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Caskey Group’s direct mail tracking system aims to make waves

In the past year and a half, Caskey Group has seen something it hasn’t since the early part of the millennium.

“We’ve been seeing a re-emergence of postal mail campaigns,” said Karen Saxe, marketing director for the York-based commercial printer and communications company.

Not that direct mail went away, but there was a time when the stack of mail in the mailbox was several inches thick. These days, Saxe said, it’s usually the email inbox that is overflowing.

So to cut through the clutter, advertisers and companies that need to get important information through such as rate increases or policy changes have gone back to the old-fashioned way.

And Caskey has found a way to capitalize on that trend, using a Web-based program that can track direct mailing through the U.S. Postal Service, improving reliability and accountability.

IMb Track is so precise it can tell a client that a particular customer likely received a piece of mail on a certain day, said Swiler Delp, Caskey’s data integrations services lead and creator of the program.

“For example, for a mailing from a bank about a security breach for a customer’s debit card,” Delp said, “here, we can tell you with reasonable certainty if that person got it.”

How it works

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“IMb” is short for the postal service’s Intelligent Mail barcode, which is the series of hash marks found on a piece of mail after it has been delivered, Delp said. The postal services uses that barcode for its own tracking but makes it available to customers.

The program follows the piece of mail through the sorting system, then notes the “stop of clock” scan — the last scan of the barcode before the mailing leaves the post office for delivery with the carrier.

The scans are also turned into metrics for Caskey’s clients, showing exactly how long the mail was in the postal system, the percentage and actual number delivered, the day most of the mailings were delivered and other key stats.

Joseph Deinlein

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