There’s been considerable confusion in the industry regarding the new U.S. Postal Service’s delivery point validation (DPV) requirement going into effect on Aug. 1.
Some mailers are under the impression that a piece that is not delivery point validated will not be delivered, and that is not the case at all. If a piece is not delivery point validated, then that just means it will not get a zip+4 code and if it is mailed there will be additional postage required. All in all, some and possibly a majority of these could get delivered.
If you decide to drop some records that have deliverability issues, only drop the records with deliverability issues that perform below breakeven or your minimum performance required. Working with your service provider, you should be able to appropriately structure in-the-mail tests of a number of different deliverability issues to determine which records should be dropped and which should be mailed.
Because of the significant difference in postage between a carrier route qualified piece vs. a three or five digit qualified piece, you have to take this into account when making mail/no mail decisions. For example, is it worth paying 14.3 cents more in postage to mail an older house buyer or an inactive record because it is three digit qualified instead of carrier route qualified?
Another strategy to consider when mailing older records or inactive records: have an outside source verify that the person is still at that address using external information they have. The performance of older records verified by external information is significantly greater than records that cannot be verified.
Finally, some service providers develop individual/household level models which can be used during the merge/purge process to score prospects or older house names as to whether or not they should be mailed. These models are much more valuable than a geographic-based model, because the scoring is done using data at the individual/household level. This allows the mailer the flexibility to drop those prospects that will perform so poorly they shouldn’t be mailed. (Of course, net name arrangements should be negotiated so that ideally these names dropped do not have to be paid for.)
While the next months are going to be challenging for all mailers – especially for flats mailers – implementing any or all of the strategies discussed in these articles will help minimize the impact of this significant postal increase.
Mike Yapuncich is vice president of Solutions Support for Experian Marketing Services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For parts one and two of Yapuncich’s three-part series on the changing mailing landscape, click here (Part 1) and here Part 2)