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UNDELIVERABLE-AS-ADDRESSED MAIL: A GLOBAL PROBLEM WORTH SOLVING

Incorrect address data affects all mailers, and the problem can be especially daunting when it’s international mail. Here’s how to fix it.

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ndeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) mail is at the heart of many long-term operational issues, such as rising print and postage costs, difficult cash flow management, poor customer service, and missed sales opportunities. And UAA mail itself is based on bad data. This can range from incomplete names and addresses to information that is just plain wrong, such as typos, incorrect ZIP Codes, duplicate records, mismatched data, or a database that includes customers who have moved, retired, married, divorced, or passed away. Here is where smart data quality can make a difference. Implementing customer data verification processes at point of capture and batch cleansing to maintain address accuracy will reduce returned mail, streamline operations, and improve targeted marketing efforts. These same processes meet address quality challenges when expanding internationally. 22

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017 | www.MailingSystemsTechnology.com

Get Good Data at the Point of Entry Eliminating bad data at the source is critical. By integrating real-time address auto-completion and verification solutions, mailers ensure that only valid address information is entered into the system; solutions suggest a verified address as the user types and then complete the entry automatically. This helps boost conversions and increase orders by simplifying and accelerating the checkout process for customers. Mailers can also implement address verification to clean postal addresses already in their systems or mailing lists, and they should consider a solution that is certified by the postal organization they use. Postal certification serves as a standard for address data quality measurement and allows customers to benefit from postage discounts. There are many postal certifications worldwide, including CASS by USPS, SERP by Canada Post, AMAS by Australia Post, SNA by La Poste in France, and others. Utilizing

a certified address verification solution will help fix incomplete or inaccurate addresses by adding the correct (or missing) components such as postal codes, secondary (suite) information, directional, residential, or business identifier. This standardization of address data not only ensures that mailers earn postal discounts, but is also key to identifying and eliminating duplicate records — especially those that are hard to spot due to address obscurities, formatting inconsistencies, nicknames, and abbreviations. By merge/purging duplicate records, mailers can reduce waste and get a more accurate, single view of their customers.

Slashing UAA Mail with Move Update Up to 25% of an average company’s contact data records are inaccurate in some way. One of the leading culprits is data decay — data deteriorates as businesses and people move, change jobs, marry, retire, and die. In the US alone, 44 million


Mailing Systems Technology Jan/Feb 2017