Save Money with Address Correction Services

Returned Mail and Associated Costs

When a mail piece is returned to you as “undeliverable as addressed” (UAA), what does it cost you? It’s not just the design, production, and mailing costs, although those are important, too. There are other, hidden costs that balloon your costs even higher. Fortunately, with a few proactive steps, you can minimize UAAs and maximize your spend.

What causes mail to be returned as undeliverable? These are the top three reasons:

  1. The addressee has moved. More than 40 million Americans change their addresses annually and submit change of address (COA) orders to the US Postal Service.
  2. The address is incomplete, incorrect, or illegible.
  3. The addressee is unknown or deceased.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that these, along with other factors, cost the mailing industry $20 million per year, with the average total cost per piece of $3. With an average of 10% of a business’s direct mail returned as undeliverable, this means if you send out 15,000 mail pieces, without using any address correction services, 1,500 of them are likely to be returned at a cost of $4,500. But the actual costs can be higher.

In certain industries, there can be compliance costs, as well. Fines can be imposed if important documents don’t reach recipients within mandated notification windows (such as those specified by the Truth in Lending Act or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).

Pitney Bowes estimates that, when all factors are considered, UAAs can actually cost up to $25 per piece. Suddenly, that $4,500 cost on a 15,000-piece mailing balloons to $37,500.

What’s the answer?

Get it right the first time. A simple first step can be removing duplicate addresses from your mailing list so that you are sending only one piece to each recipient or household. Next are the address correction services, such as the USPS’s National Change of Address (NCOA) and Address Change Services (ACS). Here are some ways Fineline can help:

NCOA (National Change of Address) Link Service

  • Checks against USPS database to ensure your mail reaches the right person if they moved or requested their mail be delivered to a PO Box instead.

More details at this link:

CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) Certification (via USPS)

  • Verifies addresses provided are properly formatted as viable addresses in the USPS system.

More details at this link:

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) (via USPS)

  • If you would like to deliver bulk mail to an area or demographic, you can use this to ensure all addresses that qualify receive your mail piece.

More details at this link:

More than 40 million people change postal addresses every year and only 60% of those people file an address change with the USPS. Let Fineline help you take care of your mailing list and make every mail piece count!  Contact us today.




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