Quick Tip: Always Double-Check Inkjet Simulations

Feb 20, 2007 9:06 PM  By

Making a list and checking it twice: That’s a good lesson to learn, especially when it comes to inkjet simulations.

Now, be honest with yourself—how careful are you when it comes to reviewing and checking the inkjet simulations your printer provides? If you’re not careful, you might be surprised at the things you find.

Over the years, I have discovered a multitude of errors ranging from missing customer numbers to incorrect or missing source codes. But the most outrageous error I came across was from one mailer who failed to review its inkjet simulations. A couple of weeks after the catalog was mailed out, angry (and amused) customers began to call in. Evidently all the regular customer names were somehow replaced with a new name, “Joe Schmo.” Seriously.

Don’t let this or other inkjet horrors happen to your mail files. The following is a quick checklist to help you avoid any damaging and/or embarrassing mistakes on your own mailing:

  • Verify the customer numbers with your records on your system.
  • Verify that the customer buyer history matches the assigned RFM source key.
  • Make sure that the source key sequence matches the final approval provided from the merge facility.
  • Make sure that customer names, addresses, city, state, and zip+4 are properly placed.
  • Check that addresses have each line showing up, whether three- or four-line (or even five-line for some b-to-b mailers).
  • Make certain that address lines are not truncated, eliminating important delivery information such as apartment numbers or street suffixes.
  • Check the inkjet messaging, if used, and make sure the message is appropriate for the mailing segment.
  • Use your optional endorsements such as “Or Current Resident/Occupant” correctly.
  • Make sure that you have not used “Address Correction Requested” on rental files.
  • Spot-check that old customer numbers have been removed and “do not mail” suppressions have been applied.

Michelle Houston is vice president of circulation and client services for San Rafael, CA-based catalog consultancy Lenser.