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How to Clean Up Your Direct Mailing List to Improve Accuracy

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  • How to Clean Up Your Direct Mailing List to Improve Accuracy
13 Dec 2019

While great design and copy are essential for creating successful direct mail pieces, it won’t mean much if your direct mailing list is inaccurate. Sending your direct mail to the wrong address or person is a surefire way to increase your rate of ‘undeliverable-as-addressed’ mail. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your direct mailing list’s accuracy so your pieces get in the hands of target customers.

1. Regularly check for address corrections.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) requires bulk mailers to run their mailing lists through the National Change of Address (NCOALink®) system within 90 days of every mailing. Even if you don’t send bulk mail, running your mailing list through NCOALink® on a regular basis will help ensure your mail pieces are going to the right places.

2. Find additional address corrections outside of NCOA.

While NCOALink® will help you find address corrections, it’s not 100% effective for a couple of reasons. First, it only works if people file their change of address with USPS. Second, its database only keeps records of people who have moved within the past four years. Using a Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA) service is another way to improve your direct mailing list’s accuracy since PCOAs source address corrections outside of the NCOALink® database.

3. Run the addresses through CASS software for address validation.

The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS™) is a certification system from USPS to evaluate the accuracy of software that corrects and matches street addresses. CASS™ enables USPS to evaluate the accuracy of address matching software programs for the following:

  • 5-digit coding
  • ZIP + 4/ delivery point (DP) coding
  • Carrier route coding
  • DPV® or DSF2®
  • LACSLink®
  • SuiteLink®
  • eLOT®
  • RDI™

4. Remove duplicates.

Avoid sending multiple direct mail pieces to the same recipient by removing duplicates from your mailing list. For example, names with and without a middle initial or recipients that go by their nickname rather than their legal name can cause duplicates to happen (e.g. Sally Brown vs Sally L. Brown, Michael Green vs Mike Green).

5. Remove multiple direct mail pieces to households.

It’s typically unnecessary to send multiple direct mail pieces to the same address unless you’re targeting multiple recipients in a particular business or there are multiple businesses at the same location such as an office building.

6. Remove deceased recipients.

Deceased suppression services are a type of mailing service that helps you minimize sending mail to deceased individuals. Not only is sending mail to deceased recipients a waste of money, but it can also cause unintended pain for the deceased’s loved ones.

7. Request new addresses from recipients with Ancillary Service Endorsements.

Ancillary Service Endorsements from USPS allow you to obtain updated addressee information. With this service, you can either obtain an addressee’s forwarding/new address (if the addressee has filed a change of address) or the reason for a mail piece’s non-delivery. If a new address is available, USPS will provide it. If not, you can try using a PCOA or simply remove the name from your mailing list.

Partner with Direct Mail Experts in Orlando, FL

Direct mail is an effective component of multi-channel marketing campaigns whether it’s driving leads to your website or inbound sales funnel. Due to the complexities of direct mail, however, it’s crucial to partner with trusted professionals to achieve consistent returns on investments. SunDance proudly provides direct mailing services in Orlando, FL with direct mail printing and campaign strategy expertise. We produce direct mail pieces in-house and offer mailing list management, making the process easier and saving you time.


Contact SunDance today to see how we can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your direct mail marketing!

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