Approaches to data hygiene introduced 30 or 40 years ago have been rendered obsolete. Back then, the average person moved only once in a decade, was less likely to divorce and typically relied on a single phone line for the entire household. That is a sharp contrast to today, when typical consumers make 11 moves during their lifetimes and 2 million people divorce each year. And, as we all know, the majority of households rely on multiple cell phones, often in lieu of a dedicated land line.
In the past, a mail file that completed the merge process might have just been sent right to the printer, assumed to be 99.9 percent accurate and deliverable. But the brutal fact is most merge processes are only capable of outputting mail files that are 96 percent accurate, meaning 4 percent of mailings will not reach the intended recipients. Moreover, maximum postal discounts will not be realized on the entire mailing.
While the U.S. Postal Service has offered a reprieve to mailers by vowing not to increase rates in 2010, many mailers are still struggling with their expenses. Rates increased earlier this year, and these increases—combined with the struggling economy—are making it a very difficult year for direct mailers. They're scrambling for new and efficient ways to keep their direct mail costs down.