Addressing Best Practices: Ensuring Your Data Is Clean and UAA Mail Is Reduced By Adam Collinson
hen it comes to addressing, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that for First-Class Mail, the average amount of Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) mail is 3.7%, and that number jumps to 4.7% for Marketing Mail. Whether you’re mailing two or 20 million pieces per month, that is a lot of undeliverable mail. The good news is that one-third of those pieces likely could have been identified as undeliverable at the time of mailing. This means that by implementing addressing best practices, you can ensure your data is clean prior to mailing, significantly reducing UAA mail in the process. Before I get to these best practices, let me explain what I mean by “clean.” A clean address is one that: has all necessary elements, is a valid address, represents the current address for the intended recipient, reflects the current representation of that address, and is correct for your intended business purposes. Best Practices for Postage Discounts vs. Best Practices for Your Business The first and most important thing you can do to ensure that your data is clean is to use the best practices tools and processes that
MAY-JUNE 2019 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
allow your mail to qualify for postage discounts. Then, work or suppress the addresses that fail. These best practices tools and processes are: Coding Accuracy Support System, or CASS (with Delivery Point Validation, or DPV; Locatable Address Conversion System, or LACSLink; and SuiteLink) National Change of Address system, or NCOALink Address Change Service (ACS) Use these tools to verify that the address you are using is one that the USPS considers to be the current, valid address for the intended recipient and, therefore, qualifies for postage discounts. Many organizations initially implement address quality best practices primarily to maximize postage discounts, but these same tools and services can provide additional information that lets you optimize your entire business. To do this, you must leverage all the data from (and across) every tool and process to make more intelligent decisions impacting your business operations. Let’s look at an example that is currently getting a lot of talk in the mailing industry. A Valid Address Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Delivered Mail There are addresses that fully validate for postage discounts, meaning, there are no immediate indicators of any deficiencies.
Mailing Systems Technology May/June 2019