Announcing First Edition 7
I am pleased to announce the release of First Edition 7. We’ve asked our customers for their ideas of new features to help manage their publications better. Well, we’ve listened! This is the biggest upgrade ever! We’ve added all new icons, new data fields and lookups, many slick new functions and many, many very useful, “how did I live without this before”, reports.
Without this new feature, someone could literally not only bankrupt your business but also walk away with the ownership of your home! Don’t skip reading this message.
Stop for a moment ...
and picture this, and be scared…
be really, really scared.
One day you arrive at the office only to find your computers gone - stolen. Somebody broke in and just walked away with them. Now luckily, you think to yourself, you have backups and so it’s just a matter of getting new computers, right? No problem. Or is it?
But uh-oh- wait a second… what about all that customer data on your computers? What if some unscrupulous identity thief uses your subscribers' credit card info, stolen from data on your computers. I’m talking about private, secret information, that you’ve promised, implied or implicit, to safeguard for you customers. Not only would you feel downright awful but you might be in serious legal jeopardy. The predictable customer lawsuits could literally put you and your family out of business -and home- as well as put your employees out of work. By the way, the thief doesn’t have to be a sophisticated cat burglar either – he/she could be an employee, a temp, or janitor for that matter, that with little effort, emails your customers' credit card data to their partner in crime. Again, you have the same horrible, bankrupt nightmare.
But wait! We have a solution that will let you sleep easy at night.
Now First Edition 7 will convert your customer credit card file into a new encrypted format and that’s just like putting your data in a highly secure, time-locked, Swiss bank vault, with three-foot thick titanium hardened walls. Your data is safe, secure and unassailable by thieves! Even if they steal your computer(s) – they’ll never break the encryption.
And you have complete control over who can view credit card numbers by a new security level we’ve added. With the right permission you can view the entire credit card, but with out it, you just see a series of asterisks with the last four digits. If you upgrade for this feature alone, you would do yourself, your family, and your employees a huge favor by insuring their future against being sued out of business due to data theft.
NEW Group Renewal Utility
Security is only the beginning. Boy oh boy, we went and did it with this new feature. Now you can renew your group subscribers all in one transaction. You’ll save so much time, you’ll thank me again and again, just for being able to go home, finally on time, and enjoy your family.
In version 7, if you have a group with 20 members, when they renewed, you had to enter 20 different renewal transactions. First, you had to find the group member, start a renewal transaction, select the source and then the price. Then you had to enter the payment details, etc., etc., etc. After that you had to repeat the same process 19 more times! Well, no more!
Now First Edition 7 allows you to select any Group, display all the active and expired members (you can choose all statuses as well as a range of expire dates). Then First Edition saves you time by suggesting who you should renew. The wizard allows you to select a source (from a popup if you set auto-popup on source), and then a price code (it’ll auto-popup too). You approve the term and price, and simply click Next to see the payment screen – First Edition fills in the renewal prices, terms and payments – fills in everything except for the check number or credit card info. Then just press Save and Whammo! You’re done. Whoaaa! What a time saver! Let me make sure you understand this. Instead of 20 separate transactions, there is just one automated transaction.
But that’s not all- A New Gift/Bill to Renewal Utility
Hey, but that got me thinking. If we’re doing Groups why not do Gifts as well? So we added that feature too! Makes sense, doesn’t it? Gifts are like Groups except members of a group are linked by a GroupID and Gifts are linked via the Bill-To ID. In this routine, just find the Bill-to name, and First Edition will show you all of their subscriptions and renew either some, or all, in one simple, quick transaction! You have complete control.
Amazing New Customer Duplicate detection
Now we all hate duplicates in our lists, don’t we? Duplicates cause customer service complaints from subscribers getting multiple issues, and it cost extra in printing and postage to mail those darn duplicates. Duplicates are simply bad, bad, bad! Now duplicate detection is a black art at best. Currently, First Edition uses an 18 character matchcode to help with detecting duplications. For example, the name and address below:
12501 Chandler Blvd
Valley Village, CA 91607
Would create this matchcode: 91607PETERSM125CHA
When you create a First Edition 6 publication you can create either 1) a name matchcode or 2) a company matchcode, but now, in First Edition 7, the new version has both a personal matchcode and a brand new SCF/Company lookup! A zip code + Company name matchcode on the above address would be 91607Lynx Media. This really improves your capability of detecting dups. But that’s not all!
Can’t Live Without the Brand New Duplicates Report
Our new reports package comes with an astonishing Duplicates Report. And wow, it allows you to add up to two User Defined Matchcodes! It not only looks at Matchcode and company Matchcodes and email addresses to detect dups but also uses your two User Defined Matchcodes. And you can change the user defined matchcode as much and as often as you want.
Four New Remarkable Customer/Prospect Look-ups
How many times have you had a phone message with a first name, with an illegible last name but a readable phone number? Now, how in the heck can you find that customer? Haven’t you ever wished you could find a customer with just their phone number? And wouldn’t it be nice to look up a subscriber by their email address, too? Or, how about their city? Wouldn’t you like to be able to look for a subscriber in Topeka or Waterloo? Well, now you can! First Edition 7 adds four new ways for you to look up customers and prospects. A customer record in the past had only four look up methods: Account Number, Name, Company, and Zip/Alpha. First Edition 7 adds these new “case-insensitive” lookups:
- Phone Number
- Email address
- City name
You’re going to wonder how you ever did without these new searches. But that’s not all! In addition, we’ve increased the length of the customer name and company lookups from seven characters to the full last name and first name. Previously, if you did a search (in customer or prospect mode) for a company such as American Fisherman, the search results were only alphabetized to AMERICA. Now it extends to the entire company name.
What’s the world coming to? It’s like marketers are the new criminals – or is it that some lawyers just want to get their hands into your pockets? That’s why you absolutely must have these brand new First Edition “Hold” fields! They’ll help keep your business out of that same type of trouble. There are plenty of people out looking to hit the jackpot from some unsuspecting company deep pocket– and that means you – simply for marketing your product. It’s a crazy world!
Protect Yourself! Did you know Hooters Restaurant, of Augusta, had to pay an $11,889,000 judgment, to 1321 plaintiffs, just because Hooters sent them a menu by fax?!!!
Now, new First Edition 7 fields include:
Hold Fax check box A lot of legislation is going back and forth on the legality of fax broadcasting. The easy lawsuit money has attracted tons of attorneys who specialize in fax broadcast class action suits. So you really, really, need to stay on top of the law – and you must, must track names of customers and prospects who’ve asked to opt-out of your faxes.
Hold Telemarketing check box – this is very useful if your company uses telemarketing. Because it’s against the law not to respect your customer’s request to hold all telemarketing calls. The National “Do Not Call” list is serious business. You must abide by the new laws.
Phone 3 field - Now, when a subscriber has an extra home phone, mobile phone, or 800 toll-free line, you have a place to put that third number. And now you can set the label text for your phone fields. If you want to use Fax, Mobile, Home – whatever you want since you define it.
SIC upgraded to SIC/NAICS. NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) is replacing the SIC (Standard Industry Classification). This upgrade widens the SIC/NAICS field width from 5 characters to 6 characters.
Web Page field added to collect your customers' web page.
Customer WebID and Subscriber WebID added to link your subscribers to your web database.
Customer Web Upload Date and Subscriber Web Upload Dates fields.
Inactive yes/no field been added to aid skipping inactive customers for promotions.
Recurring Billing field has been added (and explained later on)
Bill-to, Ship-to and Customer tables are now
merged into one Table.
Question: How do you enter a current subscriber who also wants to be a donor, or bill-to, for another subscriber? Answer: You have to re-key the customer in as a bill-to, although they’re already in your customer file. The problem is that Version 6 maintains separate tables for customers and bill-to name and addresses. And of course, an address change in one doesn’t update the other.
First Edition 7 solves the problem by simply merging your bill-to’s, ship-to’s and customers into a single customer file. And, the easy to use conversion wizard we’ve included will also find dups and merge them too! Now you will be able to have any record also be a bill-to record and/or a ship-to record, at the same time.
Email Addresses for Bill-to/Ship-to names.
That’s right. You can now keep track of the email address for bill-to/ship-to names. And our Email module has been updated to follow your rules in Setup as to who should receive the individual efforts for both Renewals and Bills. (Remember you can set this by effort in Setups' General Area).
New Summary View of Bill-To’s and Gift Subscriptions
Now you’ll have to admit this is nice. Simply pull down the Mode button, and choose Bill-To/Gift mode and you can easily view the subscriptions for any Bill-to or Donor. And that’s across all publications!!!! So if Bill Smith has four gift subscriptions, just change to this mode, look up Bill Smith, and you’ll see all four of the subscriptions just like our current summary screen for multiple subs to the same party. Double click on one, and jump right to that subscription. Wow – that’s a cool feature, even if I do say so myself.
Customer Service Screen moved to the unused portion of the customer name/address tab.
We’ve moved the whole customer service area to the name/address screen. So, you no longer have to tab to get there. And, while your customer is on the phone, you can view his/her address as well as your customer service comments.
And we’ve added keyboard short cuts to make it easy for you to jump to the Bill-To tab (Ctrl+B) , Note tab (Ctrl+N) , Main Address (Ctrl+A) , Subscriber Tab (Ctrl+O) and the More Tab (Ctrl+M)
We’ve increased the note font size which has made the notes much more readable and therefore much more useable. You won’t have to strain just to read your notes now.
New Issue/Backissue Setup Automation Table
Have you ever wished you could automatically backstart subscribers up until a certain date of the month, and then, after a certain date, begin new subscribers with the next issue? Well, you can do that now manually. But wouldn’t it be nice if it was automated? The good news is that with First Edition 7, that task is now fully automated, including a new table for defining start dates for new orders based on a calendar date range.
For example, orders for 5/1/2006 to 5/15/2006 could be set to start will the 0605 issue while orders in the range of 5/16/2006 to 5/30/2006 start with 0606 issue. In this example First Edition forces a single backstart for those ordering 5/1 to 5/15. But you’re not limited to one backstart. For example, one First Edition user starts all new subscribers who subscribe between June and December as June starts, and all orders after December to June, as January starts. This new feature allows that type of policy too! First Edition 7 will automatically figure the backstarts for you as well as setup the backstart process for you.
Canadian Postal Codes now part of LynxZip
First Edition 7 adds Canadian postal look up for LynxZip users. Just fill in the postal code and First Edition populates the Province, City, and Area Code fields. Over 806,000 unique Canadian Postal Codes were added to our LynxCan postal database.
New Manual Help
First Edition 7 now automatically links to the First Edition User's Guide in PDF format. The First Edition User's Guide has also been updated for Version 7. So simply press F1 to have the First Edition User's Guide pop-up on your screen. It will require Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from Adobe.
Summary Screen Improvements
We’ve added Edition as a column on the summary screen and have improved the look and feel. We’ve added a “Summary/Subscriber Screen” button on the top/right hand side to quickly and easily switch between the two. And now, by double clicking on one subscription in the summary list, First Edition automatically changes back to subscription mode and drills down to the subscription you just double clicked. Click the “Summary” button again to go back to summary mode.
And now you can also start a payment right from the summary screen. Thus, if you have a single check for several subscriptions to the same customer, it’s a snap now. The popup will show all the subscriptions for a given customer that have an amount due and allow you to prorate the single check over the multiple publications.
Promotional Tracking Changes
We’ve all experienced renewing subscribers responding to our new order promotion. Until now, you could only report on New Orders or Renewal Orders but not both at the same time. But Version 7 has a new option to include both New and Renewal Source Codes. This option works for both the standard report and the weekly report.
For those using our AutoCharge module, we added a new “Recurring Charge” type of auto charge. Unlike our AutoCharge which uses percentages, Recurring Charge is a specific amount to charge each period. A typical example would be $10 per month recurring charge or a $25 quarterly recurring charge. You may specify the initial charge amount, the recurring charge amount, the delay Cycles (if any) and the recurring Cycle.
Demographics are converted to our newer extended type demographics. The style has been around for a few years and was created to allow virtually unlimited demographics. The old style was maintained in the customer file with a limited fixed amount of demographics. The new style also has a new input form for fast input. While the old one character answers are supported, the new style adds capability for two and three character answers to demographics. Numeric and free form are also supported.
HTML Editor now in the First Edition Email Module
Now you can compose your HTML emails right within First Edition. You’ll have all the usual formatting features from bold, italic, and font changes, to images. The new editor even supports tables. It’s a fully functional editor. So, no more jumping over to Front Page or Dream Weaver to create HTML email.
Test Email and Set First in the Email Module
Also added to the Email Module is the ability to send a test email. It defaults to the email address in setup, but you can overwrite it. This is wonderful for seeing how your email really looks as a received email before you commit to sending all the efforts. And, we’ve added a checkbox to set the first name to email. This is helpful if your computer froze or you aborted for some other reason. Now just browse to the starting email and check “Set as First”.
We’ve also added an “Authentication” for those customers who must send a user name and password to their email server.
We’ve spruced up all the programs with all new icons. And, they look great as well as fit nicely on both short cuts and your start bar. In the example below, you see Outlook, Internet Explorer, the Show Desktop icon, a couple of old program icons, and then First Edition Transactions (the pencil and paper), First Edition Setup, and First Edition Labels/Export. Of course they are in color, and they look great!
Version 7, besides adding great looking cons, also adds hot keys for 1) Changing Batch Dates, 2) Notes, 3) Customer Cancel, Refund, NSF Check, and Group Payments.
New Split Utility
Many publications create splits for advertising inserts. For example, you might split Northern California and Southern California. You would be splitting them because you are offering different editorial and/or because you’re selling advertising for specific areas. Now with this upgrade, you can easily assign Edition codes based on zip code range. Just setup your table, and click the run button, and First Edition will check each and every active subscriber and assign their Edition Code based on your settings.
New Backstart Automation Table
The new Price Code table now includes a Copies From and Copies To field. First Edition Transactions now pops-up Price codes with both a number of copies fill-in field and an Edition pull-down selector. Setting either will limit the display to only the price codes that match. For example, say you have one price code set for 1 to 1 copy, and another price code set to 2 to 5 copies. At first both price codes will appear, but if you type in 2 in the copies field, only the 2 to 5 copies price code will show. Same is true with Edition. Select the Edition from the pull down, and only Price Codes that match your selected Edition will appear.
Publication Path Utility
The First Edition 7 Setup program now includes a simple utility for changing publication paths. Before, the publication required opening of many setup files, causing an error when a publication was moved. You can now simply press Cancel on entering without choosing a publication. Then from the Edit menu, choose Change Publication Paths. Easy and simple to do. And it now provides a copy button to copy the top path to all paths.
First Edition 7 New Reports
We’re very excited about these 18 new reports.
These reports are a perfect addition to the current First Edition Reports. Let me show you some examples taken from actual pages – oh – and you can download a PDF of the new reports at www.lynxmedia.com/version7/reports.pdf
Renewal Rate by Year
This is the straightforward report – but it really gives you a great view of your renewals, year over year, without all the detail by expire dates. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees, but this simplified report, is a terrific big picture view of your renewals. It’s a broad look and allows you to get a handle on your overall business. And when, someday, you decide to sell, you’ll find that buyers will demand a report like this.
Renewal Rate by Year (with Effort Detail Option)
The new reports are very flexible. You can optionally see the above report with more response detail as shown below. Note how the view lets you see how individual efforts pull in renewals. This report will help you decide if you need to improve on an individual effort. And, I feel most publishers simply don’t mail enough renewals. They stop too soon and that’s leaving money on the table. The rule is, you continue mailing to expires until the cost exceeds the cost of acquiring other new orders. If you only mail 3 or 4 efforts, maybe you should be mailing 5 or 6. Heck, it may even pay to mail 9 or 10.
All the Renewal Rate Reports have Options for Effort Detail (on/off), Date Range Selection, Report year based on Order Date or Expire Date, and Subscriber Type filters.
As we continue with the renewal report, you can get even more detail by viewing by Renewal Type. In this case the report sections are First Time renewals (Conversions), 2nd time renewals (Renew) and 3rd or more renewals (Multi-Renew). In case you didn’t already know, first time subscribers renew at a different (usually lower) rate than re-renewing subscribers. So if you ever want to predict your future renewal rates, and you resultant cash flow, you clearly must have this report. Every publisher and marketer needs this breakout.
Renewal Rate By Subscriber Type
The next report breaks renewal rates now by Subscriber Types. Subscriber Types include Regular, Trial, Gift, Comp (Controlled), Freebie, Group Member and Billing Masters, etc. This report reveals how each of these types renews. You can now see if your Trial Subscribers are renewing profitably, or how Gift subscriptions are renewing compared to Regular subscribers. This percentage gives you a deeper insight into your circulation and allows you to start projecting income. If you know how many of each subscriber type you have, and how they renew, you can then project both future circulation levels as well as cash flow.
Renewal Rate by Edition
And then you have a report broken out by Edition. For those of you who have either the classic Editions (East Coast/West Coast) or who are using the Edition for Electronic Version (Print/Email/Both) can now see renewal rates by Edition.
Next, I want to show you the Renewal Rates broken down by Editions. All First Edition users have access to Subscriber Types and Editions and can use these categories as an aid in analyzing and segregating your lists. Many publishers use the traditional style of Editions, such as East Coast and West Coast, but more and more are using Editions as a way of tagging a subscriber for “Print” versus “Electronic” versions of their publication. So if you’re not using these features now, think of starting to use them in the near feature.
Now maybe you don’t have an Electronic version of your publication – but why don’t you? And the more ways you can find to segregate your subscribers into Niches or Demographics, the better you can promote products such as Gold/Silver Editions or Member/Associate memberships. But, the more you can customize your promotions for each niche, the better your response – the better your profits. Ok, so much for my preaching (grin).
Many More Reports
Now there are several more renewal rate reports – By Expire Date and By Source which I don’t have room to show you here. But I urge you to download the sample reports from www.lynxmedia.com/version7/reports.pdf
Active Circulation by Issue Graph
One request I get a lot of, is a report of active circulation for each issue on a single report. So we’ve created this beautiful graph, in color, which gives you a great summary of year over year, active circulation by issue. Each year is in a different color so that you immediately grasp your circulation growth (hopefully) over time. Now instead of having to print out a report for each single issue, the summary graph gives you this tremendous snapshot of the copy summaries that First Edition stores on each and every update.
In this graph, issue 0103 had a circulation of 37 (come on- don’t laugh, you know it’s only a demo. All the bars for Years/Volumes 01, 02, and 03 are in different colors.
The new Sales reports offer Selections by:
Year/Day of Week
And you can group by Edition as well! Here’s an example of Sales by Year And Year/Day of Week.
Cross Hatch Report
I’ve probably had more requests for this type of report than any other. It literally lets you design your own reports pretty much, from dozens of First Edition Fields.
You do the Slicing and Dicing. Create dozens of cross hatch reports using these fields:
- Subscriber Type
- Source, Start Date
- Expire Date
- Billing Type
- Renewal Type
- Order Year
- Order Year/Quarter
- Order Year/Month
- Renewal Type
- Credit Type
And the reported figures can be counts or sum of copies or sum of sales. Examples would include
- Copies-Expire Date by Status
- Sales –Year by Subscriber Type
- Sales- Source by Year
- Copies- Year/Quarter by Territory
It's almost endless. It allows you to analyze and play “what if” games like never before.
New Auditing Features (For BPA/ABC audited magazines)
If you’re not audited by BPA/ABC, you might want to skip this section and go right to the Address Template. These audits are not by the post office or the IRS, but publisher sponsored audits assure advertisers of their circulation levels.
Job Title/Function Automation
The Job Title field on the name/address screen can now be linked to the Audit Title. You can enter any number of job titles for pull down in the name/address screen and also enter the letter it represents in the Job Title. For example “Manger of Operations” may be set to “D Manager” and the title “Manager of Personnel” may also be set to “D Manager” in your Audit Job Title/Function list. Again, this saves keystrokes while preventing input errors.
Audit Business Automation
Similarly we have linked the SIC/NAICS codes to the Audit Industry. So you can enter ranges of SIC/NAICS codes into our table and assign those ranges right to any Industry. But that’s not all. We’ve also extended the field to six characters for the new NAICS code size.
Audit Source Automation
The Source Code table now allows the setting of Audit Source. So by selecting a new or renewal source code, the Audit Source setting is automatically set. Just think of the time this could save you.
Option to expire subscribers whose qualification expires.
By selecting this option, you ensure that any subscriber becoming unqualified during the update process also becomes expired.
New Customer Address Template
For those of you who enter multiple subscriptions to the same address, for example, a list of subscribers at General Electric, you can now opt to use any screen address as a default address until otherwise notified. Saves a lot of keystrokes. When set to on, the company, street, city, state, zip, and phones repeat while the Name and Email fields clear. Boy it’s a super speedy way to enter a group from a single company.
New Bill-to Address Template
If you have a stack of gifts, you can simply enter one gift, and save. Then choose to make that bill-to a template, and quickly enter all the remaining gifts for that donor without having to find or input the bill-to name. That’s sweet!