Getting the Most Out of Mail Tracking
February 22, 2023   Dave Lewis

Of course, you know how to track a mailing – you have SnailWorks do it for you!  I just want to touch on some best practices to get the most bang from your mail tracking buck, as it were.

Track Every Piece of Mail Every Time

OK, a little self-serving, I suppose, but with the low cost of mail tracking today it makes sense to track all your mailings.  It prevents errors, and you’ll be glad you did when something goes a little sideways with a mailing.

Always Schedule At Least One Automated Report

Your customers may not want to log in to see how their mail is delivering – they just want you to tell them.  Easy peasy – just set up a scheduled report.  They’ll get a notice every day…or week…or whatever schedule you set.  My favorites:

  • Daily delivery report
  • Late Delivery Exception Report
  • YourMail Notification
  • Daily Flash Report (Coming soon!)

Don’t Send Reports Just to Your Customer

Every time you set up a scheduled report to a client, make sure you send a copy to:

  • The Customer Service Rep – they need to be on top of what is happening with the job.
  • The sales rep – what a great trigger for them to follow up with their client with positive news.
  • The production manager – they’re the ones who need the Late Delivery Exception Report

Keep an Eye on Unexpected Poor Scan Rates

If your mailings generally scan at 95%, and suddenly one seems stuck at 50%, dig into it to see if you can ascertain the issue.  This is a great time to call us.  We love figuring out low scan rates mysteries, and the news is almost always better than it looks.  Remember, your customer will most likely assume the worst – anticipate and relieve their worries.  Top reasons for low scan rates:

  • Barcode error – The wrong IMb was printed.  We can often (not always) fix these
  • Barcode obstruction – Slipping out of the window on some pieces.
  • Flats – The Postal Service just doesn’t always do a great job tracking flats.  We can help you interpret the scan results you do get.
  • Bad list – We don’t consider UAA mail delivered unless we get a subsequent delivery scan at the new delivery address.  We usually don’t.
  • Postal problems – a lost container, not scanning containers at facilities, delayed mail.  We can help you research it.
  • Unrealistic expectations – If you drop a mailing on Monday, it may not get delivered on Tuesday.  Probably not.  Track your mail so you can develop and share realistic expectations. 

Focus on – and Communicate About – the Positive

Mail tracking’s primary value is not identifying when something has gone wrong with a mailing.  The big value is in knowing when and where mail is in the delivery process so you and your customer can plan for response.  Stay in touch with your customers as their mail delivers and find out how it’s doing.  “Hi customer!  I see your mail is starting to deliver. How’s response?  Anything more we can do to help?”

The Important Point:  Don’t Just Track It and Forget It

Delivery is part of the direct mail process.  A good mail service provider’s job doesn’t end when the mail leaves the building.  Mail tracking gives you a great tool to partner with your clients, and to share in their successes.  Don’t just track it in case something goes wrong.  Let your customers know that something is going right!