$1.8 billion. That’s how much the USPS spends each year to process undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail. That figure reflects the 6 billion mail pieces that are tossed in the trash every year due to “poor address quality”. While the total volume of UAA mail has decreased over the years, that number is still shockingly high—and shockingly detrimental to your marketing budget.1
Imagine how much money your company would save if $3 per mail piece—the estimated cost for UAA according to private sector reports—weren’t lost on returned or undeliverable mail.1
So, why does mail become undeliverable? When millions of Americans and businesses change residences and locations every year, only a portion files a change-of-address notice with the United States Postal Service. Those who do not cause UAA mail: when a delivery is attempted but the addressee is not known at the place of address (USPS.com).
Even if your business is steadfast about maintaining its customer database, your list of addresses will still deteriorate 15% every year due to these changes of address. In turn, your business may waste thousands of dollars on the cost of postage and printing of direct mailers that don’t get delivered.1
How can you avoid these damaging costs?
- Know your errors: the most frequent contributions to data quality problems are inconsistencies in terminology and data entry by employees. These 2 common mistakes can be reduced with a little extra attention and organization.1
- NCOALink®: National Change of Address (NCOALink) is the USPS database of permanent change-of-address (COA) records filed in the past 48 months. The USPS owns and maintains this list on an ongoing basis and allows companies to have their address list matched against it to identify and then update or remove old addresses.
Most mail houses, like Digital Dog Direct, provide clients with the NCOALink and other data services, helping them to reduce their direct mail campaign costs and update their address database. Before your next mailing, make sure to ask for this update method.
“Where Did My Customers Go? The Problem of Undeliverable-As-Addressed Mail.” Melissa Data. (Source)