.

Are you looking to streamline an existing process or simply need one-on-one general training on specific features and functionality? Training class topics include:

  • Advanced automation workflow development
  • Custom calculations
  • Full Service/Mail.dat Implementation
  • Custom reporting
  • Workflow automation

Whether in-depth and interactive workshop or a custom training program, BCC Software offers solutions to help build a well-trained team.

Check out all online training options. To get more information and pricing for custom training programs, contact our Professional Service Team at 866.326.7081.

Status of Your Data Marketing Services Jobs is Always Available

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BCC Software’s Customer Portal can be used as a quick reference to check the status of existing and previous DMS jobs, helping you monitor job flow and react immediately to any delays.

Once logged into the Customer Portal, the status of DMS jobs can be viewed by going to Services > Data Marketing Services > Data Marketing Services Jobs.

On this screen you can create an endless combination of queries based on specific criteria such as PO number, date ranges, and process types.

Based on your query, a listing of DMS jobs is displayed:

There are six different, real-time statuses used to communicate the phase of your job.

  • Processing – The job is currently processing on our end
  • Returned – The job is done processing and ready for retrieval
  • Canceled – The job has been canceled
  • On Hold – Pre-processing – PAF – The job is On Hold waiting for a hardcopy PAF to be logged or an ePAF to be confirmed
  • On Hold – Pre-processing – Finance – The job is On Hold due to wrong payment method selected, expired subscription, insufficient credit or prepaid credits
  • Error – Job Open Error – The job file did not completely upload to BCC Software and needs to be resubmitted

For further information on this Customer Portal page call the Data Services Marketing Department at 1.800.337.0372.

Don’t Miss Lien In LIVE

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BCC Software will host a live edition of the “Lien In” webcast series from Idealliance Solutions Theater in the exhibit hall floor at National Postal Forum (NPF) on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at 11:15 a.m. ET.

For those unable to attend NPF, register today to view and take part in this dual in-person and virtual event.

The event will feature host Chris Lien, President of BCC Software, joined by a distinguished panel of guests representing the print and mailing industries. Panelists include Maureen Goodson, Executive Director of NPF, David Steinhardt, President and CEO of Idealliance, and Glen Swyers, Director, Marketing Integration and Analytics for Classic Graphics.

Online attendees will be able to log in, see, and hear the panel and the NPF Exhibit Hall – one of the largest gatherings of print, mail and shipping professionals in the world – as well as ask questions to the panelists in real time.

The focus of this panel will be the importance of networking in the dynamically changing direct communications universe.

“There’s no more important resource in our industry than our peers,” said Lien. “By speaking and connecting with one another, we become more educated about how to best showcase direct mail marketing in an omnichannel marketing world.”

Attendees will learn about networking opportunities and what can be done daily to connect with other industry professionals.

Meet the Panel

Glen Swyers, Director, Marketing Integration and Analytics for Classic Graphics. With over 25 years of print, direct mail and marketing experience Glen brings a strong balance between new technologies and traditional direct marketing principles.

Maureen Goodson, Executive Director, National Postal Forum. In her 20 years with NPF, she has had the oversight, management and financial responsibility of 25 citywide conventions with an average attendance of over 5,000 attendees.

David Steinhardt, President and CEO of Idealliance. Steinhardt 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.

Complimentary Exhibit Hall Passes

BCC Software is proud to offer complimentary passes to the NPF Exhibit Hall, which includes access to the Idealliance Solutions Theater. Register for your pass, see Chris Lien’s other presentation and workshop times, and get a free portable phone charger here.

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.

twitterlinkedinfacebook

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

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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 BCC 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.

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