This article appeared in the February 2021 issue of NPSOA Magazine.
The decrease in mail volume during the COVID-19 pandemic proved just how vital address quality is to customers. Having a complete, correct, and current addresses ensures each mailpiece sent out is able to be delivered as prepared. CASS™ Certified software is a good start for ensuring address quality and, ultimately, delivery of the mailpiece. However, according to BCC Software’s President, Chris Lien:
“…mailers need to carefully review the return codes from the software as part of the address quality process in order to leverage additional address quality services. Having a ZIP+4 for the default address of a high-rise apartment may earn you a postage discount, but it does not result in a completely deliverable piece of mail. An apartment appends, and advanced address resolution service is the best way to obtain the essential secondary address information.”
Luckily, BCC Software offers multiple software solutions that allow our customers to validate, review, and update their addresses as needed. BCC Software provides National Change of Address (NCOA) solutions at two levels: NCOALink® FSP and NCOALink LSP. NCOALink FSP, our full-service option, updates customers’ lists using 48 months of data from the NCOA database provided by the United States Postal Service® (USPS®). NCOALink LSP, our limited-service option, updates customers’ lists using 18 months of data from the NCOA database at USPS.
Unfortunately, NCOALink is only as good as the information that is provided to them. Nearly 40% of moves each year are not reported to the USPS®, making it impossible for them to be captured in NCOALink. This does not necessarily mean, however, that these recipients cannot be found. To do so you’ll need to utilize an additional service like Proprietary Change of Address, or PCOA.
PCOA relies on industry-based address databases to track address changes. For example, while a recipient may not have changed their address with the Postal Service, they likely informed their credit card company or their utility provider of their move. Utilizing PCOA allows end users to track moves that were never reported to the USPS. Gathering information from magazine subscriptions, utility companies, credit card companies, and other avenues, PCOA can provide a more accurate address when NCOALink cannot. For every match, you are given a new, more accurate address along with a variety of supplemental data.
Other address quality services that BCC Software provides include Delivery Point Validation (DPV®) Processing, Rooftop Geocoding, Address Resolution Service, DSF2® Processing, and suppression services. Together, these services help remove undeliverable mail and other waste from the mailstream. This, in turn, improves marketing efficiency and saves customers money.
The types of address quality services that are necessary are determined by the type of mailing that is being sent out. While NCOALink is required every ninety days in order to remain compliant and to take advantage of postal discounts, other address quality options can better target the desired recipients for your customers. With marketing mail expected to decrease again in the coming year, it is more important than ever to ensure address quality for your customers.
A Partner You Can Trust
At BCC Software, we’re committed to helping printers to meet their deliverability goals. With over four decades of industry experience, our team of industry experts is active and involved in advocating for the needs of our customers. Backed by unlimited access to our legendary team of USPS Mailpiece Design Certified professionals, BCC Software is the smart choice in postal software. To learn more, visit our website at www.bccsoftware.com or by calling 800-624-5234.