How to Reduce Mailing Costs

We Can Reduce Your Mailing Costs by 15-20%!

Updating and correcting your in-house list is equally important to a successful project. It ensures that your donors are getting your correspondence in a timely fashion and are not lost to moves or incomplete address components and you are not wasting money on costly duplication.

Step 1

Recent surveys indicate that more than 1-in-3 of all mail pieces are delayed or returned due to deficient address elements. Through extensive research in the field of list management and by testing many different programs and vendors, we’ve developed a system that maximizes the benefits of each program while minimizing the risk of error.

The USPS developed a program called CASS certification meant to ensure the accuracy of an address by running it against a national database containing all streets and ranges in the United States. However, errors still occur through this program, so we have pioneered a two-step process that runs each address through two databases, assuring you of a greater correction rate than any other vendor can provide, while minimizing the risk of error.

The first step in our address correction process expands all abbreviations and adds missing elements, setting up the address for the second database. (I.e.: Old address: 234 NE Terrace. Corrected address: 234 Northeastern Terrace.)

The second step corrects misspelled streets and cities, adds and corrects zip-codes and amends other errors as well. (I.e.: Old address: 123 Manne Street; Corrected address: 123 Main St.)

Once we know how many addresses could not be corrected and why, we determine the importance of the names and the need for an individual correction, an Address Element Correction (AEC) or for no action at all. These services will correct between 60% and 75% of all errors.

Step 2

USPS statistics say that 15% of the US population changes their address each year. We update new moves through the National Change of Address process that compares your list information with data from more than 116 million change-of-address cards filed by relocating customers. The NCOA database contains most forwarding requests submitted to the USPS over the past 48 months. Once an exact match is made, the old address is replaced with a new one. (In order to receive a new address, a “perfect match” logic must be made, so it is essential to correct and standardize addresses prior to NCOA.)

Step 3

Merging & Purging

Also known as de-duping, “Merging & Purging” is the process of eliminating duplicate records once your list has been CASS-standardized and NCOA-checked.

There is no perfect way to achieve 100% accuracy, and most available methods of searching for duplicates are full of errors. These occur when an address is slightly dissimilar, a name spelled differently or one record has two phone numbers to name a few instances.

We have developed our own detailed search that starts with very strict criteria returning only exact duplicates, and expands to increasingly broader criteria to return questionable duplicates. All along, our system shows you exactly which dupes were picked up when, giving you full control of the process.

Our system also recognizes sound-alike words, eliminating the problem of misspelled names, streets or cities.

A complete list cleaning involves:

  • Correcting misspelled or incomplete addresses
  • Standardizing the address and adding ZIP+4City 
  • Upper/Lower case conversion 
  • Name and address parsing
  • Field accuracy- to ensure that all fields are punctuated correctly
  • NCOA
  • Eliminating No forwarding address, PO Box closed and foreign moves
  • Merging/Purging
  • Presorting
  • Phone Append/Verify if marketing by phone

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