- Preferred: Any text file (.txt, .csv, .dat) with fields separated by commas, tabs or pipes
- Optional: Microsoft Excel files or fixed-width text files
How to get your files to us
We can receive data files from a variety of sources:
- Secure FTP
- PC-formatted CD-ROM or DVD disc (returnable upon request)
Any of the above-mentioned file types may be sent as a file attachment via e-mail. If you’re emailing a data file, please include your order number and company name in the body of the e-mail (acknowledgment of receipt available upon request). Also, please provide the following information:
- Quantity to be produced
- Beginning barcode number
- Ending barcode number
If possible, provide a sample of 10 or more barcodes or formula for calculating check digits.
Lucas Color Card is a full-service mailer. To help us help you ensure your mailer is an unqualified success, please familiarize yourself with these special instructions for mailer files.
- Make all necessary passwords for access to the data file available when the file is sent
- Include a header for each field in the file
- Use a unique number for each record in the file (prevents duplications)
- Only one record per line, but you may have unlimited fields
- Send a separate file for multiple denomination or artwork jobs
Multiple files may be put into one Zip file, but please send only one file per denomination or artwork, i.e., DO NOT send files for multiple jobs (orders) in the same Zip file.
Lucas Color Card is a full-service mail services provider (MSP). We mail our card products to all 50 states and offer a variety of mail entry discounts, including DNDC, DSCF and DDU. Our full-service mail customers can track their mail in real time as it makes its way through the postal system and arrives at its final destination.
To help us help you ensure your mailer is an unqualified success, please familiarize yourself with our basic data requirements as well as the following mailer-specific instructions.
Presorting mail can lower the per-piece mailing cost and ensure mail pieces arrive at their intended destination. Some of our customers send us mailing lists that have already been presorted using their own software and indicia (stamp), while other customers ask us to process their mail using our software and indicia.
If you plan on presorting your own mail…
You’ll need to send us the appropriate USPS-approved mail documentation so we can process your job. We’ll also need a high-quality image file of your indicia if it’s not already included in the artwork.
If you want us to presort your mailer for you…
There are several options that could affect the cost and effectiveness of your mailer:
- Does your mailer need NCOA processing? NCOA is the USPS database of change-of-address orders filed by households and businesses. NCOA processing provides feedback on the accuracy of addresses before mailing so that we can update addresses with current information, remove undeliverable addresses, and delete records that are no longer of interest because the addressee is not part of the intended target audience. Mailers save money on printing, mailing services, and postage, and mail pieces are delivered faster to the intended recipient. NCOA is required for full-service mailings unless the address block includes an alternate recipient (“OR CURRENT RESIDENT” or similar). Under current postal regulations, to qualify for NCOA processing, the mail list owner must complete a special USPS-approved form (the Processing Acknowledgment Form or PAF).
- Do you want us to de-duplicate the list? De-duplication consists in removing duplicate mail records based on one or more criteria. The most common filters are:
- Person. Use this option if you want to remove more than one mailpiece addressed to the same person (i.e., Robert Smith versus Bob Smith at the same address).
- Address. Use if you want only one record for each unique address or company/address in your mailing list.
- Household. Use if you want only one mailpiece delivered to an address when more than two people with the same last name share that address. When we remove duplicate addresses, we can also consolidate the addressee into a single household, i.e., Poppa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear would become “The Bear Household.”
- Do you need full-service mailing? We can presort your mail to obtain lower rates and make your mail pieces fully trackable. But to qualify for those lower rates and full tracking, your mailer must meet several requirements:
- It must either have an alternate recipient or the mail list owner must complete the Processing Acknowledgment Form (PAF)
- Addresses should be concentrated in a limited range of zip codes
- The job must include a minimum of 500 pieces
Mailer file requirements
The data file you send us must include the recipient’s name and complete address. Also, be sure to identify alternate recipients if applicable (like “CURRENT RESIDENT” or “OCCUPANT”) in a separate column (this format is known as the “exceptional address” format).
Please note that, to ensure data integrity, we cannot modify the data in your files in any way, so make sure that data is correct before sending it to us. For example, if you are sending mail to businesses and private individuals, your “OR CURRENT RESIDENT” field should match, that is, business mail should probably be addressed to “OCCUPANT.”
Please note that if you’ve asked us to process your mailer using our software, the software will optimize and validate each address, so any addresses identified as invalid will be removed, and valid addresses will be formatted to conform to postal regulations. Mail lists that have not been optimized and validated cannot be processed as full-service mail.