National Change of Address
Each year over 40 million Americans change addresses. This creates formidable obstacles in maintaining a high quality mailing list that tracks customers who move. The National Change of Address (NCOA) program makes change of address information available to help reduce undeliverable mail pieces. The NCOA service is a comprehensive program that aids mailers in identifying changes of addresses before mail enters the mail stream. It also brings your mailing list in compliance with new postal regulations that require a “move update” service be performed on your mailing list at least within the last 95 days prior to any first class mailing.
Benefits of NCOA
Reduces undeliverable mail by providing the most current address information for matches made to the NCOA file
Prevents the need for duplicate mail pieces or re-mailings after address corrections are received, since the address correction is applied prior to the mailing.
Using the most current address information reduces mailer costs by reducing the number of undeliverable and duplicate mail pieces.
Address changes are received electronically rather than costly manual data entry.
Financial Benefits of using NCOA
NCOA reduces the amount of mail that may be undeliverable, returned, or delayed. This helps ensure that your mailing is delivered in a prompt and efficient manner. It also save you money by reducing your cost of printing, mail processing, postage, and address correction changes. Since new addresses are provided to you electronically, it saves you time and money typically associated with updating and maintaining an accurate mailing list. Additionally, you will be provided with a standardized address including Zip +4, carrier route, and delivery point barcode. This can enable you to take advantage of lower postage rates and faster delivery, when used with the proper presort schemes.
Limitations of NCOA
NCOA will not make your lists 100% deliverable! While many factors determine the overall quality of your mailing lists, NCOA will help you in reducing the amount of undelivered or delayed mail. Since the NCOA database contains 48 months of move data, you can receive new addresses from NCOA that are not available from other methods (such as Address Correction Requested – available for 12 months after a move). The accuracy of your mailing list is very important. Incorrect spellings and missing information both play a key role in determining an NCOA match. For example, the NCOA database contains “John Doe” at “123 First St Apt 101” and your Database contains “J. Doe” at “123 First St”. In this example no match would be made for several reasons. First, the name is not complete, and second, the address is missing the apartment number. This is a good example of an address that would not be updated by NCOA, however Nixie footnotes will be returned explaining why a match was not made.
LACS Conversion: Locatable Address Conversion System
Included in NCOA process, the Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) corrects address lists electronically for areas that have undergone permanent address conversions. The LACS database consists of address conversions that the USPS has obtained and verified, primarily as a result of Emergency 911 system implementation. These permanent address conversions typically involve renumbering and renaming rural route, highway route, and box numbers as city-style addresses. Input address information you provide is standardized according to USPS requirements and then matched against the LACS file. If a match is made, we provide you with the permanent address conversion.
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