Quick tips for creating and managing data for direct mail

At Central Mailing Services we understand that creating and managing data for postal mailings can be quite a challenge. As such, we’ve put together some quick and easy tips to help you get the best from your data.

  • Royal Mail puts together towns and cities without making a distinction between the two. For example, Birmingham and London are both considered towns for mailing purposes. Towns must have their own column in any table. They must have a capital first letter of each word (Title Case), or better yet be entered entirely in UPPER CASE.
  • Localities are not required. So using Central Mailing Services’ address as an example, Tyseley as a locality is not needed and can therefore be taken out of data for mailing purposes.
  • Counties, while not mandatory, are useful. For example, there are many Newports – one in Essex and one in Gwent to name but two. Therefore, including the county in data allows for the distinction to be made between the two locations.
  • Postcodes, like these towns, must have their own separate field; they need a space in the correct position and must be in upper case.
  • Road names and house numbers must be in the same field, always with the house number first.
  • Try to create entries without using punctuation. For example, “Unit 1, Tudor Industrial Estate” does not need the comma.
  • Make sure you use upper and lower case correctly. Many times data will have been entered all in lower case. If you auto correct this with a case converter, take care to ensure entries such as NHS or UK are kept in upper case. Remember, postcodes need to always be upper case.
  • Separate your domestic and international data, as mixing the two can cause confusion. It’s far better to create separate worksheets, or to instruct your account manager to not mail overseas if any are found.
  • Try to limit suffixes when it comes to people, as you can only have a certain amount of space.
  • With regards to personalization, you need to consider the correct details for salutation and make sure that the names are in the right order. For example, “James Allen” could be used in either orientation. Follow first name, then surname. Allow a separate field for both, and for titles such as Mr., Mrs. and so on.

We hope that you find these tips useful and that they help you with your data management. At Central Mailing Services we’ve got many years of experience of helping our customers with their data. When you’re putting together your next mailing with us, why not ask about how we can use our data management expertise to make your mailings as efficient and successful as possible?

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