By Gary A. Seitz
ADDRESSING GAME ON POINT? As mailers, you know addressing your mail piece correctly is crucial. Here are the biggest hurdles to be aware of.
he recent announcement by the USPS regarding Move Update assessments has become one of the latest hot topics in addressing for mailers. Considering the fact that Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) mail has increased to 4.6% of total mail volume in the last fiscal year, these assessments could have a major impact on future volumes of UAA mail. The UAA fiscal year volume report has some interesting figures regarding mail and UAA volumes: Total mail volume declined by .35%, yet UAA mail increased by 5.4%. First-Class mail and UAA mail volume decreased slightly. Marketing mail increased by 1.05%, while UAA mail increased an astounding 10.3%! UAA Mail Volume Is on the Rise Despite efforts by the Postal Service to encourage and support mailers in improv-
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2017 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
ing address quality, the end result tipped it in the opposite direction. The USPS estimates that UAA Marketing Mail alone costs over $316 million to handle and process. Over 4.2 billion pieces of Marketing Mail were treated as waste. Movers are the leading cause of UAA mail. Based on USPS information, nearly 76% of undeliverable mail is a result of customers who no longer receive mail at an address. Only 35% is forwarded or returned (mostly First-Class), while the other 65% is treated as waste. Insufficient address elements, primarily secondary addresses (apartment or suites), is the second leading reason, accounting for 16% of UAA mail. This also includes missing and invalid house numbers and street names. Finally, vacant addresses account for six percent of UAA mail. Typically, these are residents who have vacated their homes for various reasons such as bankruptcy,
repossession, natural disaster, or simply left and failed to file a change of address (COA) with the USPS. This all ties in with the announcement on Move Update assessments from the USPS. First, the USPS is changing the method of measuring compliance for meeting the Move Update requirements to a census-based approach, effective January 2018. Assessments will begin in March based on February data for any non-compliant pieces over a .5% threshold of the mailing. The USPS will use scans from the mail processing equipment (MPE) to determine whether addresses for First-Class and Marketing Mail have been updated within 95 days of the mailing date. Compliance will be measured across a calendar month, and the results of this method will be shown in the mailer’s scorecard. Combined, these red flags raise several questions for mailers:
Published on Dec 1, 2017