Mailing List Tips
Whoever mails your prayer letter for you will need have a copy of your mailing list in a format that will be compatible with their particular system.
The easier it is for a mailing service to get your mailing list into a format that they can use the less mistakes will be made.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for them to get the mailing list in a format that will be usable:
Be consistent with where you put the information – i.e., what “field“. Here is the basic format we use:
- Title (Optional)
- Attention1 (Optional)
- Attention2 (Optional)
- …and for foreign addresses add: Country
Not every record has all of these fields, and some records may need some fields that are not listed. If so, feel free to add fields that fit your particular needs . . . and be sure to double-check your entries for accuracy.
Since we mail at the automated rates using the barcodes, once we have your mailing list in our computer we will run it through an address correcting program. This program will check each address against the national postal database and verify that it matches what is in the the postal database.
Once we have done that we will check the addresses that don’t match to see if we can determine why, and try to correct them. Some of the main reasons that they do not match are:
Street name not in the database. This can be caused by a new subdivision, a 911 coding change (often the primary cause!) or a number of other reasons.
Too many or too few digits in the address number. This can again be due to a new subdivision in the area or a street being extended.
The street needs a directional in front of the street name. (“ North 1st St.” instead of just “ 1st St.”) Sometimes these land at the end instead, such as “ 1st Street North”.
The street name is not complete — such as “ Free Ferry Street” instead of just “Free Ferry”. In this case there is also “ Free Ferry Road”, “ Free Ferry Heights”, “ Free Ferry Lane”, and “ Free Ferry Circle”, each with its own zip code extension.
The address needs an apartment number, or similar designation.
Sometimes you may want to make a mailing that is only to your supporters. To do this we will need to know who they are, so you need to note them in some way in your database. A field named ‘Supporters’, with just a “Y” (for “yes”) or “S” (for “supporter”) will do the job.
This group will probably not qualify for bulk rate postage since it will probably not have 200 pieces, but we can still do the mailing for you and charge the 1st class rate postage.