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

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.

PCOA Now Available Through DMS Wizard

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While thousands of American individuals and families move every day, only 60 percent of these moves are reported to the USPS. So, what about the other 40 percent? BCC Software’s Data Marketing Services Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA) tool is now available through the Data Marketing Services Wizard on BCC Mail ManagerPCOA is an excellent tool for finding moves that never got filed with the USPS or that go beyond the 48-month USPS standard.

It works by capturing information about moves from multiple sources like magazine subscriptions and credit card companies. This data is then combined and compared to your list, ensuring you now have complete, correct and current addresses.

PCOA payment options include job-by-job invoice, prepaid credits, or a subscription service similar to the one available for NCOALink® processing. The service is based on the combined intelligence of multiple sources for the most accurate and precise results. For more information and to start taking advantage of this new feature, please call your sales representative at 800.337.0442 or email sales@bccsoftware.com.

 

Greater Charlotte PCC Awarded the PCC of the Year Large Market Award

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The Greater Charlotte PCC has been awarded the PCC of the Year Large Market award by the United States Postal Service. The organization has been recognized by engaging and communicating with members through captivating events, educational seminars and their interactive website. The PCC works diligently to recruit new members, and they host an annual Carolina Postal Forum as an opportunity for both current and new members to interact and network with each other.

Most notably, the organization achieved increased membership as a result of all their efforts.

Glen Swyers, Industry Vice Chair of Greater Charlotte PCC, has been a valued BCC Software customer with Classic Graphics for many years. BCC Software would like to congratulate him and the entire Greater Charlotte PCC organization on this impressive accomplishment.

Automation Maximized

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With BCC Mail Manager™ technology, you have the mailing and presort software you need to enhance your operation’s efficiency and take advantage of postal discounts. Now, it’s time for automation. Job Manager, a BCC Mail Manager Full Service™ option, is the next step in maximizing your automation efforts. This hot folder application ties into existing TaskMaster scripts, giving users the ability to initiate jobs by simply dropping a file into a folder. Job Manager works to process jobs unattended, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition to increasing productivity and decreasing costs, Job Manager has three other traits that make it an essential tool for any mail service provider:

  1. Dynamic script updates: Job Manager can make certain dynamic changes to your TaskMaster automation script, depending on the file that is dropped into the hot folder. For most customers, this means they do not need to develop any type of in-house application to make dynamic script updates.
  2. Email notifications: Job Manager has an integrated notification system that will send emails during processing. Users can set it up to have emails sent when a job starts, completes, or if it fails.
  3. Exit code: When a job finishes processing, an exit code is provided that will let the user know if there were any issues during processing. This feedback can be used to trigger secondary, or post-BCC Software, processes.

When we talk about the benefits of automation, we often lean on demonstrating an ROI by the amount of time saved in manual processing and increased throughput. But now, you can take it one step further by helping your customers improve their turnaround time and achieve higher accuracy rates, which work together to improve the effectiveness of their campaigns overall.

Maximize your automation power by contacting your BCC Software sales representative about upgrading to BCC Mail Manager Full Service™  and Job Manager today, and schedule a free demonstration to witness this powerful feature in action.

 

Guest Article: Changing the Game Increases Response Rates

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By Adam Armstrong, Uluro

Twenty years ago, there were only two ways to communicate with someone you could not see in-person: you made a telephone call, or you mailed a letter or postcard. Yet today, even as digital technology fostered the most connected society in human history, it created a swirling clutter of companies and products vying for consumer attention. Marketing and promotional messages are delivered relentlessly via email, websites, texts, and TV commercials. Yet response rates continue to slip.

But now, advances in the same omnichannel technologies that enhanced connectivity enable mailers to increase delivery and response rates while creating a two-way communication stream with end recipients.

For example, Track N Trace® by BCC Software utilizes the Intelligent Mail® Barcode (IMB®) process created by USPS® to modernize any traditional mailing. Scans from USPS enable Track N Trace to accurately pinpoint delivery dates for mailings. The IMB system has been used for call center staffing and mailpiece marking for several years and is now available for mailers of all sizes.

When integrated with Uluro uDeliver®, a database-managed content delivery platform from Transformations that can also create the mailpiece, Track N Trace is able to generate a text message letting an end recipient know they have an important mailpiece waiting for them. For instance, text messages could contain short notes such as:

  • “Please reply ‘C’ to confirm you received your important letter from Cal Tech today.”
  • “You have an important letter from ABC Debt Management. Reply ‘50’ to get an instant 50% off your balance. Watch your mail for details on this special offer.”
  • “Wouldn’t it be Gr8 to cut $25 a month off your cell phone bill? There is a T-Mobile letter in your mail box, Reply ‘T’ to learn more.”

Through such simple statement- or question-based text messages, instead of generic notifications, mailers can initiate two-way text conversations with a recipient— a channel that Pew Research says has a 98 percent read rate. This statistic may seem unprecedented, but text messaging is actually a short, relevant conversation with customers who are interested in hearing from companies they do business with. While text messaging usually does not have the power to sell like a traditional mailpiece, combining it with targeted direct mail creates an unparalleled campaign for only a few pennies more than each standard mailing.

Such Informed Delivery or package tracking is a truly compelling touch point for reinforcing a brand and gaining customer attention. Mailers have long chased mindshare with personalization, oversized postcards, and the use of color, but those should be considered first steps in a larger campaign. Track N Trace and Uluro uDeliver move these strategies to the next level to help drive response rates and revenue through multi-channel  communications.

To learn more about Uluro uDeliver and Track N Trace, and how you can modernize your mail, see us at PRINT 17.  You’ll find BCC Software in Booth #642, and Uluro in Booth #1661.

About Uluro: Uluro is the most comprehensive automated document production platform on the market for creating, producing, delivering, and tracking critical customer communications. Uluro supports creation and delivery of all forms of communication from traditional Print and Mail, email, web presentment, fax, Text Messaging, IVR with full payment functionality.

Informed Delivery FAQ

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Informed Delivery is a relatively new service from the USPS, which provides residents email notifications with scanned images of what they will be receiving in their mailbox that day.

Informed Delivery has the power to further enhance the influence of mail and the mail moment. There are currently about 3 million program subscribers.

Listen to “Lien In: The Power of Informed Delivery” to hear more about Informed Delivery first-hand from industry experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I subscribe and start using Informed Delivery? Answer: According to the USPS Informed Delivery website, your ability to sign up for Informed Delivery is dependent on living at an eligible residential address and the ability to verify your identity. You will also need to create a personal usps.com account if you do not already have one. To sign up, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to informeddelivery.usps.com
  2. Click on “View My Mail”
  3. If you already have a personal usps.com account, sign in. If not, create an account.
  4. Once signed in, go to My Preferences. Under Account Management, you will see a box for Informed Delivery. Click “Manage Your Mail.” Please note: If you do not see Informed Delivery in My Preferences, it is likely that Informed Delivery is not available at your address. Please check if Informed Delivery has reached your area by using the ZIP Code lookup tool on the USPS website.
  5. Opt in to Informed Delivery by selecting the check box, and confirm your address
  6. Complete the identity verification process (if you have no already done so)
  7. Click the blue “Informed Delivery” button to continue to your dashboard

Question: What is the cost for Informed Delivery? Answer: Informed Delivery is free for USPS customers and carries no additional charge for Mail Service Providers (MSPs).

Question: How do I use it? Answer: You can view your mailpieces in a daily email sent to your address, your online dashboard at informeddelivery.usps.com where you can see that day plus the previous six days, or the USPS mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices.

Question: What is the app called? Answer: The app is called “Informed” and it is available for download through both iTunes and Google Play.

Questions: Can the digital content be personalized? Answer: By default, images of the mailpieces are grayscale. However, colored images of mailpieces can be provided. Colored images will also show up at the top of the email for consumers. The USPS recommends bold, clear call-to-action statements for better response rates.

Question: When will Informed Delivery be available for Flats or Periodicals? Answer: Currently, the USPS does not image flats and periodicals. However, they do support representative images for both to be included in the Informed Delivery notifications.

Question: Is Informed Delivery available for businesses? Answer: Informed Delivery currently only provides residents their mail notifications, and is not available for B2B usage.

Question: When will Informed Delivery be available for P.O. boxes? Answer: The USPS is looking to expand Informed Delivery to P.O. Box customers in the future.

Question: How do I learn more about Informed Delivery? Answer: For more information, visit https://informeddelivery.usps.com.

The USPS is looking for feedback from consumers and MSPs alike. Please visit their website to provide feedback on this service and what you would like to see in the future.

Informed Delivery will be available through BCC Software's Mail Manager beginning mid-August. Get more details and to learn how you can utilize this tool here.

R777 Route Code: What Does It Mean?

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The USPS has recently clarified the meaning of Carrier Route R777, also known as a Phantom Route. This code is used to flag physical addresses that exist but are not eligible for delivery. As straightforward as this may seem, these results do not follow the traditional guidelines used to identify undeliverable  addresses, causing some confusion.

With that said, let’s examine how undeliverable addresses are currently identified:

  • BCC Software often recommends a combination that includes the Z4-Return Code, Z4-Delivery Point and Z4, DPV-Confirmation to easily identify bad records.
  • Typically, any Z4-Return Code except 31, 32, 36, 37, 38 or 39, are undeliverable addresses.
  • If the Delivery Point is empty or the DPV-Confirmation is set to N, it is likely undeliverable. It is worth noting that a RC=31 can get a DPV of N, meaning the address is in a valid range, but has not been assigned to a specific +4 or Delivery Point.

The difference with these Carrier Route R777 returns is that they populate the Z4-Return Code field with a 31, the DPV with a Y, and append a five-digit ZIP Code—contradictory to the idea that a DPV=Y will always receive a nine-digit ZIP Code. This is due to the way the records are marked in the CASS data.

Data Marketing Services users, please note: A Carrier Route of R777 may be returned from any process that includes CASS encoding. Knowing this, you may want to modify procedures for finding undeliverable addresses before and/or after processing.

The information needed to identify undeliverable addresses is located in an unusual place. The first indicator is the Z4, DPV-Footnote field, where the software will place an R7 – an indicator that the Postal Service does not deliver to that location. The second indicator is in the Carrier Route field, which will contain R777. These are both noticeable returns, making such addresses easy to find in your list.

Data Marketing Services users, please note: We recommend adding these fields to your template(s) for processing as well.

These records can be easily found through a Selectivity such as (Empty([DP])), which will find any record without a Delivery Point assigned. Another option would be to use the ZIP Code field, (Len(Raw([ZIPCODE])) < 9), to find any record with a ZIP Code shorter than nine digits. You can also find these records by using DPV Footnote includes R7 ([DPVFN] Includes “R7”) or Carrier Route equal to R777 ([CRRT] = “R777”).

Data Marketing Services users, please note: These suggested Selectivity’s would be beneficial to use when reviewing your DMS results.

As always, please contact Customer Support at 800-624-5234 or Data Marketing Services at 800-337-0372 with any questions or concerns.

Informed Delivery Support Coming Mid August

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By now, you have heard a lot about Informed Delivery. National Postal Forum solidified this as the “next big thing” for marketers and communicators of all types. And now, you can specify additional images and links for every mailpiece going to a household that has enabled Informed Delivery.

What does this mean for BCC Software users?

Mail.dat V17-2 contained the first actionable specification from the USPS, and you will see the new, extended abilities in a mid-month web update for all users with the Mail.dat option.

By clicking the “Informed Delivery” checkbox on the “Segment – Container” page of the Mail.dat wizard, you will activate the new Informed Delivery page in the wizard. This screen allows you to populate all the information you need to drive your Informed Delivery campaign.

The functions in Mail Manager reflect what the USPS is able to support today.  A future element, called “Replacement Image Target URL,” will be available in a future update, when USPS supports use of that function.

Even better, there is no additional fee from the USPS to take advantage of Informed Delivery, so you can add value to your mailing campaigns without incurring extra postage or USPS associated costs.

If you have specific questions about how to start utilizing Informed Delivery, contact the USPS. For more information on how to use the features, or how to start using the service, refer to the USPS guide.

 

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