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Optimize Direct Mail Campaigns using NCOA Scrubs

Optimize Direct Mail Campaigns using NCOA Scrubs

There are few marketing strategies less effective than getting a piece of mail addressed to “Occupant” or “Resident” or “Our Friends at <address>.” The letter is clearly not intended for you, and it will more than likely go straight to the trash, unopened. However, direct mail can still be a very effective marketing tool. You just need to have the right approach and the right tools.

Staying Current

Mail is much more effective when it’s personal. Address it to a specific person on your leads list and target them with something you know they need. Ideally, your direct mail campaign should target people who have specifically opted in and requested to hear from you.

The problem with that, though, is making sure the mail finds the right person. All sorts of things can happen, especially if your campaign is ongoing. If the person on your list moves, or the address you have on file for them is otherwise no longer current, your direct mail campaign won’t reach them.

This is why so many direct mail campaigns choose to remain vague. Personalizing the campaign takes extra time and money, and if you’re sending mail to the wrong addresses, then those resources are wasted. Sending out generic mail to a wider audience is cheaper. The problem is, it also doesn’t have nearly as high an ROI. The mail may get delivered, but if it’s not delivered to the right person—if it’s never opened at all—then it ends up wasting just as much money or more than mail that gets returned from invalid addresses.

Some marketers hedge their bets by including the name on their lead list, but adding, “Or the current residents at <address>,” in the hope that, in case their lead has moved, the letter still might find an interested party. But all this really does is tell the recipient that the message is generic and thus not important. It still ends up thrown away.

National Change of Address Database

If you want your mail to be effective, you need to put in the extra effort for personalization. So how do you make sure it reaches the intended party, and you don’t waste money sending mail to addresses that are no longer valid? You need to do an NCOA scrub.

The National Change of Address database keeps track of when people move to a new residence. An NCOA scrub compares the street addresses in your lead database to the ones in the NCOA database to make sure they’re accurate.

If someone has moved within the last 48 months, the NCOA can provide you with the new address, so you can update your records. A scrub can also recognize addresses of buildings that are no longer there, as well as mistyped or otherwise incorrect addresses, so you can remove them from your database. And finally, it makes sure all the addresses in your database are formatted to meet the standards of the U.S. Postal Service, in order to reduce the amount of errors and undeliverable mail.

Conversion Marketing can execute an NCOA scrub for you that will maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign. We’ll get rid of bad or undeliverable addresses and ensure the highest quality of delivery on any postal mail campaign. Contact us to learn more!