Any business should have a plan to ensure their database is up-to-date and accurate. An old, unmanaged database can have costly consequences.
Using mail to communicate with prospects and customers is a great way to keep your name front and center with them. But do you really know where these people orbusinesses are so your direct mail gets to them?
- More than 40 million people and businesses move every year.
- 1 out of every 4 mail pieces has some type of address problem.
- Databases deteriorate approximately 2% each month without proper maintenance.
- The true cost of returned mail is up to $3.00 per piece.
There are several software packages available to bounce your addresses against USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) records. Your address is verified and you receive a report of all updated addresses for cleansing your database.
How much return mail are you receiving? Those little yellow sticky notes the USPS adheres to your return mail can tell you all sorts of information about your database.
- Update your database early (as soon as you get move notifications) and often!
- Use Ancillary Service Endorsements. This instructs the Post Office exactly what you want to do with return mail – either forward the piece to the new address or return it to you with a new address notification.
- Use USPS approved software to validate addresses. This is a requirement for automation mailings enjoying a postage discount.
- Do you use other means of communicating with your customers? Periodically “check in” with them and confirm their address is correct.
Review your return mail, make adjustments and adopt some best practices for maintaining your database. A clean, healthy database in conjunction with your fabulous marketing message will win every time!