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$1.8 Billion Annually; Nearly One-Third of U.S. Mail Contains Addressing Errors

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Most recent data released by the United States Postal Service(R) (USPS(R)) illustrates how huge "undeliverable as addressed" (UAA) mail is in the US. Consider:

-- UAA mail costs the USPS $1.8 billion annually;
-- USPS handles 6-billion UAA pieces annually;
-- 30 Percent of all US mail contains addressing errors;

According to Gary Seitz -- executive vice president of C.TRAC information
solutions of Strongsville, Ohio and a nationally-recognized postal expert -- as staggering as the USPS costs are, for organizations that depend on mail for sales and solicitations, UAA costs are incalculable.

There is good news. "As technology advances there are more tools
available to the mass mailer to minimize the problem," Seitz said.
Companies like C.TRAC work with the Post Office(TM) to implement programs to identify inaccurate addresses and maximize the efficiency of an organization's mailing list. Seitz claims that today there are a number of methods that can correct UAAs before the mail is sent. According to Seitz, there was a time when mass mailers accepted the fact that their mailing lists would be 5-10 percent undeliverable. Today, the bar for what is undeliverable has been raised.

The most basic program is the USPS CASS(TM) System which evaluates
address-matching software. According to Seitz, for greater accuracy there is the USPS DPV(TM) Product which verifies each address to the unit level (i.e. house address). There is also Ancillary Service Endorsements (ASE) as well as Address Element Correction (AEC) -- a two-phase USPS service which combines automated revisions with manual carrier corrections.

Two other options available to mailers, according to Seitz -- NCOA
(National Change of Address) and FASTforward(R) Mailing List Correction -- are being merged into NCOALink(TM). Whereas FASTforward(R) would only recognize 100 percent matches, NCOALink(TM) will identify addresses that are close but not exact. This enables the mailer to either update or eliminate the address.

Either way, the mailer saves. Seitz also stated that NCOALink(TM) will "look back" over all address changes filed with the Post Office over the previous 18 months at the Limited Service Provider and End User levels -- an improvement over FASTforward's 13-month look-back period.

He also pointed out that C.TRAC works with clients to determine the
accuracy of their mailing lists and recommends which program(s) is needed to minimize UAAs and to qualify for pre-sort postage discounts. Seitz noted that these discounts can be as much as 9.5 cents per piece.
C.TRAC information solutions is a 33 year-old privately-held company
involved in the creation, utilization and management of information. C.TRAC is a leading direct mail expert including database and list development and enhancement, program management as well as postal rules and regulations.

C.TRAC information solutions is a non-exclusive Limited Service Provider
licensee of the United States Postal Service. The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service: CASS, DPV, NCOALink, FASTforward, United States Postal Service, USPS, Post Office and Postal Service.

SOURCE C.TRAC information solutions


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