How to Create a ‘Mail Merge’ Using Your Mailing List

Courtesy of Microsoft Office Online Support

The power of mail merge

You use mail merge when you want to create a set of documents that are essentially the same but where each document contains unique elements. For example, in a letter that announces a new product, your company logo and the text about the product will appear in each letter, and the address and greeting line will be different in each letter.

Addressed envelopes produced by mail merge

Using mail merge, you can create:

  • A set of labels or envelopes     The return address is the same on all the labels or envelopes, but the destination address is unique on each one.
  • A set of form letters, e-mail messages, or faxes     The basic content is the same in all the letters, messages, or faxes, but each contains information that is specific to the individual recipient, such as name, address, or some other piece of personal data.
  • A set of numbered coupons     The coupons are identical except that each contains a unique number.

Creating each letter, message, fax, label, envelope, or coupon individually would take hours. That’s where mail merge comes in. Using mail merge, all you have to do is create one document that contains the information that is the same in each version. Then you just add some placeholders for the information that is unique to each version. Word takes care of the rest.

Start the mail merge process

To start the mail merge process:

  1. Start Word.

A blank document opens by default. Leave it open. If you close it, the next step won’t work.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge.

 Note    In Word 2002, on the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge Wizard.

The Mail Merge task pane opens. By using hyperlinks in the task pane, you navigate through the mail-merge process.

What to Expect from Your Mailing List

When you purchase a LeadsPlease Mailing List, you can rest assured that you will be using a quality mailing. Your next step will be to mail your campaign. But before you get started, we wanted to share a few thoughts with you about the sort of deliverability and response rates you can expect to see from your mailing.

We love to hear from you! So please feel free to contact us at any time, with any questions, feedback, comments and direct mail success stories!

Deliverability

Deliverability is the percentage of mail pieces that you can expect to get delivered.

  • What deliverability can I expect? 
    • Consumer / New Homeowner / New Mover Lists  – 95+% Deliverability Guarantee
    • Business Mailing Lists – 92+% Deliverability Guarantee
      • You can expect these high deliverability rates when you mail your campaign within 30 days of purchasing your list and address your mail correctly.
      • If you have any questions about how to address your mail correctly, we suggest visiting the USPS Addressing Tips & Tools section of the USPS website.
  • Why won’t 100% of my mail get delivered? Why should I expect some returned mail pieces?
    • Although we perform extensive tests to ensure the highest quality data possible, there will always be a small number of undeliverable mail pieces/returned mail for various reasons that are out of our control:
      • Millions of Consumers and Businesses move every month, and if they don’t provide a forwarding address to the USPS, their mail cannot not be forwarded and will get returned to the sender.
      • Postal inaccuracies.
      • If a house is vacant, the postman is not allowed to deliver the mail and the mail will be returned to the sender.
    • “Or Current Resident” and “Or Current Occupant” 
      • You can increase deliverability by adding the words ‘Or Current Resident’ to a Consumer mailing address and ‘Or Current Occupant’ to a Business mailing address. If a person or business has moved location, your mail will get delivered to the current resident/occupant. 

 Response

  • How do I get the best response rate from my mailing?
    • A quality mailing list is definitely one of the first steps in building a successful direct mail campaign; but the overall response rate that you can expect from your mailing, ultimately depends on a combination of elements:
      • Quality List
      • Design
      • Copy
      • ‘Call to Action’
      • Offer or Discount
      • Images
      • Personalization
      • Honesty
      • Timing
      • Repetition
  • What response rate can I expect from my mailing?
    • According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), you can expect to see anywhere between 1-9% response rate from direct mail. Of course, a successful direct mail campaign, as you read above, relies on a variety of factors, so every campaign will have a different response rate.
  • How do I know if my mailing was a success?
    • Every mailing has a different goal, so as long as you see the results that you were looking for you can declare your direct mailing a success. Some obvious benefits and attainable goals for a direct mail campaign are:
      • Finding and gaining new customers
      • Increasing sales
      • Building brand awareness
    • Gaining 1 new customer can often make an entire mailing a success – especially if this 1 customer becomes a loyal, repeat, life-long customer that purchases again and again.
    • So remember, it’s not always just about gaining immediate short-term sales , it’s about building your customer base and getting them to come back again and again.

What is ‘Deliverability’?

Deliverability is the percentage of mail pieces that you can expect to get delivered.

The higher your deliverability, the less returned mail pieces you will have returned to you.

Since people and businesses move location every day, you will always receive a small percentage of returned mail pieces when you do a mailing. One of the ways to help keep your deliverability as high as possible is to use your list within 30 days of purchase.

If you mail your mailing piece within 30 days of purchasing a list from LeadsPlease, and address your mail according to USPS standards, you can expect the following deliverability rates:

  • Consumer : 95+%
  • Business : 92+%
  • New Homeowner: 95%
  • New Mover : 95%

Please visit our Blog post to read more about the LeadsPlease Deliverability Guarantee.

Why won’t 100% of my mail get delivered? Why should I expect some returned mail pieces?

Although we perform extensive tests to ensure the highest quality data possible, there will always be a small number of undeliverable mail pieces/returned mail for various reasons that are out of our control:

  • Millions of Consumers and Businesses move every month, and most of them do not provide the Post Office with a forwarding address. If they don’t provide a forwarding address to the USPS, their mail cannot not be forwarded and it will get returned to the sender.
  • Postal inaccuracies.
  • If a house is vacant, the postman is not allowed to deliver the mail and the mail will be returned to the sender.

Why does LeadsPlease have a higher deliverability rate than other mailing list companies?

We take our data quality extremely seriously and take great pride in being able to provide our valued customers with the highest quality data that’s available. Our deliverability rate is higher than a lot of other list providers, because we take extra measures to clean, and test the data more frequently than most other companies. Here are some of the steps that we take:

  • We perform rigorous independent USPS tests to ensure that all our mailing addresses and contact names are correct and viable.  (NCOA 48, CASS, DPV.)
  • We are partners with Experian, the largest and most trusted data compiler in the USA. Experian ranks each record with a ‘reliability code’, based on the amount of information/data available to them. The ‘reliability code’ for each record is ranked between 1 and 10, 1 being extremely reliable, 10 being the most unreliable. LeadsPlease only loads the most reliable records (1’s and 2’s) into the LeadsPlease system in order to provide our customers with the most accurate and reliable data.
  • We test massive sample lists from various locations across the USA prior to loading each new release of Experian data into the LeadsPlease site. We then analyze each of these mailing lists using our own postal hygiene software and run a complete analysis to make sure each list is highly deliverable. The data is only made available on LeadsPlease after each database has been tested thoroughly and we can guarantee a deliverability of 95%.

How to Write Killer Copy For Your Direct Mailings

How to Write Killer Copy that Boosts Response Rates and ROI

Alice Brown – Editor

Killer copy (or content/text) helps ‘sell’ your products and services and is crucial to the success of any direct mail campaign; so take a second to digest these quick tips to writing killer copy that boosts response rates and your ROI.

It’s all about the ‘Benefits’

Write about the ‘benefits’ of your product/services and less about your products’ ‘features’. benefits’ focus on your customers.

Benefit oriented statements/phrases focus the attention on your customers ad help your customers understand how your products/services will make their life just that little bit easier.

A gardening service could highlight the ‘benefits’ of their lawn care service by writing:

“Free up your weekend and relax! We’ll take care of your lawn and garden so you don’t have to.”

 

An example of a boring, ‘feature’ oriented piece of copy:

“We use professional lawn care tools and our team is quick and efficient”.

 

Get Emotional!

People respond and react to their emotions, so connect with your customers and use text/copy that sparks ‘emotion’. Understand who they are, and connect with them ‘emotionally’.

Example: “We know times are tough – and we want to help…introducing free coffee Mondays!”

Conversational Style

Don’t use stiff, ‘advertising talk’ or impersonal text – it’s cold and boring and will quickly get your promotional mail piece tossed in the trash.

Get ‘personal’ and write as if you’re having a conversation with your customer. Conversational style (‘you’, ‘we’ etc) breaks down barriers and connects you with your customers.

Less is More

People ‘scan’ text and copy so keep your text short and your offer bold and clear. Tell your story, and then stop.

Active voice

Use the ‘active’ present tense and drop your passive tense phrases. The active/present tense creates a sense of immediacy and urgency while the passive tense feels awkward and detached.

Present tense: “The dog bit the boy.”

Passive tense: “The boy was bitten by the dog.”

 

Offer

Your offer is the most important copy of your direct mail piece, so don’t rush it – take the time to create a powerful, compelling promotion that will grab your readers’ attention and push them to take action.

 

 

Convert LeadsPlease Mailing Lists Into Print Ready Mailing List Label Format For Free

We have a free service which converts your mailing lists into a print ready PDF for mailing list labels.

Call us with your order number : 866-306-8674 or email us : info@leadsplease.com or contact us

Ask us to “add or current resident” under the name & above the address to ensure that the mail piece is always left at the address and not returned to sender if the occupant has moved on. This will reduce the number of non deliverables returned to you. Maximize the impact of the mailing & minimize wastage.

Alternatively we can print & ship peel & stick mailing list labels for you.

Do Not Call Regulations & SAN Numbers

Telemarketers & Sellers are required to search the Do Not Call Register every 31 days & remove from their mailing lists/ call lists the telephone numbers of consumers who have registered.

Organizations exempt from the Do Not Call Regulations will have a SAN number (Subscription Account Number) which is renewable every 12 months. You can find out more by going to the National Do Not Call Registry :

https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx

Consumers who receive telemarketing calls even though they are on the Do Not Call Registry can file a complaint with the FTC & violators could be fined up to $16,000 for each incident!

It pays  to keep your mailing lists/call lists up to date and compliant with the regulations!

How To Print Labels From Excel Mailing Lists For Free

We offer a FREE mailing list service so that you can print your mailing lists on peel and stick labels let us know your order number and we will email you your mailing list setup ready to print on mailing labels. Whether your mailing list is a residential mailing list, business mailing list, New Home Owner or New Mover mailing list, we can help!

Simply email us at info@leadsplease.com or call our Toll-Free Customer Service line on (866) 306-8674 after you have placed your order – tell us your order number and ask us to email you a ready-to-print PDF file of your mailing list. We will email that to you within 1-2 hours of placing your order as an attachment.

To open this PDF file you will need either Adobe Acrobat® or Adobe Acrobat Reader® – the Reader is FREE and can be downloaded from http://get.adobe.com/reader.

Open the PDF file by double-clicking the file – Acrobat® will open it

File-> Print

Important! Make sure that the “Page Scaling” option (older versions of Acrobat) or “Actual Size” option  (newer versions of Acrobat) is set to “none”. This option is found on the left side of the print screen about half way down.

TIP! Try printing just one page initially – to make sure that you have the labels the right-way-up and avoid spoiling many sheets.

LABEL TYPES

We set up the mailing labels from your mailing list to print on Avery™ 5160 labels. These are 3 across and 10 down on a page – 30 labels per page. Product information can be obtained here: http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Search/?dimsearch=true&N=0&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=0&Nr=AND%28SITESCHANNELS%3AAvery.com%29&Ntt=5160&x=7&y=11

There are other products which have 30 labels per page with alternative product numbers such as 8860 or 5660 or 51860. The 48160 is an EcoFriendly label. The labels should be 1″ x 2 5/8″ and 30 on a page.

You can purchase these labels at any office supply store or online.