At AD-Vantage Marketing, we understand that your database is a key to your project’s success. Our skilled data processing department is second to none in ability, knowledge and attention to detail. Powerful software applications enable us to enhance your data, improve its accuracy and maximize your postal savings.
According to the USPS, 17% of households move on an annual basis. In such a highly mobile society, lists are “perishable” and require periodic maintenance to maintain their accuracy. Your data may also be formatted improperly, causing it not to reach its destination. AD-Vantage can solve these problems with our data processing services. NCOA processing is one option that can give your list new life.
This process is commonly used whenever we process a mailing for you and it is required for maximum postage discount. (It can also be useful for cleaning your data at any time). Our software checks the validity of the address by comparing it against a national database. When a match is found, the “plus 4″ and carrier route information is appended to your usual 5 digit zip code. It also checks and corrects the spelling of the city and street names and cleans up the address formatting. Zip+4 allows us to create a barcode for your address, which results in faster USPS delivery and a lower postage rate. Records that do not receive or use Zip+4 are mailable, but at a higher postage rate and may have questionable deliverability.
Zip+4 (above) verifies the address, but not who lives at that address. That’s where NCOA comes in. By electronically comparing your database to the USPS “master database” of postal customer change of address (COA) cards, we can automatically update mover information and identify undeliverable records. USPS rules require NCOA18 or the use of an Ancillary Service Endorsement on your mail piece in order to get a postage discount. NCOA offers all the benefits of manually updating your list, without having to mail and physically edit your database with the returned mail. In addition to time, NCOA saves you countless dollars in potentially wasted printing, processing and postage.
NCOA18 offers 18 months of change of address history and is automatically run on all automation mailings by AD-Vantage (and is required by the Post Office), but if you believe that your list is more than 18 months out of date, we recommend that we run NCOA48 on your list to detect 48 months of postal customer moves.
Even though you may think your list is “dupe” free, it is likely to contain some redundancies (especially when multiple files are merged). We can remove these duplicates on a “one per address” basis, “one per household” (last name & address) or the program can work on a “one per person” (name & address) level. We can also delete records from your list by comparing them to a “suppression” file (a file of records that you don’t want to mail to). De-duping can result in substantial printing and postage savings, while avoiding frustrated recipients who would have received multiple copies.
You can see further details on the Three Kinds of Duplicate Elimination.
Genderization can make your list more functional by identifying the recipient’s gender and addressing the message accordingly.
Perhaps your mail list needs reformatting. For instance, we can split the “full name” field into “first name” and “last name” to create a personalized letter. Also, “City, State, Zip” can easily be split in order to presort the data for automation discounts.
If your valuable mail list is still in “paper” form, we can capture the information into a reusable computer format. Many people simply don’t have the time, equipment, or desire to spend days keying in names and addresses. We’ll set up a file, key and maintain your mail list to keep it healthy and deliverable. Mail lists are “perishable” and require constant attention in the form of editing for any “adds”, “changes” or “deletes”.
We can read data from most any media and format and, if desired, convert it to any other media or format. We can work files from Mac OS or Windows on a CD, USB flash drive or from an email. Give us a call with any media or conversion questions! If your file is ready to send, you can email it to us or use our file upload page.