Mailing List Handler

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We are all plagued with multiple or unwanted copies of catalogs and other mass mailings. These arise largely from merging multiple mailing lists, clerical errors in data collection, and raw information generated by individuals in different forms at different times. Ideally, a mailing list system would collect (even propagate) corrections, merge variant forms, and recognize reader preferences about receipt.

The Mailing List Handler accepts address entries, corrections, and preferences to create one or more mailing lists. It generates mailing labels from the lists.

An address entry contains a name, mailing address, and reader/supplier information. Corrections include updates to individual address entries and guidance about merging variants. Preferences update the reader/supplier information. A mailing list is a collection of address entries plus perhaps control information.

Address entries may be original (collected from raw sources such as reader requests), or they may be derived from other mailing lists. Address entries may also be received as external mailing lists (not necessarily in the desired format). Corrections may come from internal consistency checks, post office correction procedures, reader information, or other sources. Preference information may come from readers, suppliers, or other sources (e.g., suppression information from Direct Marketing Association or USPS objectionable-mail procedures).

The mailing list handler must maintain a set of mailing lists. It should eliminate duplicate entries and correct errors. When generating mailing labels it must take reader/supplier information into account.

Design Considerations

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Updated Halloween 95 by Mary Shaw
Comments to maintainer