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When the residents of three small towns in Texas want their mail or newspaper, they don’t just go out to their mailboxes. They go to their local post office to pick it up. Even so, The Groom News needs to manage their subscriptions, and they have to comply with postal regulations to save costs.
The Groom News is a community newspaper that serves three towns in the Texas panhandle, each about 30 miles apart. To help ensure the paper is appropriated to the right individuals, and for The Groom News to receive discounts, the publisher needs to have the addresses arranged in ZIP + 4 order, presorted and barcode labeled - even though the paper isn’t actually mailed. They were doing this manually, and it was very time consuming. “I’ve been working with the post office for 22 years,” states Donna Burton, publisher and owner of The Groom News. “The amount of paperwork to fill out and the process we had to go through to get the discounts was overwhelming. I’m in the newspaper business, not the postage business. It was very complicated for me.”
Like many in the journalism industry, Donna did some research to find a resource to help her. “I came across Freelance Technologies on the web,” remembers Donna. “I called them up and explained my situation. I’m a small business, and I was looking for someone who would be willing to work with me. After speaking with Freelance, I knew I found the right company.” Freelance Technologies (FTI), based in Virginia, provides mailing software and data quality solutions to clients nationwide.
FTI represents several different solutions from various vendors. However, once they spoke with Donna, they suggested Lorton Data’s A-Qua Mailer solution. “I knew A-Qua Mailer was the right fit,” states Leslie Thurston, FTI Software Consultant. “A-Qua Mailer is easy to use, provides all the required reports, and is very cost effective for an organization like The Groom News.”
Donna was given a walk-through demo by Lorton Data and was up and running by the second time she was online. “It is so user friendly,” says Donna. “I can use it every week on my own and I really have very few questions. My biggest problem is converting my files from Word Perfect to Excel – and that has nothing to do with A-Qua Mailer!”
Since using A-Qua Mailer, Donna has been able to reduce her postage costs by 25% per week. “I’m always concerned for my customers,” says Donna. “I was worried I was going to have to raise my subscription rates, but thanks to A-Qua Mailer, I don’t have to.”
“I am so thankful for both Freelance and Lorton Data. Everyone was so helpful throughout this whole process. No one made me feel incompetent, or that we were too small to deal with. It was really a pleasant experience.”