Postal - All Cleaned Out
Users of First-Class mail who have not yet complied with U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Move Update rules are feeling the sting.
Earlier this year, the agency began reclaiming postage discounts from marketers who have not run their lists through National Change of Address (NCOA), Fastforward or Address Correction Service (ACS).
"It has become a huge financial burden for the USPS to deal with undeliverables," says Gary Van Roekel, vice president of sales and marketing for Melissa Data, a postal automation software provider.
To maximize postal savings, Van Roekel recommends marketers take advantage of the benefits of Move Update features:
NCOA: The file contains 160 million records and goes back four years. One of the major benefits of NCOA is that it returns nixie codes, says Van Roekel, which are "not exact" matches to the NCOA database. "Nixies can be applied to a proprietary list or file," he says. "If you're mailing to a list you've sold product to in the past, you want to make sure the right [address information] goes back to your list."
Fastforward: "If you're doing a mailing to the same list—namely a rented list—on a frequent basis, and you've done NCOA, there's really no need to do it every time," he says. Fastforward will suffice since it goes back 13 months, he says, but it does not provide nixie codes.
ACS: With this feature, you are paying the USPS to forward undeliverable mail for you, Van Roekel says. The USPS also communicates back to the marketer the forwarding address for those individuals who moved. However, he says, the costs can be considerable. With ACS, the marketer is paying 40 cents to 50 cents per bad address, whereas with NCOA, the rate is only 10 cents to 30 cents per record.
For more information on Move Update, visit www.melissadata.com.