Over four billion pieces of mail each year are destroyed by the USPS due to bad address quality. Make sure your mailpieces don’t end up in the USPS waste bucket.
This first thing you need to do is find a software vendor that truly understands address data quality, and has products and services that support this task. Ask questions and find out if they offer just the basic solutions or if they go beyond the basics, with proprietary logic and services that will greatly improve your data quality.
The top three overlooked data quality tools that reduce undeliverable as addressed mail (UAA mail) are suppression services, Proprietary Change of Address, and Proprietary Address Correction.
Sending mail to someone on the Direct Marketing Association’s “Do Not Mail” list will likely result in a “Return to Sender” notice. Sending mail to a deceased individual will also result in a wasted message, and is one of the more common causes of UAA mail.
Any good address quality processing starts with address data housekeeping. Using a merge/purge process to suppress duplicate addresses and unnecessary mailpieces, followed by a suppression service that removes unwanted mail, will greatly reduce UAA mail.
Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA)
Approximately 40% of all movers are not listed in the NCOALink® database due to not filing a move with the USPS. Another large percentage of movers are in the NCOALink database, but software cannot make a match due to strict postal guidelines that require an exact match before identifying a move.
PCOA uses various private industry datasets to augment the NCOALink lookup and identify more movers. These datasets originate from publishers, catalog houses, insurance companies, credit bureaus, mail order firms, banks, and various other sources where the data is captured. Using NCOALink followed by PCOA will identify more movers and greatly reduces UAA mail.
Proprietary Address Correction
30%-50% of Delivery Point Validation (DPV®) failures will be improved by passing them through a service like Address Resolution Service (ARS). This approach not only improves the address quality and reduces UAA, but also lowers postage costs. All corrected pieces are eligible for the preferred lower rate.
UAA mail is a costly problem for mail owners. These costs will be greatly reduced by leveraging a combination of the data quality tools that are at your disposal. Make sure you aren’t throwing postage away.