What makes mail UAA?
Last week we suggested that reducing Undeliverable As Addressed mailpieces could provide savings to your mailing budget. What are your costs when you consider designing, printing, folding, inserting, and applying postage to mail that never gets where it is intended? It costs the USPS, on average, $0.513 per piece to handle this undeliverable mail.
What factors go into determining whether mail is Undeliverable As Addressed?
- No postage
- Incomplete, illegible, or incorrect address
- Addressee not at address (unknown, moved or deceased)
- Mail unclaimed
- Mail refused by addressee at time of delivery
- Mail refused by addressee after delivery when permitted
- Minimum criteria for mailability not met
Mail that is undeliverable as addressed is forwarded, returned to the sender, or treated as dead mail as authorized for the specific class of mail.
UAA mail returned to sender is marked by the USPS with the reason for nondelivery. You most often see this as the “yellow stickies” applied to your mailpiece when it is returned to you.
What do the notations on the “yellow stickies” mean?
The following are a few, but not all of the reasons you may see given on your returned mail:
- Attempted – Not Known: Delivery was attempted, addressee not known at place of address
- Box Closed – No Order: Post Office box closed for nonpayment of rent
- Deceased: Used only when known that addressee is deceased and mail is not properly deliverable to another person. Important: This endorsement must be made personally by USPS delivery employee and under no circumstance may it be rubber-stamped. Mail addressed in care of another is marked to show which person is deceased.
- Illegible: Address not readable
- Insufficient Address: Mail without number, street, box number, route number or city and state omitted and correct address not known
- Moved, Left No Address: Addressee moved and did not file a Change of Address order with USPS
- Not Deliverable as Addressed – Unable to Forward: (Any of the following) Mail undeliverable at address given; no Change of Address order on file; forwarding order expired
- Temporarily Away: Addressee temporarily away and period for holding mail expired
- Vacant: House, apartment, office or building not occupied
I urge you to take the opportunity to review these notices and take action.
Update your mailing list! Remove any addresses that can not be corrected or improved and certainly any notices of deceased addressees. Take the time to research addresses in order to update them, or provide a list of these addresses to your appropriate vendor and ask them to process them through National Change of Address (NCOA) database. When you receive updated addresses back from the NCOA process, update your mailing list accordingly.
It can be time consuming, but remember – you won’t make a sale, receive payment for a bill or get valuable feedback from your addressees if they never receive your mailpiece.