Print isn’t dead. (Unless your mailing data isn’t fielded correctly.) #IPD17

UAA-Mail-734x4002015 study commissioned by the USPS Office of Inspector General found that “91 percent of customers chose to receive their bills by mail.” Even among Millennials, the digitally native generation, a whopping 89 percent opted for printed and mailed statements.

This is good news for a lot of printers. But those of us who make our bread and butter on mailed communications had better bolster not only the quality of our mailing data, but also the proper fielding of that data.

Reason number one: your printed impression may wind up in a dead pile of undeliverables. Number two: you may lose track of your clientele. And number three: you may be imposed with a monetary fine by the USPS.

That’s right, the Postal Service is cracking down on mailing performance with a grading system that intends to minimize the lost revenue caused by undeliverable mail and misdirected pallets.

One of the many tactics Bacompt has employed to meet these standards is setting our data lists to optimal National Change of Address (NCOA) captures. However, we also understand that the improper fielding (or formatting) of data can render NCOA useless. For instance, any mailpiece that displays an individual’s name in the address field will cause NCOA to fail. Mail never arrives at the intended recipient, the quality of your customer database is compromised, and you lose profits on wasted postage and unwanted fines.

Data quality and formatting is just the tip of the iceberg. For more information than you ever wanted to know about postal compliance, check out the USPS Guide to the Mailer Scorecard.

Or, we could help you figure it out. Contact us today.

#IPD17

 

USPS Gets PRC OK for a 2017 Price Rise.

The following portion was written by Heather Fletcher and originally published by Target Marketing on November 17, 2016.

USPS prices are going up in 2017. First Class mail goes from 47 to 49 cents on Jan. 22, with other products seeing varying price increases.

On Tuesday, the PRC approved all postage raises USPS requested, except for Special Services price adjustments. The PRC filing says the commission didn’t receive information about those requests in time.

“Barring any unforeseen issues,” reads the PRC filing, “the commission expects to issue the separate order well in advance of the expected January 22, 2017, implementation date.”

So market-dominant price increases are slated for First Class mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services, as direct mailers… learned matter-of-factly on Wednesday.

first2

standard2

PRC listing of postage increases

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By fully integrating our systems with the USPS, Bacompt streamlines the mailing process, reduces postage, and eliminates wasted postage on returned mail. Contact us to discuss your postage savings strategy.

 

What you need to know about Seamless Acceptance. #IPD17

As the USPS develops more comprehensive procedures, Bacompt is aggressively moving toward Seamless Acceptance, which further automates the entry and verification of commercial mailings by leveraging electronic documentation, Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMbs), and information collected from handheld sampling devices and mail-processing equipment scans.

Benefits of Seamless Acceptance include:

  • Shortened mail delivery time, increasing your front-end production cycle
  • Electronic verifications, streamlining processes
  • Auto-finalization, giving you control of postage payment
  • Mailer Scorecard and associated reports, allowing greater feedback and identification of trends
  • Trend-based quality measurements, providing the ability to gauge quality over time rather than a single mailing

Currently, Bacompt is working with our contractual partner, Post Masters, to provide a “seamless parallel” process where both the mailer (client) and the USPS can view the results of automated verifications.

In addition, we have an onsite USPS clerk specifically assigned to us for the purpose of verifying and accepting all mailings. This enables the post office to take possession of mailings — ready for delivery — within our Indianapolis facility, bypassing the handling typically required by one or more postal facilities. This not only speeds mail through the system, but also further ensures the security of your information-sensitive content.

Contact us to discuss your postal delivery strategy.

#IPD17

 

The age-new debate of electronic vs. paper. #IPD16

It seems like the encouragement to go “paperless” is everywhere, from television ads to email signatures. Yet a 2015 study commissioned by the USPS Office of Inspector General found that “91 percent of customers chose to receive their bills by mail despite a clear preference to pay bills online.”

Boy, if that’s not a mixed message.

We understand the desire to save printing and mailing costs; however, switching from paper to electronic is not always as easy as it sounds. And the true cost, in terms of both conversion and attrition of slow-adopting customers, is often underestimated. That’s why you may be better served by employing a dual strategy of print and electronic.

To completely round out our portfolio of high-security document solutions, Bacompt has partnered with OMI to offer Statement2Web™ services. With Statement2Web, you can realize the benefits of electronic communications by increasing your opt-in rates using these strategies:

For current customers:

  • Raise awareness that you do indeed have an electronic option.
  • Make sure enrollment is easy, with one click preferred.
  • Nudge your customers who already use your other online services.
  • Train your staff to encourage paperless at every customer interaction.
  • Provide incentives (inexpensive giveaways) to opt in.

For new customers:

  • Set the expectation of a paperless standard.
  • Evaluate the practice of charging for paper statements in light of the risk involved.
  • Design new products that allow you to waive fees for going paperless.
  • And, as always, staff training and buy-in are key.

At the end of the day, you have to understand your customers’ demographics and psychographics. Some were born “digitally native.” Some may never switch to paperless. So don’t underestimate the power of print. By utilizing an integrated, single-source solution, you can be assured of Bacompt’s integrity and compliance — for both print and paperless high-security documents.

Contact us to discuss your electronic statement strategy.

#IPD16

 

Increase the value of your monthly statements. #IPD16

Anyone who sends monthly statements — including credit unions, credit cards, retail, and healthcare — can benefit from exploiting advertising opportunities printed right on the statement.

Transpromotional marketing can lower your monthly mailing costs, boost sales through upselling, and generate additional revenue from your business partners. Because transpromotional advertising is included on mailings you already send, there are no additional printing or postage costs. The best part — it’s micro-targeted to a readership who already knows and trusts you.

  • Generates additional revenue
  • Easy to implement
  • New marketing opportunities every month
  • Greater relevance and value for your audience

How transpromotional marketing works.

Consider your potential business partners. For example, credit unions make loans, so car dealerships, realtors, and home remodelers would be good marketing partners. Likewise, pharmacies and wellness centers would be an appropriate fit for hospitals and healthcare systems. Now what if you could offer these partners a highly targeted ad campaign, guaranteed to be seen, for an extremely low cost?

As a provider of monthly statements, Bacompt can exploit any geographic or demographic data and match it to targeted ads. Example: Recipient A sees an offer for a high-end luxury vehicle, while Recipient B sees an offer for an economy car — all based on what we already know about your audience.

Upsell and strengthen your own brand image.

Transpromotional marketing doesn’t always have to promote someone else’s services; it can boost your own marketing efforts. Upsell, cross-sell, or simply communicate an important corporate message.

The point is that highly personalized data can be used to target your message. Is it part of your business strategy to generate more depositors? We can target candidates based on their financial data. Want to encourage yearly mammograms and colonoscopies? We can direct patients to facilities and physicians located nearest to them.

And because these targeted messages appear on monthly invoices or statements — which by their nature are opened and read — you can expect a virtual 100 percent view rate.

Contact us to discuss your transpromotional marketing strategy.

#IPD16

 

How secure is your data?

Privacy and document security issues are becoming even more critical with the accountability requirements of the Affordable Care Act and regulations impacting financial services and other business sectors. That’s why Bacompt has contracted with Infotex, an objective, third-party auditor, to provide network monitoring, event log management, and incident response in compliance with FFIEC (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council) guidelines.

Bacompt’s data security protocols include:

  • Third-party, 24/7 network monitoring
    • Intrusion prevention and detection systems
    • Log monitoring
    • Forensic documentation
  • Secure data transfer (SSL/SFTP)
  • Automatic data encryption whenever data is “at rest”
  • Scheduled password changes
  • Up-to-date antivirus software

Perhaps more importantly, third-party certifications qualify us for many government-regulated printing projects. Infotex employs methodologies, confirmation and analysis processes, and reporting procedures that comply with FFIEC guidelines as they pertain to the GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Security Ruling, and ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) standards for auditing.

Infotex certifies that Bacompt is in compliance with the following:

  • Information Security Requirements of GLBA
  • HIPAA Security Ruling
  • Five steps of FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)

In addition, Bacompt has contracted with Infotex to provide biennial Information Technology Security and Compliance Audits. The complete Compliance Attestation Report is available upon request.

 

Postage savings, part two: ACS and ARS. #IPD17

The cost of inaccurate addresses can impact your organization in so many ways, from annoying the intended recipient and losing valuable time, to hard dollar losses in printing and postage fees. In addition to the presort and automation efficiencies Bacompt offers, our clients also save significantly from our extensive tools to improve delivery accuracy.

ReturnAAddress Change Service.

ACS is an electronic enhancement that centralizes, automates, and improves the process of providing address correction or reason for non-delivery notices. Bacompt consolidates this with additional information added to the USPS interface Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb).

The barcode now includes three new data fields that enable the USPS to provide additional services:

  • Service type ID: returned mail
  • Mailer ID: identifies Bacompt as the creator of the mail piece
  • Serial Number: uniquely identifies each mail piece

Moreover, we pull and process list data daily. From this, we can reformat and import electronic records back into our customers’ databases for their own list hygiene and use.

ReturnBAddress Resolution Service.

Many address records revealed as “broken” by USPS CASS™ and DPV™ processing can be repaired and returned to mailing for prompt and efficient delivery. With ARS, Bacompt can put these “bad” addresses to good use by employing state-of-the-art technology for easy re-integration with your mailing lists.

Historically, you’ve had two choices for mail displaying only a 5-digit zip code:

  • Omit records from the job, which will save printing and postage
  • Mail anyway, which will draw higher postage and risk never being delivered

Our software gives you a third choice, “none of the above.” ARS can restore these “undeliverable as addressed” records to peak 9-digit deliverability with a typical success rate of 30 percent, sometimes much higher. You’ll reduce your undeliverable mail without sacrificing potentially profitable addresses in the process.

Give us a call to discuss how we can improve the deliverability of your mailings, saving you wasted postage fees.

#IPD17