Printing and Purchasing

Posts tagged ‘Planners’

Why Companies should update their Client Addresses after Mailings.

Last week at the Post Office, a customer was picking up a package.  The customer’s comments to the Post Office Representative, illustrated bewilderment as to why the vendor had delivered their order/package to the wrong address since the vendor’s monthly mailings were delivered to their home.

Assuming the vendor is using the same address file to ship the product as to send monthly mailings, there are several possible reasons the product went to the wrong address. 1] The buyer has not requested the updated NCOA information from the mailer, 2] the buyer isn’t forwarding the updated NCOA information, or 3] the updated information isn’t being applied to their client database.

When preparing an address list for mailing, mailers compare the address file to the National Change of Address [NCOA][i]. The NCOA file is updated when people or businesses notify the Post Office they are moving by completing a change of address form[ii]. The results of the NCOA comparison is two lists; A] updated addresses and B] addresses with issues, also called bad addresses. The mailer should provide the customer a list of bad addresses along with the code description[iii] explaining why the addresses are bad. It is up to the customer to decide to mail, delete or update the bad addresses. The client can pay the mailer to research the bad address or they can use verification websites like “Search Bug” and “Melissa Data”[iv].

When ordering a mailing, buyers should request the mailer provide them the NOCA corrected addresses file. The corrected and bad address lists should be forwarded to the department responsible for managing client addresses. The customer, in my example, filed a change of address with the Post Office but neglected to provide the same information to the vendor. If customers would request the updated addresses from mailers, and update their client’s addresses, the package would have been delivered to the client current address.

Please e-mail your questions, comments, or send PDF’s of printing and mailing issues to

Thank you for your time.

When should Print Buyers Require Physical Proofs?

In today’s economic environment, buyers and printers are looking for ways to reduce costs.  Physical [hard or traditional] proofs such as; Kodak, Matchprint, Epson and Sherpa, add cost to the printing project.  Physical proofs are a direct-overhead cost.  The smaller the print quantity the greater percentage proofs are to the total project cost.  

Today many buyers accept digital proofs from printers such as Portable Document Format (PDF).  PDF proofs can be sent anywhere in the world via the internet and are inexpensive to create and deliver.  When print projects are short run [small quantities], pleasing color, digital, and require minor finishing, a PDF proof can be a good proofing option.  As the complexity of the printing project increases, the greater consideration should be taken for requiring physical proofs.

Physical proofs add costs to the project, but they also provide value to the buyer.  The traditional proof delivers an inexpensive likeness or mockup of the printed piece without the expense of plates and machine make readies.  Proofs, such as a Sherpa, can be cut, folded, punched, drilled, stitched, collated, etc.  These finished proofs allow the printer and buyer to review margins, back-up, crossovers, alignments, collation, etc. to confirm that the printed piece will represent what the designer or customer intended.

The print buyer should require physical proofs on the following projects:

  1. Saddle-stitched catalog with folio, type or art close to the face trim.
  2. Printing where the design has cross-overs or art which needs to matchups after finishing.
  3. Critical color.
  4. Complicated finishing.
  5. Large print runs.
  6. A project with large dollar value.

Note this is not exhaustive list.

Please e-mail your questions, PDF’s of printing issues or comments to

Thank you for your time.

Are Clients Receiving Duplicate Mail?

This past week the United States Post Office delivered duplicate envelopes the same day.  Duplication makes me ask the question, “Why didn’t the mailer ‘dedupe’ the mailing list?” 

 ‘Deduping’ is the process of removing duplicates in customer and address records in a database or spreadsheet. [i]  

In my case, what caused the unnecessary redundancy? Did the buyer forget to request deduping or was the mailer missing the deduping expertise by trained or quality personnel? Whatever the reason the list wasn’t expunged, leaving a perception of the mailer and client by the customer that is not flattering.  

 When ordering a mailing, a buyer needs to request the mailing list be deduped. Deduping the mailing list provides added value by reducing the cost of postage, printing and mail addressing. In addition to the reduced production costs, the client avoids the negative perceptions of being unprofessional, unorganized, and wasteful both economically, and environmentally.

 When the mailer prepares the list, they should provide the following to the client: mailing title, random sample list, bad address list, duplicate address list and quantities for each. This information allows the client to verify the mailer has the correct list and address any issues.   

 Please e-mail your questions, comments, or send PDF’s of printing and mailing issues to

Thank you for your time.

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