What do USPS National Change of Address (NCOA) requirements for automated mail processing mean to you relative to any Direct Mail Marketing?

In a practical sense, these requirements are a good thing, and should save you money by reducing unopened mail and improving response rates on any mailing you initiate. It is a common fact that both internal and purchased mail-lists contain bad records, and most require some data hygiene and cleansing as part of best practices for Direct Marketing. NCOA will improve data accuracy and help prevent you from spending unnecessary dollars to print and mail to recipients that will never receive the piece. NCOA list processing will return the new address for any person, family or business that has moved or changed their address listing within the last 48 months, ensuring that your message reaches its intended recipient a higher percentage of the time.

CASE STUDY: Saturn of Gaithersburg is a local Car Dealership owned and operated by Betty Anne Mendelson. Betty Anne makes every effort to ensure her Saturn products offer excellent value in the marketplace, and Betty Anne and her team (including Kelly Myles) do a fantastic job delivering value from both the sales and service departments.

To help drive additional service business, MJM designed a Large Postcard Mailer for the dealership that targeted both their sales and service databases. As part of our data hygiene, MJM typically de-dupes the file, and sorts it a number of different ways to identify target client records. In this case, anyone not in the immediate market (DC, MD, VA) would be deleted (our client reasoned that it makes no sense to mail to someone in Florida for service on their Saturn vehicle in Gaithersburg, MD). Our next step was to leverage the new NCOA process to further scrub the list(s). We NCOA processed three lists for the three locations Betty Anne operates, and the corrected addresses were 14%, 18% and 20% respectively for each list. This represented a total of about 1,300 records that were corrected with the proper address. We then eliminated again out-of-area records, and saved our client over $2,000 in production and postage costs while improving the target effectiveness of the project.

A nice chunk of change for one mailing.
Michael Murtaugh, President, MJM Graphic Communications, can be reached at 301-296-8940 or mjr@mjmgc.com.