Postal: Three Ways to Reduce Postal Costs and Increase Response
With the holiday season around the corner, and a double-digit postal increase on the horizon, consider where you can gain incremental value out of your housefile. Mike Yapuncich, vice president, solution support for data services provider Experian, offers a few tips on how to do just that:
1. Mail to the correct address. “The most important thing that catalogers should be doing to get incremental value out of their housefiles is [to use] NCOALink,” Yapuncich says. This process updates your housefile based on new mover information registered with the USPS. Yapuncich notes that while some catalogers try to save money by using NCOALink quarterly, the cost of the service is worthwhile even when used every two weeks.
He cites the example of a cataloger that mailed monthly, but ran its housefile against the change of address file quarterly. In a test mailing, the cataloger ran NCOALink one month earlier than normal, then split the mailing, sending half of the catalogs to the scrubbed names and half to the unscrubbed names. (Scrubbed names have been checked against themselves or given sources for deduping, bad address removal and updating.) Sales per book for the whole mailing were between $3 and $4, with the scrubbed names bringing in more than $4 per book and the unscrubbed names bringing less than $1 per book.
2. Use multiple ZIP + 4 ® engines. If your list services provider offers more than one process that appends ZIP + 4 codes to your housefile, Yapuncich notes that you’ll add 0.5 percent to 1 percent additional matches if your run your housefile to a second engine. This is important because without a ZIP + 4 code, you can’t get a match through most change of address files. The more ZIP + 4 codes you have, the more of your customers you’ll be able to track.