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Reducing Undeliverable Direct Mail with Proprietary Change of Address

As direct marketers, we all know the importance of mailing to an accurate list. When the postage is often more than the cost of the mail piece, we just can’t afford to send mail to a bad address. The U.S. Postal Service can’t afford it either. It is very time consuming and expensive for them to handle mail with bad addresses, which is why they require all mailing lists for Standard Class and First Class presorted mail be checked against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database.

So, you ran your list against the NCOA database and you are still getting a lot of return mail? The good news is that NCOA took care of all of the addresses where people moved and registered the change with the USPS. The bad news is NCOA only took care of the addresses where people moved and registered with the USPS. What about the people who didn’t?

Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA) is a type of change of address processing that should not be overlooked for this very reason. PCOA allows us to search beyond the boundaries of NCOA. PCOA is an address history file that includes a person’s most current address, plus the three previous addresses for that person and there is no time limit as with NCOA. The database is compiled from a range of transactional data: utility bills, credit card transactions, magazine subscriptions etc.  It maintains over 8 billion transactions on a rolling basis and every time a person makes a purchase, the name and address info tied to that purchase is fed into the database. How’s that for up-to-date?

If you have any questions about Proprietary Change of Address or if you would like to have FORMost perform the process on one of your lists, give us a call and we’d be happy to help.


FORMost Graphic Communications


This entry was posted on Friday, January 11th, 2013 at 5:41 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.