We are really starting to see the difference the NCOALink initiative was intended for. Each year we have seen 17-20% of the population move. Over 40% change their address annually. In the past we have dealt with returned mail and undeliverable piece percentages as high as 8-12+%. Because of this CSG Direct became a direct NCOALink limited service licensee years ago. This helped, but not as much as the USPS requiring NCOA services as of November of 2008. Now people are taking it more seriously.
These high return rates are dropping dramatically with the new NCOA initiatives.
The US Postal Service says that “Almost five out of every 100 mailpieces are UAA. When you look at UAA mail by reason, approximately 75 percent is caused by people moving. In addition, when you look at UAA mail by class, Standard Mail accounts for almost 63 percent of all UAA mail volume.”
So according to them you should be seeing an average of 5% undeliverable mailpieces.
This is the main reason why the USPS has pressed the NCOA initiatives and why we became the only NCOALink licensee in the state of Nevada.
The USPS delivered 202.7 BILLION pieces of mail in 2008. So just 5% of that is 10 billion pieces of undeliverable mail bouncing around in the system. They needed a way to eliminate that waste and the NCOA process is doing just that. We are now seeing closer to 1% (or less) of all mailings being undeliverable with the NCOA process fully in place. However, it is only required currently every 90 days and as we approach the 90 day cycle the mailings do tend to have higher returns. Monthly or every-job requirements are bound to follow. An example of this requirement is the CASS process that was the predecessor of NCOALink.
In short, it will only get better, but it is only as good as the people that fill out the change of address forms.
Cup-more-than-half-full: At least with direct mail you know EXACTLY how many people did not get your message. With every other medium you will never know. If I run a TV campaign I HOPE everyone sees it, I KNOW they don’t all see it, but I will never KNOW how many did. Same with radio, print, billboards, E-mail, newspapers, etc.
Direct mail is responsible and accountable marketing.