POCA, Raise Your Mailing Results


According to Melissa Data, 43 million Americans move each year. Unfortunately, when people move and their addresses change, not everyone registers this change-of-address with the United States Postal Service (USPS). Without this registration, the move is not recorded in the National Change of Address (NCOA) database and therefore no forwarding address can be provided. I have seen firsthand how this can cost clients a loss in postage & paper expenses as well as a reduction in customers.

Did you know that USPS NCOA only contains permanent change-of-address records filed with USPS over the last 48 months? So what does this mean? If your mailing database, for example, goes back 10+ years, chances are, only a percentage of your file will be cleaned thus leaving a good portion of the records untouched.

You are probably asking yourself, what can be done to ensure my old customer address list is as close to updated as possible?

Don’t worry – I have a solution! There is a database called Proprietary Change of Address (PCOA) which goes back 360 months, yes, that’s right 30 years! It identifies movers in your customer list. The file consists of data collected from multiple private sources including banks, credit card companies, magazine publishers, etc. Often these companies will receive change-of-address notifications that were not reported to the USPS.  This allows you to opportunity to update your database and stay in contact with your customers who might otherwise become undeliverable records.

We performed PCOA on one of our customer’s files. By doing this, we were able to reduce the number of undeliverable mail by over 10 times! Sure, PCOA is a bit more expensive than NCOA, but a good clean list and the return is well worth the investment.

If you don’t want to lose touch with your customers due to moving and old outdated address lists, send me an email at sdautel@twochicago.com and we’ll help you clean your file!

Stacy Dautel