Is Your Direct Mail List Accurate & Up-To-Date?

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Is Your Direct Mail List Accurate & Up-To-Date?

Questions about your direct mail list? We’re here to help.


Some Thoughts On Duplicate Data

The most common (and counterproductive) data quality issue is the dreaded DUPLICATE DATA in the direct mail list. Duplicate records can come from several sources – origin input error, import/export errors, or even mistakes from your data entry team. *gasp*

Duplicate data can potentially harm your direct mail marketing and sales campaigns, so we want you to be ‘in-the-know’ when it comes to avoiding it.

duplicate data direct mail blog fish image blue

So, what is duplicate data?

Duplicate data can consist of any record that shares data with another record in your marketing database. The most easily spotted form of duplicate data is a 100% carbon copy of another record. These are the most visible, and usually occur while moving data between programs or systems.

Exact carbon copies of records are not the only type of duplicate data, however. They are actually the least harmful of all duplicates (BUT their existence can lead to more serious issues in the future).

The most commonly occurring (and most harmful) type of duplicate data are partial duplicates. These records may contain the same name, phone number, email, or address as another record, but these will also contain non-matching data, so they can be difficult to spot right away.

Partial duplicates can be created by human error if a customer or associate enters information by hand. Someone may create a new record for a prospect, customer, or company that is already contained in your marketing database without realizing it.

Sometimes, partial duplicates will start out as a carbon copy and progress to a partial duplicate. For example: you have a customer record in your database that was exactly copied during the importing process. Now you have two customer records for the same customer. Now, as you collect more data about that person, only one records gets updated while the other still exists. You may be inadvertently adding new data to each record, separate from the other. Over time, this will cause the two records to become more and more different from each other.

Understanding duplicate data is a great first step. Now, here’s why you should actively avoid it:

Duplicate data wastes your marketing budget.

When you have frequent duplicates in your database, you may be sending multiple marketing messages to the same person. It’s possible your campaigns may pull data for personalization from the wrong customer record, thus trashing your conversion rates and burning through your ad budget. Plus employee time – editing data by hand is a time-consuming task, potentially taking days or even weeks for large databases.

duplicate data direct mail blog fish image

A single customer view is critical.

The benefits of a single customer view will flow throughout your organization. Marketing, sales, and customer support teams all end up sharing the same data, so it’s imperative that this data is correct.

A lack of a single customer view is perhaps the most detrimental aspect of duplicate data.

Duplicate data presents quite an obstacle to proper personalization.

If you aren’t using personalization to its full potential, you can be sure that you’re losing business to competitors that are. It’s a staple of any effective modern marketing campaign. Many companies rely on CRM data to help them segment their target customers. Time and time again, research has shown that customers are willing to pay more for a product that offers a personalized experience.

Records reflect a moment in time. If you have duplicate records for the same customer, one may be from when they first visited your company as a new customer, and one where they were making their buying decisions. Customers who are at different stages in the buying cycle require different messages to influence their choices. Part of personalization is understanding what your customers want to know and when they want to know it. When you have eliminated duplicate data throughout your databases, it becomes much easier to personalize your messages.

Customer confusion can happen.

When you send marketing messaging that includes outdated or inaccurate data, your customer support team can potentially spend a lot of time answering questions from confused customers. Your customers may feel like they have missed a critical step or need to provide more information. You always want to make your customer interactions as high-quality as possible, and a clean list can help!

Eek, How embarrassing: Inaccurate Information on Sales Calls

Having accurate data and a single customer view is critical for your sales team. They need to be able to access reliable information about a person’s former interactions with your brand. You never want them to go into their sales calls feeling unprepared.

If duplicate data is frequently a problem for your sales reps, they may constantly double check your databases before they talk to prospects. This is a waste of valuable time they could be selling and earning commissions. Happy sales reps make happy (and more) customers.

Inaccurate reporting gets in the way of data-driven decisions.

Every company would like to utilize more data for their decision-making processes. This is valuable information when you can trust your data. If your marketing database has a lot of duplicate data and/or other errors, that results in inaccurate reporting leading to marketing decisions that don’t hold value.

You have to remedy duplicate data issues and errors before you can have faith in the data-backed decisions that your company makes.

Avoiding duplicate data is key.

Duplicate data can have quite a negative impact your business. Our dedicated list managers are here to point you in the right direction and assist you in getting your list cleaned up. We can even offer solutions for your list acquisition so you don’t have to worry about it at all.

(Clicking the “Get a List Quote” button should open your default email client.
If it does not, please use the contact form.)

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laminated menus, why laminate is important, lamination

Laminated Menus: The Durable, Safe, and Smart Choice

Whether you run a massage studio or a restaurant, nearly every business needs a menu – the place where you list all of your products or services. Your menu will leave a lasting impression on your customer, shouldn’t it be a good one? Besides an attractive design, your menu should also be durable, professional-looking, and sanitary. One simple way to achieve all of the above is to go with a laminated menu option.

Why Should I Use Laminated Menus?

  1. Longevity: Laminated menus last longer because lamination increases the durability of a piece. This will save you money on reprinting.
  2. Durable: Laminated menus are protected against stains, smudges, spills, marks, oil, grease, dirt, moisture, and fingerprints. Laminated menus are nearly waterproof! So the next time a coffee gets spilled on your menu, you can just wipe it off instead of throwing it away.
  3. Appearance: Laminate is a completely transparent material and will not impair or blemish your menu in any way.  In fact, laminate enhances ink colors and makes pieces more vibrant. This will make the images on your menu appear even more appetizing.
  4. Professionalism: Lamination thickens and strengthens printed material, creating an impression of higher quality and importance. Customers love to feel like they are important and that they are going to an establishment that invests in their products.
  5. Sanitary: Laminated menus are easier to clean. This means that they can be sanitized! Decrease the spread of germs and bacteria in your business.

laminate menus, restaurant, drink, food, lamination

One-sided, double-sided, and bi-fold menu options available.

Why Stop at Laminating Menus?

Lamination is a great option for more than just your main menu. You can also provide guests with laminated drink menus and kids menus. This may be especially useful since kids are known for being a bit messy. You can even provide a laminated placemat for extra protection.

You can also use lamination with your advertising! Plastic postcards are a great option. Imagine your customers receiving an offer in the mail with a coupon or two with your business on it. Lamination will put you one step above the competitors! You could also provide take-out menus with a magnet attached. Now your food menu can be hung on a customer’s fridge and they’ll think of you any time the thought of cooking dinner that night seems too daunting.

laminated postcards, magnet post card, restaurant menu

Laminated postcards, menus, and coupon mailers offer value.

Have to see it for yourself?

Request Direct Mail Samples Button

(Clicking the “Request Samples” image should open your default email client.
If it does not, please use the contact form.)

Call us today at 1-800-826-2869 to get started on your new laminated menus!

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mardi gras direct mail blog image

Party like it’s Mardi… Mardi Gras Marketing Ideas for Your Business

Mardi Gras– Carnival– Fat Tuesday– Shrove Tuesday… Whatever you want to call it, it happens every year, (sometimes in February, sometimes in March) and is one of the biggest times to “let loose” for some, before the Lenten season begins. For others, it’s just a “big ol’ party”.

As a business, Mardi Gras, and Carnival which leads up to it, is a good time to play up the celebration time by adding themed sales events to boost business. Here are a few ideas to get your good times rolling:

1.  Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday” Sales Events

Host special discount sales events for Mardi Gras. Use the FOMO tactic– the idea that customers need to stock up and enjoy so they don’t miss out before Lent.  Send direct-mail postcards, hand out brochures or flyers at point of sale and at the door, or hang posters to spread the word locally. Be sure to post events on your company’s facebook page and other social media as well.

2.  Be Part of the Masquerade by offering discounts.

If you are a retail establishment or family restaurant, you could give a small freebie or sample– or offer a discount to anyone who enters your establishment with a mask on Mardi Gras. This is a good way to engage on social media as well, by taking pictures of people who give you permission to post them on your page(s).

3.  Mardi Gras Costume Contest

Invite your customers to enter a themed costume contest where the winner gets a nice prize, and everyone else who enters gets a discount. ALSO a good way to engage on social media. Snap pictures of people in costume (only people who give you permission) and post them on your page(s). Before you know it, you’ll have people tagging themselves at your establishment.

4.  Hand Out Beads Early!

If you advertise you’re handing out beads, you should begin the week or 2 leading up to Mardi Gras. This way, people will have them for their parties, ready to wear (and throw?) Offer a small giveaway or discount to pose wearing their beads in front of your sign and post on social media. You can even create your own hashtag and offer additional incentives to people who use it to share your business.

5.  Host your own Mardi Gras themed party.

Depending on your type of business, a party of your own might be just the ticket to bring in sales. This doesn’t have to happen ON Mardi Gras, because people may have their own plans, and also – it’s Tuesday. People likely have to work the next day. However – BEFORE Mardi Gras is a good idea, since Carnival lasts the entire month leading up to it anyhow. Give your customers a special Mardi Gras party which doesn’t take much to organize. You can sell tickets at the door to offset your costs of food, drinks and entertainment. Tickets can later be used in a raffle – Another option is to invite non-competing businesses to sponsor the party with you.  Let people know about your event ahead of time by sending invitation cards or even sell advance tickets.

6.  Give away a Mardi Gras trip.

Start a promo to enter “loyalty” customers into a drawing to win a trip to next year’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

7.  Remember the people who prefer not to party.

Not everyone likes to party on Mardi Gras.  Send business-minded customers a postcard or sales letter that features a “Staying-in” discount – because they “have more productive things to do.”

These are just a few ideas we have seen prove successful in the first quarter of the year. Mardi Gras is a fun time, so with advertising to reflect that, it will be a piece-of-cake to bring in business.

baby in the cake mardi gras marketing blog image

Fun Fact: The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition
that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party.

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Omni-Channel Marketing with USPS Informed Delivery® Service

Omni-Channel Marketing is certainly the hottest buzz word of 2020, but what does it mean exactly? Well, that answer can actually be kind of complicated. For a more in-depth read about the difference between Omni-Channel Marketing and Multi-Channel Marketing, this article is a great resource. However, the simple explanation is that Omni-Channel Marketing incorporates marketing techniques from all different sources – in-store, printed ads, and digital ads.

Omni-Channel Marketing – Where to Begin

If the thought of creating different ads for both the physical, and digital spaces intimidates you, a great place to start is by promoting your online presence ON your physical ads. Assuming that you already have a website and social media accounts, place links to your sites on your direct mail pieces. You can do this by simply writing out the URL or putting a QR code that the reader can scan and be launched to your site.

Postcard with QR code, omnichannel marketing, digital advertising
6×11 postcard with QR code linking to website and URL for their Facebook page

Being User-Friendly is Key!

Writing your website URL out on your direct mail campaign is certainly important, but not everyone is going to take the time out to write that URL into their web browser. Utilizing QR codes certainly takes this a step further – generally readers can use a QR reader on their smart phone and it will launch them directly to your website. However, not everyone uses or understands the concept of QR codes just yet. Wouldn’t it be easier if the website on your direct mail was actually just a clickable link? Unfortunately, that technology doesn’t exist quite yet. Or does it?

Using USPS Informed Delivery®

Although you may not be able to click directly on your physical mail piece, there is a tool that can get you close! According to the USPS website, Informed Delivery provides eligible residential consumers with a digital preview of their household’s incoming mail scheduled to arrive soon. Users can view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of incoming letter-sized mailpieces (not the inside contents) via email or an online dashboard. This means that before customers even check their physical mailbox, they can get a preview of what’s to come. Since the reader is already using the internet, they are more apt to visit your website. This makes having an attention-catching mailer even more important! For tips on how to make sure your direct mail campaign stands out with Informed Delivery® Service, read our previous blog post.

informed delivery postcard, omni-channel marketing
Screenshot from a Informed Delivery® e-mail with a preview of a postcard.

But instead of hoping that your reader looks at your website listed on your piece of mail and then decides to type the URL into their web browser, why not make it even easier for them? By integrating an interactive campaign, you can put a clickable link directly in their Informed Delivery® preview! This means that the reader will see the outside of your mail piece, as well as a small digital ad and a corresponding link that will launch them to wherever you decide. So even if the customer never opens the physical piece of mail you’ve sent them – they may still open the digital version and get your message all the same.

informed delivery envelope, omnichannel marketing
Screenshot from a real Informed Delivery® e-mail with an interactive campaign.

Tracking ROI

The USPS also offers methods to track your marketing efforts. For each campaign you run, they can provide the number of people in your list that have signed up for Informed Delivery®, as well as the number of people that have opened the email containing your interactive campaign. As long as you are using unique URLs, you can also track on your own the number of people that have clicked on your individual links. With everything being traceable, you can get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

In a world where the answer to question, “Is online advertising or print advertising better?” is always changing, it’s best to cover all your bases. Contact PrimeNet today to get started on your next direct mail campaign with USPS Informed Delivery®!

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March Madness Marketing Techniques for Any Industry, March Madness Direct Mail

Marketing Madness: Techniques for Any Industry in March

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it’s time to focus your marketing efforts on the next big sports event: Basketball Tournaments in March! It’s time to put those footballs away and slam dunk your next marketing campaign.

Be Careful With Your Taglines!

The official title for the NCAA basketball finals event is a very catchy phrase. However, before you get excited and begin running your next sale, you need to be aware of the implications of what taglines and catchphrases you use. The official event name of the basketball finals is copyrighted and trademarked by the NCAA. This means that the phrase cannot be used by anyone else without permission without violating the trademark. How do you know if something is trademarked? One of the best resources to search for trademarks is the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO.) Here you can be sure that any taglines you are trying to use for marketing purposes won’t land you a cease and desist notice, or worse – sued.

Instead, marketers have come up with other clever taglines to still get the point across. Try using terms like “March Mania,” “March Markdown Madness,” or even “Slam Dunk Savings.”

March Postcards, letters, madness, mania, basketball marketing

What Else is Happening in March?

Incorporate other events into your March marketing campaign. The madness in March kicks off during the same week as St. Patrick’s Day. This is the perfect opportunity to merge the two topics. Perhaps you can develop a “mascot” of a leprechaun dribbling a basketball. March also brings about thoughts of spring. Maybe your customers can “spring into savings” just as basketballs can “spring” off the ground. March is also still a popular time for people to be getting their tax refunds. Why not incorporate tax-themed lingo and sales into your campaign as well? If you can use more than one theme, and do it well, this technique can draw more attention to your campaign.

Why Should Your Customers Care About Your March Mania?

Okay, it’s basketball season. So what? Why should your customers care? Give them a reason to! A good marketing campaign is all about what you can offer to your customer. Whether you are promoting a new service, or running a sale on a product, your customer needs a reason to WANT what you are selling. One tried and true way of doing this is to run a sale. Customers love a good deal. Another enticing offer is a giveaway offer. To go with the March Mania theme, perhaps you can give away a free basketball with purchase. You could also run a raffle for a brand new TV (for them to watch the games on, of course!) For customers who are big lovers of basketball tournament festivities, hold a bracket contest. Offer prizes for who has the most correct bracket of the season. All of these incentives will entice your customers to come to you, and spend their money with you.

Marketing for Your Industry

One of the main industries that centers their marketing around the madness of basketball season in March is the automotive industry. Don’t sell cars? Don’t fret! Anyone can use March Mania themes for their marketing with just a bit of creativity. For example, restaurants and bars can run different drink specials or create new menu items with basketball themed names. You can also host viewing parties. Make your business be the place everyone wants to go (and spend their money) during the tournament! The HVAC industry can run a special on air conditioner tune-ups. Make sure your air conditioner is “game-ready.” Even someone in realty could use something as simple as “The ball is in your court.” If you put the right spin on it, any industry could benefit from marketing centered around March Mania.

Use Direct Mail in Your Marketing

March Mania Postcard, Markdown Madness Auto

While digital ads will be bombarding your customers, offer them something different with a unique piece of mail. For example, this “pop-out” piece is an interactive experience for the customer. This helps your marketing efforts become more memorable in customers’ minds. Direct mail campaigns also allow you to use targeted data to specify the exact customers you are wanting to bring in.

In conclusion, no matter what you do for basketball season, just be sure you do something. Let PrimeNet help you with your March campaign today! You can call 1-800-826-2869 or fill out the contact form on this page.

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Marketing Your Service Business for Spring

Automotive Spring Service Marketing Blog image

Do you offer home services? Automotive Services? Business maintenance services?

A great time to market is the change of the season from winter to spring when the warmer weather is just ahead.

Speaking of weather: Weather influences nearly every consumer purchasing decision. Understanding the relationship of weather on consumers can have such a great benefit for businesses who sell services. In fact, weather data can be leveraged to market products at exactly the most profitable time, and in a way that will maximize impact. What we eat, our choice of apparel, the type of car we drive and what home we buy, can all essentially be determined by studying fluctuations in the weather.

With the spring season in mind, here are a few marketing tips for starting your warmer weather advertising on the right foot.

weather direct mail blog article lemonade sign

Take advantage of competitors’ lack of planning.

At the beginning of the year, the sooner you can start your marketing, the better – You’ve got to get in front of your customers before your competition does! Good news for you: Advertising traffic slows down during the winter months because many service industry business owners don’t have a set marketing plan. That means there is less competition for advertising space!

If you’re running pay-per-click (PPC) or paid social media campaigns, your costs-per-click (CPC) will typically be less and your impression/share trends higher. That equates to more visibility for less money!

Create a relevant sense of urgency.

spring marketing urgency - hurry up direct mail blog image

Advertising with a sense of urgency is important, especially for your service business. You should be marketing time-sensitive services based on seasonality.
Some examples:

– If you’re in the HVAC or Automotive industry, you should be sending coupons and specials for spring maintenance and tune-ups.

– Home Cleaning Services: Spring Deep-Cleaning

– Business Maintenance: Roof and grounds inspections and maintenance

Lawn & Garden Care or Pest Control: Spring clean-up, planting, fertilizing, and beautification. Termite prevention, wasp, ant, grasshopper, gopher, roach etc…

Pest Control Spring Marketing Blog Image

Time is of the essence. Don’t Miss Out!

Ok, Let’s take Lawn Care, for instance: These services will typically have a higher ROI (aeration, fertilization, spring cleanup, etc.), but the time to have them done in the spring is limited– and so are the amount of hours you’ll have in a week.

Lawn Care Spring Marketing Blog Image

When running your spring service ads on your direct mail, flyers, postcards, Facebook or even on door hangers, stress a sense of urgency.
For example:

Lawn Care Spring Maintenance Blog“A thick, healthy lawn begins with SPRING Aeration and Fertilization
15% OFF! – Call now before our schedule fills up!”

There are four simple elements to this ad copy:

The Intent: You’re stating the service and what the ad was for.

Your Offer: You’re providing an appealing incentive with 15% off.

It’s Relatable: The ad copy is related to the customer’s wish for a healthy lawn.

Sense of Urgency: The importance of taking action NOW incentivizes the customer to call sooner than later.

All of the elements are needed for the most effective sales ad, but urgency is the most important. Urgency is what prevents your customer from forgetting about you. “Don’t wait!” “Call now!” “Space is Limited!” Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) helps prevent your competitors from getting to your customers before they call you or take action.

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football direct mail blog image commercial printing halftones

Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From The Super Bowl

The only time in American culture that people look forward to watching commercials: The Super Bowl. People will sometimes go to great lengths to avoid commercials altogether – like using the DVR or live streaming. BUT – its the total opposite on Super Bowl Sunday. Why can that be? Let’s have a look at some marketing lessons you can learn from Super Bowl commercial ads.

direct mail blog what's the point of marketing

Have a Clear Message

We must admit, some Super Bowl ads are confusing. They’ve got a small time slot, not dissimilar to the amount of time someone might be seeing your own ad before deciding to drop out or keep reading – your message absolutely must be clear and concise. Don’t assume artsy metaphors will be interpreted the same way you might intend them.

So, ask yourself: “What is my point? What do I want? How can I be clear but creative? How can I get my message across quickly?” After all, what good is your message if the person on the other end doesn’t understand its purpose?

Direct Mail Blog Image Woman Laughing

Make Your Viewers Laugh

People look forward to Super Bowl ads because they assume they are going to be top quality, best of the best. They look forward to the wow factor, and a potential laugh. A lot of brainstorming, testing and research goes into creating content for these premier, sought-after time slots. Not to mention, a LOT of cash. Creativity and humor are key!

Even if the content you are pushing may be considered as ‘boring’ to the average person, you’ve got to give it something humorous or quirky to make it stand out while still keeping it serious business, as to not discredit the product or service you are offering.

direct mail blog doggo marketing audience

Know Your Audience

How can you connect with your audience if you don’t know who they are? You can’t, unless we’re talking about a lucky accident. All great marketing happens on purpose, whether the audience realizes it or not. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the history of on-air television, catering to millions of viewers. When Budweiser markets a Super Bowl ad about not drinking and driving (because you need to make it home …) – they are absolutely targeting the right audience, since going out and drinking alcohol is an undeniable part of many Super Bowl experiences.

Your content should be engaging, educational, and make use of emotions. People need to not just see your advertising message, but to really feel it.

If you keep these simple points in mind, you’re on your way to effective advertising, no matter what you are offering.

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Is your sensitive data secure?

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ You know how you occasionally read about huge data breaches in the news? Or (ugh) you get a letter saying your information may have been part of a breach? Maybe you have a business that collects data like emails or logins – or takes payment information online? Well, as an SOC2 Certified Vendor, we’d like to remind you to think about how you manage your company’s data and other security measures so that you know you’re always covered.

Take Our Data Security Quiz:

So – How’d you do? We’ve compiled a list of key points and related articles on data and facility security. We have found these to be comprehensive and informative, and hope you will find them useful as well. So, without further ado, here they are:

1. Encryption of data traveling over internet (email, ftp)
Are you using secure servers? A reputable email provider?
Techniques for transferring data securely

2. Review and education staff about security policies
When do you conduct security training and how often do you provide continuing education sessions with your staff about security protocols and procedures?
Security Policy: Development and Implementation

3. Comprehensive data backup programs
(We’re utilizing Cloud storage, and would highly recommend it. Plus, we keep a detailed, up-to-date Disaster Recovery program)
How is your data backed up and what is your disaster recovery plan?
8 Benefits of Online Data Storage -Business News Daily
6 things to consider when implementing a disaster recovery plan  -AT&T Business

4. Automated virus protection updates across network
Is your anti-virus software reputable and up-to-date? How often do you review and update it?
Why Is It Important to Constantly Update Antivirus Software? -Techwalla
The Best Hosted Endpoint Protection and Security Software for 2020 -PC Mag

5. Physical security of building
(Check out our fortress of a Data Center)
How effective is your building security? How are keys and codes handled?
7 Physical Security Practices Every Business Should Implement -Linkedin

6. Yearly external audit conducted to assure critical security programs are being followed (In PrimeNet’s Case: SOC Type2)
Do you have any third parties who conduct security audits?
How and Why to Request a SOC Report from Your Vendors
-Smith& Howard

7. Periodic external penetration tests conducted.
A penetration test is designed to answer the question: “What is the real-world effectiveness of my existing security controls against an active, human, skilled attacker?”
What Is A Penetration Test And Why Would I Need One For My Company? -Forbes

Your PrimeNet Team

Catherine Barnhisel

Jack Flick

Pat Tucker

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Scott Kohler

adunn Amanda Dunn
Creative Services
& Marketing

Ronda Michaels

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Becky Paulsen

Julie Fleming

Bill Koepp
IT Support

In Memory of Mark Keefe


July 18, 1959 - March 15, 2018

Friend, mentor and leader whose legacy will be remembered. Time will never erase the work you have accomplished here or the positive impact you have had on our lives.


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