When In Doubt, Go Back to Basics

You mail a catalog to a name on your house file, and it gets returned as undeliverable, or you don’t hear from the customer again. And it’s not the first time this has happened with this name, which has proven to be a profitable buyer in the past.

So you run the name against the National Change of Address (NCOA), the Computer Accuracy Support System (CASS), the Locatable Address Conversion Service (LACS), and Delivery Point Validation (DPV) services, but can’t find a match.

And you send the name to the co-ops but you still have no proof the customer has jumped ship and become loyal to your competition.Should you throw in the towel on this customer?

Not necessarily, says Jerry Eiler, a postal specialist for Ripon, WI-based Ripon Printers. Instead of dropping the name from your house files, you may need to go back to basics to correct the address.

“Be creative, your customers are your future,” Eiler said during a recent webinar sponsored by MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT, How Cleaning Up Your Circ Files Can Cut Your Postal Rates.

How far back to basics? Try calling the customer to verify the address.

“You may want to let them know the offers you are sending them are being returned, and you just want to verify where they live,” Eiler said. “Let them know you’re interested in maintaining relationships with your customers.”

And if all else fails, you should get creative with a special offer for the customer as a last ditch attempt to get a response.

“If addresses don’t code, or you’re having trouble verifying the person actually lives at that location, mail an attractive offer that they can’t refuse,” Eiler said. “Your only option is to lose the customer or make a break-even deal.”