Ensure Postal Discounts with NCOA Live

If your business uses direct mail, you know that postage is one of your biggest costs, and are probably aware that the USPS offers a range of discounts for bulk mailings, including presort, automation and marketing mail rates. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can take advantage of another USPS discount program – the Move Update standard – and how we can help.

Understanding Move Update

Nearly every postal discount involves doing preparation on your end that saves the USPS time and money – for example, presorting your mail in ZIP code order, or adding bar codes that take advantage of USPS’s automated routing equipment. Along similar lines, the Move Update standard is designed to reduce the expensive intervention of forwarded or undeliverable mail due to changes of address.

Note the terminology used by USPS: Move Update is a standard that mail pieces are required to meet in order to obtain its corresponding discount rate. The standard is as follows: your entire mailing list for each mailing must have its addresses updated via an approved method within 95 days of being mailed. This standard applies for First-Class Mail, USPS Marketing Mail, or Parcel Select Lightweight mailings, and is mandatory for Marketing Mail.

USPS supports three pre-approved strategies for meeting the Move Update standard: Address Change Service, a post-mailing electronic update of changed addresses; so-called “ancillary service endorsements” such as Address Correction Requested, another post-mailing strategy that provides changes manually for a fee; and finally, NCOA Link, which can proactively update address changes on your list prior to mailing. In the next section we will describe how DOTS NCOA Live, our USPS-approved NCOA Link solution, lets you engineer Move Update compliance seamlessly into your mailings.

Finally, while Move Update is not required for First Class or Parcel Select Lightweight mailings, not following this standard does risk incurring a cost penalty in cases where your mailing exceeds a certain percentage threshold of forwarded addresses.

NCOA Live: A simple Move Update solution

NCOA Live is unique front-end solution that cleans your address database for Move Update compliance BEFORE you do your mailing, using up-to-date USPS NCOA (National Change of Address) data. Some of the advantages of this include:

  • Unlike batch database cleanup tools, NCOA Live can be implemented directly into your business automation or CRM platform using API interfaces, to validate and correct addresses at the time of data entry or cleanse legacy data at the time of use.
  • It is a fast, real-time process that can process over 100 addresses per second
  • It provides coverage for business and residential addresses, and returns detailed information about address deliverability.
  • NCOA Live is fully USPS-approved solution for keeping your address data up-to-date, and improving mail deliverability by up to 400%.

Best of all, NCOA Live is an automated way to keep your mailings eligible for USPS Move Update discounts, as well as avoiding penalties associated with out-of-date address data.

Because NCOA Live uses USPS’ NCOA process, there are some setup steps involved to meet USPS requirements, in addition to Service Objects’ normal API integration – these include an advance form for USPS as well as weekly job setup requirements. This blog article explains the process in detail, and our friendly product experts are always happy to help you create a smooth implementation.

Learn more about NCOA Live

Like every Service Objects product, NCOA Live comes bundled with expert implementation assistance, available 24/7 technical support, and the industry’s only financially-backed 99.999% uptime guarantee. We have the experience to help you automate keeping your addresses up to date, and help qualify your mailings for Standard and First-Class Mail discounts. Visit our web page on NCOA Live to learn more about this service, or contact us anytime to discuss your own specific needs.

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