Frequently Asked Questions
Understand the guidelines for sending or receiving data
Here are some common questions we receive from customers about sending data to or receiving data from SK&A. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please call our customer service department at 800-752-5478.
Sending Data to SK&A
What is Merge-Purge?
Merge-Purge helps you find duplicate records within one or more files, so you can append or delete matching records. There are two types of Merge-Purge:
1. Match Job: matching outside data to SK&A’s data to append or delete data fields.
2. Omit Job: comparing data in a specific priority and omitting duplicates.
What type of file should I send to SK&A for Merge-Purge processing?
Here’s our order of preference:
2. MS Excel
3. MS Access
4. Comma delimited data file with field layout and record count
5. Fixed length field data file with field layout and record count
You can email the file to your account executive or customer service representative, or we can arrange FTP transfer on your site or our site at ftp.skainfo.com.
Receiving Data from SK&A
What format should I use?
We’re flexible in terms of what we can send and receive. Most applications have a file import/export function that can access a variety of file types. Check your application’s manual or help button to find out which formats your program can import/export. Here are the most common formats we send to our clients:
- XLS (Microsoft Excel – limited to files of 65,000 records)
- CSV (Comma Delimited)
- TXT File (fixed length)
What are my options for file delivery?
Depending on the size of your file, email is the fastest, easiest and usually most preferred delivery method. We typically recommend email delivery for files of 50,000 or fewer records. If your email server accepts large files, we can send more records. We also have an FTP site where you can easily download your data using a secure login and password. Any FTP software or even your Internet browser can help access your FTP data from our site at ftp.skainfo.com. Consult your CSR for a login and password, and directions if you’re interested in receiving your data through FTP. We can also send you a CD by mail.
Why did I receive a .zip file?
The file has been compressed to take up less space on your email server, FTP server, or CD. It can easily be unzipped using WinZip. You can request an unzipped file if you wish. However, this limits the number of records we can send if email is your preferred delivery method.
Why won’t Excel open an .xls file that I received?
You’re probably using an older version of Microsoft Excel. Let us know and we’ll save your file in whichever version you prefer, and resend it to you.
How do I open a comma delimited file?
While many programs can open a comma delimited (CSV) file, most clients use Microsoft Excel. Open Excel, click on File and then click on Open. Once the file open box is displayed, click on the “files of type” dropdown and choose all files *.*. Locate your file and click on it. Excel will prompt you to import the file using the import wizard. Choose delimited and then indicate it’s delimited by a comma.
What sort of file format can I receive if I’m using a Macintosh system?
Any text file format such as ASCII comma delimited will do. Macintosh users can also receive text data via the Internet using email attachment or FTP uploading.
What’s a Presort?
Presort is a special sorting of your mailing required by the post office, which allows you to receive a postage discount. The mailing labels and postal reports are normally created by special presort software.
For further assistance, please contact SKACustomerService@us.imshealth.com or your customer service representative at 800-752-5478.
Customer Service Questions
What’s an Nth?
It’s a random selection from a list designed to produce a statistically accurate sample of the entire list. We divide the total names in the list by the number desired for the sample.
What does one-time use mean?
It’s an understanding, an established industry convention that a rented mailing list will not be used more than once, in whole or part, without the written consent of the owner.
What’s an A/B split?
An A/B split occurs when you divide a mailing list in a strict alternate sequence for testing purposes. (Example: select 30,000 names and split into two alternating lots of 15,000 each. The 15,000 quantity would then be one split.)
What are key codes?
They’re a unique identifying device placed on a mailing label, which makes it possible to track and identify responses. Key codes can use numbers or letters or a combination of both. Most key codes are used to identify a list source. However, the key code can also be formulated so that it combines not only the list source, but also the category of list, type and date of offering, and prior buying activity
What are the limitations to the 100-percent deliverability guarantee?
SK&A’s 100-percent deliverability guarantee can only be extended to the total list of our own verified data, and if all ordered names are used in a mailing within 30 days of your order. Fax numbers, phone numbers and email addresses do not fall under the guarantee.
What’s an SCF?
Sectional Center Facility, the area covered by the first three digits of the ZIP Code.