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The Back-end

The Back-end is that part of the webCirc system that is used by the publisher's circulation staff to perform all the necessary functions in the circulation management process. These functions include:

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Subscriber look-up

Use this function to look up subscribers for whom the subscriber ID is unknown. Searches can be done using a number of search criteria. All returned matches are hot-linked to proceed directly to the maintenance page for the subscriber. Wildcards may be used in each of the search criteria.

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Subscriber maintenance

Use this function to add new subscribers or to renew and update subscribers whose ID is known.
For existing subscribers, the system will show for which publication(s) a subscription may be added, and to which publications the subscriber has a current subscription.

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New subscriber approval

When an individual subscribes to a publication using the Front-end, the application is placed in an approval queue, since the qualification of the applicant is unknown. The approval function will allow circulation staff to view and edit the information provided by the applicant and determine qualification. Based on their findings, they will have the option of approving or rejecting the application. In either case, the subscriber will receive an appropriate e-mail.

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Miscellaneous maintenance functions

A number of functions are available here, including finding duplicate subscriptions, maintenance of SIC/NAICS codes and the re-assigning of industry categories based on SIC/NAICS values for the employers. If Standard Job Classification codes are used, the same can be done for job title categories.

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Maintaining employer information

To reduce duplication, employer information appears only once in the database. A number of functions allow for maintaining consistency in the way that company names are being spelled, and for the synchronization of employers at the same postal code.

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Synchronization of subscribers under a single subscriber ID

This function is used to find and eliminate duplicate subscribers and to combine their subscriptions under a single subscriber ID. Having a single subscriber ID for multiple publications reduces the number of renewal e-mails a subscriber will receive and the time it takes to renew subscriptions.

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Maintenance of system tables

All the HTML pages produced by the webCirc system are generated dynamically in both the Back-end and the Front-end. The use of tables allows for maximum flexibility to change the information displayed by the user's browser, without the need to re-code HTML documents each time a change occurs. This includes audit and supplemental questions as well as drop-down menus and check boxes used in forms.

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Generating mailing and list rental lists

This function produces three types of lists:

  • List rentals
  • Issue lists
  • Audit lists

Except for audit lists, this function creates a tab-delimited ASCII file, ready to be sent to the publisher's mail house for processing. Once the list has been generated, a report will be presented on the screen with the breakdown of the selected records by industry, job title and geographical location. There are a large number of selections available to generate very specific lists, including split-runs etc.

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Generating miscellaneous lists

This function, which is really designed for a publisher's internal use, can produce lists with a virtually unlimited combination of selection criteria, including answers to supplemental questions. Output fields in the resulting list can be tailored to the specific requirements of the list.

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Generating e-mail renewals

The webCirc system includes a complete set of tools to manage e-mail renewal activities. This includes the creation and maintenance of renewal notices, generation of renewal lists and the processing of the renewal messages. The contents of renewal messages can be personalized to the intended subscriber.

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Generating other e-mail messages

Similar to the e-mail renewals, this tool set does the same for non-renewal messaging. Use these messages to communicate with readers regarding announcements, reader surveys or other communications. Here too, messages can be fully personalized.

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Generating reports

The webCirc system creates a number of reports. They are:

  • Audit reports - identical in format to the BPA/CCAB audit report, it can provide an add/kill report, breakdowns by industry and job title, breakdown by aging and source, and breakdown by geographical location.
  • Aging forecast - use this function to show the aging/source report projected at some time in the future to see the impact of time on subscription aging. This function is very useful for renewal planning purposes.
  • Expiry dates - produces a list of distinct expiry dates to show potential bottlenecks in the loss of subscribers due to aging.
  • Campaign codes - generates a list showing the number of subscribers from a given campaign source. Useful in determining the value of rented lists by monitoring the number of responses generated.
  • Add/kill detail - produces the detail on qualified subscribers which were added to or deleted from a publication's mailing list, by issue.
  • Add/kill look-up - used to view all add/delete activity for a particular subscriber.

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Intention-to-Buy

This potentially lucrative feature provides for the collection of information on subscriber's buying intentions, the results of which can then be made available to participating advertising clients.

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Performing Reader Service related functions

If the Reader Service module is installed, a number of tools are available to accomplish the tasks of the sales lead generation process, including:

  • adding and maintaining client information for those client contacts who are to receive the sales leads generated by the system.
  • processing of the Reader Service cards
  • generation of a variety of sales lead reports

For more information on this feature, click the "Add-ons" link on the menu.

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Address Accuracy and NCOA

This optional functionality provides for real-time address accuracy checking for both Canadian and US addresses. For Canadian addresses the system also offers the ability to do reverse look-ups and to find new addresses for undeliverable mail by checking the Canada Post NCOA (National Change of Address) database.

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System Administration

This function will only appear on the browser pages of users with System Administrator privileges, since a number of the available options provide control over important system functions, which should be handled only by senior staff who are fully aware of the impact of their actions.

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