When the economy improves, Americans start to move. The percentage of Americans who move each year has risen from 11 percent to 15 percent in the past five years.
All those moving customers make it even more important to update your business’s mailing list. When your list is old, a good percentage of your mail will go undelivered. If, for example, you have a list of 10,000 names that hasn’t been updated in the last year, it could include as many as 1,500 incorrect addresses.
In my opinion, cleaning your mailing list should be a springtime ritual, like washing your home’s windows or shaking out the rugs. And cleaning up a mailing list is much less laborious. All you need are some reliable and readily available technological tools. We use these tools all the time to update our clients’ lists.
The National Change of Address file, from the USPS, is a list of Americans who have reported a move in the past three years. When you run the NCOA against your list, you update your list’s addresses and qualify mailings that use the list for a postal discount. Unfortunately, the NCOA can’t update all addresses because a good percentage of Americans who move fail to file a change of address card, so the USPS has no new address for them.
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) software cleans up carrier routes, five-digit and Zip + 4 and delivery point codes. Using CASS also helps you get postal discounts.
A number of software programs are available to rid your mailing lists of duplicate names and addresses.
You can, after a mailing, fix what went wrong by having your undeliverable mail returned to you. Having undeliverable mail returned will cost a small price per piece, but it will allow you to update your list so you don’t keep sending mail to these incorrect addresses.
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