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Why We Correct Mailing Lists
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We provide a special service that we believe is unique in the mailing industry. We take the time to correct each mailing list as much as possible. Our purpose when correcting a mailing list is to ensure that the largest percentage possible is deliverable and so that the customer can receive the lowest postage rate for as many addresses as possible.

Once we import a list, our first step is to check it to obtain special certification that qualifies the mailing as an “automation barcode mailing”. Such mailings are mailed at an average 5.5¢ postage discount as compared to non-barcoded bulk mail.

On any list, there is always some percentage of the list that won’t get the barcode certification. Since the company’s list is a customer list, each address is very valuable. Each record represents a person who has previously purchased and probably will again. We once surveyed other mailing houses in Portland. Most of them said, if an address can’t get the barcode certification, they delete it from the list! Even if we can’t get the certification for a particular address, it is usually still a deliverable address, there’s just some reason it can’t be barcoded. Even without the barcode, we can mail it using the higher postage rate at the same time we mail the lower priced barcoded pieces.

Each address is very valuable – it costs a lot of advertising dollars and employee wages to obtain each one. We never delete an address unless we are certain it is really a bad address.

Some addresses don’t get the certification because they are relatively new addresses (and so have not been added yet to the USPS computers); some don’t get the certification because they are rural addresses (the system is set up to work with street type addresses so rural addresses won’t work). But, most commonly, the largest percentage of addresses without certification don’t get it because they are typed incorrectly with misspells, typos or incorrect format.

Returned Mail: When you put the words “Return Service Requested” on your mailing piece, any piece that can’t be delivered will be returned to you. Those returns will either contain the individual’s new forwarding address or why it couldn’t be delivered. Returning these mailing pieces is a First Class service. One of the great things about bulk mail is that you can get this First Class service without paying First Class rates for the whole mailing. With bulk mail, First Class postage is only paid for the returns. Keep in mind that you will always get some returned mail. At Vrla Mailing Services, we strive to reduce that number as much as possible. See the note below about the available forwarding address service that will reduce this number even further.

Example Of A List We Corrected: We started out with a mailing list of about 10,000 records. It was clear that this list was typed primarily by busy people who don’t know many of the USPS rules. It is a really good thing that we took the time to correct the list because our charge for correcting it was a lot less than the cost would have been if all that mail had just been returned. And, if all those addresses had not been corrected and had been used for the mailing and returned, all those addresses would have just been deleted from the list. Instead, we were able to correct a large number of them so they were deliverable and are still potential future sales.

We Found On The List:
48 completely bad addresses 300 that were bad because of misspells, typos and bad format that we could correct 2023 duplicates 2371 total

If those 2371 records had just been included in the mailing without being corrected or removed, the charges would have been:
2371 x $0.164 = $388.84 outgoing postage 2371 x $0.08 = $189.68 mailing services 2371 x $0.37 = $877.27 return postage $1455.79 expected cost if they had just been mailed and returned, not counting the cost for the printing.

Charges for correcting the list:
8.5 hours x $25 per hour = $212.50

Savings:
$1455.79 – 212.50 = $1243.29 SAVINGS (approximate)

Forwarding address service: Even bigger savings would have been available if we had run this list through our service that gives us all the forwarding addresses available during the last three years. The USPS forwarding service only goes back 18 months. Mailing to people who have moved is another source of hidden costs.
Each time we do this work of correcting the mailing list, we send our corrections to you so the master list can be corrected. Next time you mail, your list will contain a much higher percentage of deliverable addresses and a much lower percentage of hidden costs. We can also supply your office with a set of basic instructions on correct address format. There’s no point in mailing a promotional piece that will not be delivered because the address was mistyped. Use our service to make sure most of your mailing pieces get to the recipients.

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