So, why do some of your recruitment mailers still come back as undeliverable?
Through Rain, Sleet, Snow or Hail — But Not Bad Addresses
The U.S. Postal Service handles more than 158 billion mail pieces each year. Of those, more than six billion end up ‘Undeliverable as Addressed’ (UAA). This is mail that the Postal Service couldn’t deliver to the address on the mail piece. That’s a lot of time and money down the drain!
Why is mail undeliverable? Household moves are the main reason. More than 36 million Americans move each year, and many do not leave a forwarding address. Also, mail senders sometimes get an address incorrect or hard to read.
Our Two-Step Process to Maximize Deliverability
On average, under 3% of our mailings come back undeliverable. A 0% return rate is rare, but we do reach it sometimes.
To maximize every mailer’s potential, we take two steps before we send it out. Without these two steps, more than 15% of the mailers would typically come back, and sometimes as many as 40%.
First, we use software that ensures every address on our list is a valid and correct mailing address. For example, if 123 Park Street in Springfield, MO doesn’t exist, our system will detect that. We can then correct our address record or delete it.
We don’t want our clients spending money on printing and postage that doesn’t reach anyone.
Second, we search nationwide change-of-address records to see if anyone on our list has recently moved. That lets us reroute their mail before it even leaves our facility.
Our Deliverability Rate Commitments
But even after we standardize and verify a mailing list, there usually will still be some pieces that get returned. This can happen when a person has very recently moved and it hasn’t been picked up yet by our data sources.
Also, key details like an apartment number might be missing or incorrect in our address records. Some local post offices can still get this mail to its intended target, others can’t.
To keep things simple, our pricing is based on the number of valid, confirmed addresses that are processed, rather than the number of pieces that get delivered. We set our pricing to be fair and competitive for the overall campaign, allowing for a typical rate of returned pieces.
It’s rare to have of an abnormally high number of returns on any mailing. But in those cases we investigate and refund for any undeliverables that were caused by our error.