Direct Mail Data Conversion Service

Why Databases Need to be Converted

If your printing software doesn’t utilize OpenType advanced features…

To make a natural-looking handwriting style, multiple forms of each character need to be used. This is because the shape of each character depends upon the shape and type of connection of each surrounding character. vLetter calls this a contextual font. In addition, each font has a slightly different way to connect each letter, since each handwriting style is slightly different. vLetter’s proprietary technology accomplishes this with an elegant solution utilizing OpenType advanced features such as ligature and contextual substitutions.

Following is an example showing the word “subsystems” converted into a handwriting style. Just like in real handwriting, each character shape is chosen to connect naturally to the preceding character. All character shapes to make these special connections are stored in various extended positions within the handwriting font.

If a non-handwriting font, like Times New Roman (which has only one shape per character), is used to display the converted text, then the unique extended letter shapes in Times New Roman will be displayed. The text won’t make sense without the exact handwriting font used in the initial conversion. But the specific handwriting style that was used in doing the conversion will show a realistic handwriting flow.

Notice all the variations of the “s” character in the word “subsystems” below. A font without this contextual feature will simply not look realistic.

Before Conversion
After Conversion
 Times New Roman
subsystems as plain text
subsystems text after conversion
 Tsui Handwriting
handwritten subsystems without conversion
handwritten subsystems with conversion


Database List Conversion Pricing

vLetter can provide batch list conversion utilities for vLetter direct mail licensees, so you can convert your lists when convenient prior to printing.

If you want vLetter to convert your lists, instead of doing it yourself, there’s a charge in addition to the direct mail license fee. Prices are based on one-time use in direct mail, and are subject to change without notice.

NOTE: Database List Conversion fees INCLUDE the Direct Mail License fees. Printing services not included or available. Fonts must be purchased in addition to conversion service.

Setup fee = $200 per list (each time the list is converted)

Click here for Font Conversion Price List.

Database List Conversion Procedure

(if you want vLetter to convert your list)

List and text submission format:

  • Lists must be submitted as tab-delimited or comma-delimited ASCII text files.
  • List should be “cleaned” (NCOA, CASS, PAVE, etc.) and pre-sorted before being exported to the ASCII text file.
  • Other text, for example, the appeal letter, must be in a plain ASCII text document.

Font selection:

  • Specify a vLetter Pro or vLetter Sig font for Windows or Macintosh: provide the registration number of the font.
  • Ready-Made Handwriting style: provide the name of the font. View the available Ready-Made Styles.

To purchase a handwriting font, go to the vLetter products Store.
Ready-Made Handwriting Styles may also be purchased on the List Conversion Order form.

List Submission procedure:

  1. Zip the ASCII text list and the text document (if any) together
  2. Send the list to our email address.
  3. eMail us to let us know you have dropped the list off.

Processing time: Please allow 1 week for completion. Rush processing (3 working days) is available for $50. Next-day delivery is possible for an additional $200.

Retrieval procedure: the converted list will be emailed back to you.