Benefits of Accurate Addresses

This article is an excerpt from our free whitepaper, The ROI of Address Validation, which we invite you to download.

Here are some of the benefits of keeping accurate address data in your contact database:

Mailing in General

From costs to customer satisfaction, accurate addresses play a critical role in all your direct mail efforts, with benefits including the following:

PRESORT MAILING DISCOUNTS

First of all, correct addresses allow you to take advantage of pre-sorting discounts for postal mail which can be substantial. EasyPost gives an example where mailing 10,000 three-ounce catalogs at presort rates costs less than a third the cost of using regular mail.

This is one area where an automated tool such as our DOTS Address Validation – US product can make presorting easy, by appending pre-sort data points specific to the USPS, which in turn enables grouping mail pieces together and realizing the savings of commercial postage prices.

PREVENT MAILING TO BAD ADDRESSES

According to the US Postal Service, over four percent of the 146 billion mail pieces it handled in fiscal year 2018 were ‘undeliverable as addressed’, or UAA for short. This amounts to almost 6 billion pieces of mail, with a cost to the mailing industry of over $2 billion.

Shifting the focus to your business, undeliverable or bad addresses are an avoidable cost that includes not only the mailing pieces themselves, but the human labor and resources involved in addressing these bad deliveries. But with automated address validation, these problems can be prevented at both the point of data entry and the time of use.

MAINTAINING GOOD CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

According to Forbes Magazine, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer versus keeping an existing one. But if you send a Mother’s Day present to the wrong address, or an important shipment never arrives, you may lose existing customers for good—and damage your brand reputation in the process, as people share their concerns through channels such as social media.

According to Bain & Company research, a 5% increase in retaining customers can translate into as much as a 95% increase in profitability—links very closely to the financial argument for genuine, accurate and up-to-date customer contact data.

Marketing

In an increasingly digital world, how valuable are accurate physical contact addresses to your marketing efforts? The answer is that they are extremely valuable and becoming more so over time. Here are some of the reasons why:

According to marketing expert Neil Patel, the value of direct mail is as good or better as most online media— with the added advantages that it is more tangible (no one, for example, puts a banner ad on their refrigerator), more creative, and increases your brand awareness.

Direct mail response rates are at record highs of over 5% as of 2018, and an amazing 9% for house lists—five to nine times greater than that of email, paid search or social media, according to a 2018 ANA/DMA survey.

In a world of short attention spans, direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process per Canada Post.

While most people’s inboxes are flooded with email nowadays, 73% of customers prefer direct mail as an advertising method, and 57% feel that receiving mail makes them feel valued.

2018 Response Rates for Specific Media

Another growing advantage of direct mail is that as a paid marketing medium, it is subject to fewer regulatory compliance concerns compared with newer digital channels. As the online world continues to tighten down on data privacy, and how and when we can communicate with prospects, mail will continue to grow in importance, as there are fewer restrictions on reaching out to people via this channel.

Perhaps most importantly, direct mail has become a very effective way to anchor an omni-channel marketing strategy, where the high response rate and retention of mail pieces drives people to channels such as websites or social media pages. This is just one of the reasons that industry-specific rates of direct mail usage still range as high as 80%.

Other Business Functions

Having genuine, accurate and up-to-date contact address data has an important impact on many other aspects of your daily business operations, including:

BILLING

To keep your cash flowing properly, invoices must get to their intended customers. Moreover, misdirected billing can lead to service interruptions, misunderstandings or possible impacts on customer creditworthiness with your business.

SHIPPING

Errant shipments have direct costs that can be substantial, including the risks of product loss and the costs of re-shipment. Address issues in shipping also carry equally important soft costs in areas like customer satisfaction, customer retention and metrics such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

Accurate contact data has an impact on metrics that influence decision-making. For example, if 25% of your data is bad, 25% of your metrics are bad as well. Validating your contact data assets regularly plays a role in accurate business reporting, planning and targeting.

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

Accurate addresses are often critical for some customer mailings, like car recall notices, health care results, and other important information. They can also be critical for compliance with required legal notices, such as data breach notifications or class action lawsuit settlements. Misdelivered mail with personal information also raises personal privacy issues.

FRAUD PREVENTION

Fraudulent orders and registrations cost retail businesses alone nearly 2% of their annual revenues as of 2019, and according to Lexis-Nexis’ 2019 True Cost of FraudSM Study, successful retail fraud attempts have doubled in the past year alone. Verifying addresses for validity and cross-checking them against other data points such as credit card billing address and IP address can play a key role in reducing fraud risks at their source.

BRAND REPUTATION

Thanks to companies like Amazon and other online retailers that differentiate themselves through convenience and speed of delivery, customers have higher expectations than ever about their service experience—and just as important, they talk about these experiences in forums such as social media and rating sites. This makes accurate contact address data more important than ever for maintaining your reputation in the marketplace.

BUSINESS DECISION SUPPORT

Accurate contact data has an impact on metrics that influence decision-making. For example, if 25% of your data is bad, 25% of your metrics are bad as well. Validating your contact data assets regularly plays a role in accurate business reporting, planning and targeting.

Summary

Address validation tools provide an automated, easy-to-implement solution that improves the ROI of your marketing and customer contact activities. Our extensive address validation infrastructure, including close linkages with USPS and other proprietary databases, gives you numerous benefits including the following:

  • Lower mailing costs
  • Higher quality marketing leads
  • Reduced errors in shipments and critical correspondence
  • Better targeted marketing through geo-targeting and data enrichment
  • Higher customer satisfaction and brand reputation
  • Compliance with data privacy regulations and customer notification requirements
  • Improved fraud prevention

Want to know more?

Our data quality specialists are always happy to share ways that address quality can improve your business, feel free to contact us.

If you are interested in testing our US, Canada and International Address Validation products, you can sign up for a free trial key with 500 free transactions.

Download our free whitepaper, The ROI of Address Validation.

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