In order to be the best in the industry, stay ahead of competitors and acquire new business, mail production houses must be able to handle complex, large-volume mailings with tight deadlines. The solution is Mail.dat files combined with post-presort software. Mail production houses that manage the production end of direct mail campaigns can drastically increase their annual mailings using these powerful and affordable software solutions.


Produce Quality Results Faster

Distributing better than anyone else in the industry depends on the ability to meet impossible in-home dates and quantities. DIS Direct, a mail production house and Window Book client, says that if it did not receive customer data in the Mail.dat format, it would require an additional 10 to 12 people and more time to manually input the same data. By educating its clients on the benefits of Mail.dat, DIS Direct now receives 99% of its customer data as Mail.dat files. Using post-presort software to process these files, DIS then generates the relevant mailing statements faster and with greater accuracy. Without the ability to process Mail.dat files, large mail houses cannot produce statements fast enough to keep up with a growing client base nor have the ability to accommodate new business.


Post-Presort Software Saves Money

Post-presort software that works with Mail.dat files can save mailers both time and money. A job that incurs the cost of additional salaries in some cases, requiring over 10 people for data entry can be reduced to the cost of one or two people who are trained to use the software instead. Versus the cost of paying 10 additional people a year, the software pays for itself many times over. Plus, the post-presort software can handle more complex mailings, speeding up automation and reducing the risk of human error.


Mail.dat Files Widely Available

Mail owners who want their mail processed quickly and accurately can avoid production confusion by providing their mail production houses with customer data in Mail.dat format. By presenting data in this industry-standard format, mail owners are more likely to see their mail delivered promptly and at a reasonable cost. All major presort software vendors create or offer an option to create Mail.dat files.


Mail.dat Provides Flexibility

The best mail houses pride themselves on their ability to handle many configurations in terms of mailpieces. In a modular shop setting, using Mail.dat files can help combine different processes and smooth out the production line. The added flexibility fuels growth and profitability. According to Gene Kryczka, VP of Postal Affairs and Distribution for DIS, "Using Mail.dat files has drastically increased our volume and production. Six years ago, we were mailing 25 million pieces annually. Now we do over 700 million pieces a year!"


A modular and mutable production floor combined with the right post-presort software allows for better productivity and flexibility for incoming work. If last-minute work comes in, the software adapts to changes in the hardware configurations or schedules in order to get jobs out or make last-minute changes. For instance, if you had a mailing of five million pieces going out, the software can create a master statement that can be broken down to allow for mailings of different variations. At times when you may not know what the final count is until five minutes before the verifier walks in, Mail.dat can tag what is to be mailed that day and print the appropriate statements the final step is mailing. When done by hand, processing statements for postal verification may not occur fast enough to get the mail out the door in time.


Powerful Reporting

Mail.dat also provides the opportunity for better record keeping and reporting. With the right post-presort software, mail production houses and large corporate mailers are able to store relevant data necessary to meet the U.S. Postal Service's record-keeping requirements with minimal paper storage. Plus, the right Mail.dat processing software mines that stored information to provide mailers and their customers with the customer service and accounting information they need to run their operations more smoothly. Top-of-the-line mailing software should interface directly to your business management systems. Plus, for an IT department of a mail house, Mail.dat software that includes a powerful SQL database ensures data stability and provides comprehensive reporting tools.


Look More Professional

Most companies who outsource their direct mail campaigns to mail production houses don't want to deal with a "mom and pop" shop; they want statements that look professional. From the get go, post-presort software generates professional-looking statements. That in itself is a selling point. "In an industry where visual perception is at the forefront of everything, the appearance of professionalism is extremely important," says Jeff Schullo, Director of IT for DIS.


J. Jeffery Peoples is the President of Window Book, Inc. For information about Mail.dat and post-presort software, contact or visit him at