Getting your mail delivered is an ever-increasing challenge. “Having a clean, correct address is your best shot at getting your catalogs through the maze of the post office,” says Jim Coogan, president of Santa Fe, NM-based consultancy Catalog Marketing Economics. “The profit potential of cleaning files beyond the scope and range of NCOA [the USPS’s National Change of Address database] is enormous.”
Coogan cites four advanced address integrity products– AbiliTec, IntelliDress, Trillium, and TruView–that can further boost accuracy. These products use credit reporting and other databases to dive much deeper than NCOA to find and correct for the most current addresses. AbiliTec uses Acxiom’s databases, while IntelliDress uses a variety of databases licensed by CognitiveData, Trillium is a Harte-Hanks product, and TruView uses Experian’s databases.
“These products will make mailers a lot of money by finding new addresses and dropping old addresses, correcting low-yield addresses, and finding multibuyers,” Coogan says. “These advanced products are much better than NCOA because NCOA captures only a percentage of everyone who moves”—those who bother to fill out a change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service. “Plus when NCOA expires, the Postal Service stops fixing the old addresses,” he adds.
What’s more, the advanced tools are able to find more duplicates. “If you find a duplicate, you’ve found a multibuyer, and you profit by segmenting a household as a multibuyer household and typically sending them more catalogs,” Coogan says. You can also stop sending duplicate (or triplicate) catalogs to the same households. “The circulation that would have been wasted can be sent to fresh circulation to produce incremental revenue.”
Another benefit: The programs fix “low-yield addresses,” Coogan says, by adding apartment numbers and otherwise completing addresses, which in turn helps the USPS in automated sorting.