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-- by Hailey Lynne McKeefry
Postage costs hitting your mail budget? Since July 1, 1996, you could have saved up to 51.6 percent over the 32-cent piece rate by adding bar codes to your bulk mail. Even better, bar codes can speed delivery. MySoftware's MyMailManager will help you reach your customers for less money.
The Bulk Mail Wizard leads you through the process, sorting pieces by first-class and standard post; bar coded and non-bar coded; letters and cards. A simple tabbed dialog box focuses on MyMailManager's different data views, shortening the learning curve to a matter of minutes.
Layouts, the first tab, opens a tree-structure menu reminiscent of Windows 95's Explorer. From there, we were able to quickly look through and choose any of 500 different formats for our data. Included are formats for address labels, booklets and cards, envelopes, form letters and specialty labels. The Data Entry tab provides a WYSIWYG view of the label or item being created, and entering data is as easy as typing in the appropriate information and pressing the Tab key to move to the next field. The Data Table tab displays a spreadsheet view of the data.
MyMailManager fulfills its promise to ease the creation of a mailing list from an existing database. The program can handle 10 to 100,000 names, and with only a few keystrokes we were able to export data in Sidekick to a DBF format and then import it into the mailing program. Access, ACT, Approach, Excel, FoxPro, Paradox, dBASE and other DBF formats are also supported.
Once the database is established, you make sorting, filtering, purging and printing choices from the drop-down menu. The zip+4 codes on the CD-ROM can be automatically added to each address using the Check Addresses function, which quickly scans the database and modifies the existing zip codes to conform to the zip+4 standard.
When you choose a label layout that includes a bar code, MyMailManager will automatically add it to each address. However, to qualify for bar-coded postal rates, you need to purchase an add-on CD called MyAddressChecker, software for printing bar codes that is PAVE- (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation) certified by the U.S. Postal Service.
Postal guidelines can intimidate even the most organized business mailer. MyMailManager streamlines the process and takes out the guesswork.