Database Management for Mailing
Doing it Right, the First Time
There are four things every mailer can do to facilitate mail processing of your Standard Mail mailings:
- Select the correct software package to maintain your database
- Enter the information into your database in the correct, standardized format
- Design your mail pieces to be compatible with Postal Service automated equipment.
- When doing data entry into your database, maintain the same information in the same columns. For example your street input area should contain only street data; first name area should only contain the first name, etc. This is especially important if you are merging two separate databases.
Please refer to the following web site for all addressing standards.
The information here is focused on address quality. For more information on mail piece design, call Campus Mail Services at 581-6035 to take advantage of available cost savings. Remember, the indicia must be either printed directly, hand-stamped on each mail piece prior to processing or Mail Services can print the indicia on each mail piece while printing your addresses.
Database Management Software:
Select a software package that was designed specifically for database management. The software should be flexible enough to make changes to the database design for future needs. It should save the file in an industry standard format (i.e., dBase) so that the information can be merged into letters on your word processor for that personalized look. And finally, the database should save the file in ASCII delimited (i.e. comma, tab, etc.) or fixed field length formats.
Most word processing packages can handle simple address set ups, but they were not designed to easily perform all the different kinds of work you will need to do with your address data, such as sorting, duplication checking, etc. Campus Mail Service's barcode machine will print it in ZIP Code order and can merge data disks together.
The key to successful data processing is consistency in the way the data is entered. The preferred way is to follow the Postal Service's addressing standards.