You’re planning a mailing to a list of customers or prospects. You have spent a lot of time thinking up a really great offer and a clever creative piece. You get a good list and mail it. Let’s say the response is poor. What went wrong? The chances are good that it was the processing of the list. Most marketers don’t seem to know this.
Twenty four percent of the Standard Class mail given to the U.S. Postal Service is undeliverable-as-addressed because the address or name is wrong. While you were asleep, the USPS became very efficient and mechanized. It requires that addresses on bulk mail be absolutely correct or it won’t deliver it. You’re getting a bargain rate, but you get what you pay for.
The USPS receives 5.4 billion pieces of undeliverable mail every year. What is wrong?
• 2.4 percent have moved
• 4.1 percent have missing or wrong apartment numbers
• 6 percent have missing or wrong directionals or suffixes
• 0.4 percent have wrong route or box numbers
• 5.9 percent have wrong street names or numbers
• 4.8 percent have the wrong ZIP code, city or state
How can you make sure the names and addresses on your database are correct? First, you need to run them through National Change of Address (NCOA) before they are mailed. NCOA is a file of changed addresses that have been supplied to the USPS by consumers and businesses when they move. What many people do not realize is that 35 percent of the 44 million U.S. consumers who move every year do not notify the USPS, so they are not included in NCOA processing. Also, 2.4 million Americans die every year. Many of them do not go down to the post office to notify it before they do.