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Stop spending money on return mail, reduce your postage expense and increase your marketing ROI.

On the surface, a direct mail (DM) campaign may be more expensive than other forms of marketing communications, but that doesn’t mean it should cost more than it needs to. What follows are suggestions to improve ROI and make direct mail a more cost-effective choice as compared to other marketing alternatives.

Improve deliverability by making sure your mail is processed by the USPS as efficiently and accurately as possible.

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), more than 20% of mail contains address errors which can render them undeliverable as addressed. Processing your mailing list through the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) corrects many address errors and improves mail deliverability. CASS provides:

Address standardization – Formats the address to USPS standards and includes standardizing USPS abbreviations, (think changing Avenue to AVE) as well as correcting spelling errors in the address.

Address correction – Matches the address to the USPS database and adds or corrects delivery information, such as ZIP code, ZIP+4, carrier route, and delivery point bar code, all which improve deliverability and help reduce the time it takes your mail to reach your customer or prospect.

Address updating – Compares the address against the USPS database and attempts to append missing information, such as apartment or suite number.

Address verification – Confirms that the mail piece is addressed to a valid address and can be delivered.

Your target audience is on the move, so make sure that you have their most up-to-date address.

One in nine households move every year. This means every month about 1% of the population has a new address. The National Change of Address (NCOA) database contains nearly 160 million change-of-address (COA) records of individuals, families and business that have filed a COA with the USPS during the past 48 months. Passing your mailing list against the NCOA database enables you to update your list with a customer or prospect’s new address prior to mailing.

Taking advantage of CASS and NCOA processing not only allows you to qualify for the lower presorted postage rates, but will improve deliverability of your mail, which is key to maximizing your ROI. If your message doesn’t reach your intended target, the loss is greater than the cost of printing, production and postage. It’s the lost opportunity to respond to your message or offer.

Improving the deliverability of your direct mail program, and reducing postage expense, can make a huge difference in your bottom line.

Questions? Call the DM experts at MKP who have the insights and expertise needed to ensure that your direct mail is reaching your target audience as efficiently and effectively as possible.

MKP communications inc. is a New York City based communications company that delivers spot-on strategy, smart, fresh creative, combined with flawless execution, exclusively for financial services clients.