Marketing Monday: Mystery Solved Plus An Excel Tip!

Scott CostelloAll, Blog, Marketing 3 Comments

After getting another 20 “return to sender” direct mail pieces from the same list, totaling 40 now, I knew there was something I did wrong.  After a little digging I figured out that I accidentally used the property street address with the owner’s city, state and zip as the recipient address.  DOH! What a waste of $30 in stamps.

So, how did I make this mistake?  It was a combination of excel formulas and me being in a rush.  I was converting all the addresses to what is called “Proper Case” (Capital first letter, lower case everthing else) and when I copied the formula to convert the owner’s mailing address, it had the coordinates of the property address in it.  I’m not sure how I didn’t notice that, but it happened so these letters have now been redone and are going out today.

Excel Formula Tips

For those people that are not proficient with excel, the use of formulas is something you really need to learn.  It can save you hours a of work and make boring, routine tasks take only seconds.  I use formulas, combined with macros, to filter out the unwanted addresses after pulling a list from the tax records as well as many other things.

Here is a simple tip that will help you all out.  Many times I’ll get lists from the tax records where the person entering the data used all caps or all lower case letters.  This just doesn’t look right when I’m mail merging letters and envelopes.  To fix this quickly you can use these little formulas to get the data looking like you want.

If you have the address 123 BROOK HOLLOW DR in cell A1

Convert to Lower Case

  • formula “=LOWER(A1)”
  • result…123 brook hollow dr

Convert to Upper Case

  • formula “=UPPER(A1)”
  • result…123 BROOK HOLLOW DR

Convert to Proper Case

  • formula “=PROPER(A1)”
  • result…123 Brook Hollow Dr

I’ve known about upper and lower case for a long time but just recently discovered Proper Case.  It saves me a tone of time because I would have had to retype all the addresses, but now it takes me a few seconds.

Scott Costello
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