In today’s economic environment everyone is looking for ways to save money. The U.S. Post Office is no different.
At this time the Post Office is planning on some form of rate evaluation or increase each year. In an effort to minimize the need for rate increases they have determined where they are currently spending their money, and system changes that will allow them to improve their service level while being fiscally responsible.
One such area is the staggering amount of Undeliverable as Addressed (UAA) mail. In other words, mail that is entered into the system with bad or incorrect addresses.
When a UAA piece of mail is sent the Post Office has to forward it, if the correct address is in the system, return it to sender, (If it is First Class mail) or destroy it.
All of these processes are expensive. When you consider that 5 out of every 100 pieces of mail is Undeliverable as Addressed that means that over 9.7 billion pieces of mail require special handling. This equates to a cost of $1.856 billion dollars each year. On top of these staggering statistics, consider the lost time, expense and mail delay on the part of you the mailer due to incorrect addresses.
To address this problem the Post Office is implementing revised Move Update requirements that go into effect November 23, 2008.
At that time the Post Office will require all mailers that mail at discounted postal rates to implement one of several methods to ensure their mailing list contains up to date information. Some of the options that would be applicable to small to mid size mailers include:
- Mail is addressed to an individual – “Or Current Occupant”
- Appropriate Ancillary Service Endorsement
- - Such as “Address Service Requested”
- NCOALink® Processing
Modify the Top Address Line
Using this method your top address line would be modified by adding the text: “/Or Current Resident”.
John and Mary Doe/Or Current Resident
123 North Main Street
Anytown, MN, 55501
By using this format the mail piece is effectively being delivered to an address not an individual(s). Depending on the intention of the mail piece this may or may not be appropriate.
- The mail would go to who ever resides at that address not necessarily the intended recipient.
- You don’t get the updated information for the individual(s) that may have moved. Any subsequent mailings would be misdelivered.
- Wasted time, material and postage costs.
Appropriate Ancillary Service Endorsement
This is a line of text that must be printed ¼” below the return address on the front of the mail piece. The list of endorsements and services include:
- Address Service Requested
- Full Service: Forwarding, Return, & New Address Notification Provided
- If Forwarded, A Separate COA Notification Is Provided
- If Returned, New Address Or Reason For Nondelivery Is Provided
- Return Service Requested
- Mail Is NOT Forwarded
- Mail piece is returned to sender with new address or reason for non-delivery provided.
- Temp-Return Service Requested (First-Class Mail® only)
- If Temporary COA – Mail piece is forwarded without temporary address provided.
- If Permanent COA – Mail piece is returned with new address provided
- No additional up front charges
- Substantial additional fees are charged for each piece forwarded or returned by the Post Office
- Delay in getting the mail to recipient.
- Wasted time, material and postage costs.
- You must update your data base manually
NCOALink® Processing (National Change of Address)
This process updates your data base prior to sending any mail piece. Your mailing list is processed against the Post Office data base that contains the most up to date address records for each person. Their master file is maintained daily from change of address information submitted online or at the Post Office by the individuals living at that address.
To use this process simply export your data base records from the CMS system using the same procedure used for CASS Certification. Email the file with the order form to Cyberex Marketing Inc. They will contact you and process your file within 24 to 48 hours.
When you receive the updated file it should be imported into the CMS system, again using the same procedure as you would use with a CASS Certified file.
- Easy processing
- Proactive database updates your mail so it gets to the intended recipient now
- Automatically update your database records
- Saves time, material and postage costs
- The cost for this service is $80.00
- The file must be updated every 95 days to meet the Post Office requirements.
If the Post Office determines that your list does not meet these standards your mail could be rejected and you would be required to pay the full First Class postage rate on each piece. This could result in substantial postage costs increases to you.
Note: CASS Certification is still necessary to receive postal discounts and does not meet the new Move Update requirements. CASS Certification validates and provides automation information regarding a specific address not who resides at that address.