For those fulfilment houses who have ventured into the realm of list handling and mailings we have developed Mail Manager.
This is a suite of programs handling the import and export of lists, reformatting and de-duplicating them, making selections and outputting them to all Royal Mail services.
The advantage of Mail Manager over older systems is the use of a very fast database which enables the processing to keep up with the speed of modern printers.
Merge and Purge
The PRIAM software is able to take one or more address lists and collate them into a new formatted and consolidated database. Imports may be of fixed, variable or delimited formats. Once the files have been merged the facility to purge the files of bad addresses, duplicates and inconsistencies may be completed automatically or manually.
Each input file needs to be defined as to the fields to be used along with their data descriptions. As the various files are merged together the procedure allows for the data contents to be verified and where needed altered to follow conformity. An analysis is provided to show the usage made of the various data sources.
One of the main objectives of the PRIAM system is to ensure that the data held on the database is accurate. Where possible, poorly formatted or misspelled addresses will be identified and altered by the software. The address details are then matched and corrected against the PAF file, with postcodes being generated where appropriate.
Companies, people's names and data elements are checked for inconsistencies and corrected into standard formats. To provide file consistency, the system will attempt to generate a valid salutation plus convert the data into the required case.
Overseas addresses are coded to country level. Addresses that cannot be identified are placed in a bucket of unrecognisable postal addresses with the default of a 'no mailing' code applied.
To improve the quality of a database, PRIAM provides specialised routines that ensure the database is free of data that is held more than once. This operation is called de-duplication.
PRIAM uses a number of variables to identify accurately different representations of the same person or organisation. Once a duplicate has been found, the details are either automatically merged together or alternatively, the records may be viewed and actioned manually by operators.
The need for de-duplication is to eliminate two or more of the same item being held. The result of consolidating all marketing and trading data optimises statistical data and production costs. Another important factor is to avoid upsetting potential customers by not highlighting unnecessary inefficiencies and at the same time reduce mailing costs.
Selections may be made against addresses, attributes and profile data. The default is not to include addresses where 'Mail-stops', 'Gone-Aways' and where records match to the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) file.
Where more records to be mailed have been selected than are required, random methods of selection may be applied to reduce the selection to the required size. Each selection made may be stored as a flag file and then used to include or exclude them on subsequent mailing. The mailing code may also be applied against an individual record. Where the PRIAM order processing system has been used, selections may also include the trading profile of the customer.
PRIAM supports all the Consignia (Royal Mail) services that enable preferential mailing rates to be claimed and thereby reduce the cost to mail.
Mailsort 1 / 2 / 3 (using 120 / 700 / 1400)
For a single mailing of over 4,000 letters or 1,000 packets.
Mailsort Light (used with Mailsort 3)
For mailings of at least 40,000 items of no more than 15g.
Cleanmail 1 / 2
For a single mailing of over 2,000 letters that have Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or Customer Barcoding (CBC) on each mailing piece.
Walksort 1 / 2
A single mailing of over 4,000 letters or 1,000 packets, sorted to the 75,000 postal walks.
Used for newsletters, journal or periodicals, published and posted on a regular basis.
Export and Printing
Flexible formatting of output is provided using parameter driven placement of data. This allows for any number of reports and documents plus matched-in letters and leaflets to be created. In addition, files may be built for exporting to other systems in fixed, variable and delimited formats.
• Mailings can be handled as individual occurrences or as part of a campaign
• A campaign can be structured into 4 levels
• Mailings can contain offers which drive subsequent processing
• Whenever a mailing is produced the production details are fed into a campaign control file
• Each level of the campaign can be analysed at the desired level
• When responses are updated back into the marketing database, the corresponding statistics are also updated and the results correlated back to the campaign
PRIAM is a tool that provides a wide diversity of software facilities. This means that Mailing Houses are themselves able to offer a one-stop solution to their clients, which includes Response Handling. Operators find that the system is easy to use and that it provides fast data capture for Fulfilment, Coupon Response and full Order Processing.