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What Is the NCOA for Direct Marketers?



Many people have heard about the NCOA, but only a few individuals really know how useful and unique the National Change of Address can be for their business. The NCOA is a secure dataset that includes more than 150 million change of address records that include various names as well as the addresses of people who changed their address and filed a change-of-address with the USPS. The database is maintained by the main postal service of countries like USA and Canada.

Access to this database is provided through a USPS licensee that provides processing services to direct marketing companies.

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How is this beneficial for a direct mail campaign?

Direct mail campaigns via USPS typically have tens of thousands of mail pieces that are expected to be delivered to the right address, to the right person, and on time. Imagine if those mail pieces were sent to the wrong address because the target person had already moved to a new home.

Tracking the person would be a nightmare, but with access to the Change-of-Address database, direct marketers can easily find out that the individual has moved and send the mail to him/her. This process saves a lot of time, resources and money. In addition, the database includes data regarding multiple businesses, this makes it easy to track businesses and their addresses for direct mail campaigns.

The database also includes a built-in infrastructure that allows marketers the ability to find foreign movers and people who have moved recently but do not have a USPS forwarding address.

The addresses included in the Change of Address database were created to match the requirements of the US postal service. These entries are matched against each other in order to make sure that there are no duplicates and the list is complete.

Change of Address compliant software provides marketing companies with the best means to update old addresses to new ones. The software ensures accuracy and increases mail address deliverability. In order to take advantage of this, direct mail companies need to submit their customer file to a business offering the NCOA Link service.

It is important to note that this service has helped mailers for decades. While it started in the US, more and more countries such as the UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia have already adopted it.

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National Change of Address processing services should be implemented by all direct marketers into their direct mail campaigns to increase address accuracy, improve mail deliverability and improve a direct mail campaign. After all, what can be more important to the profitability of any direct marketing business than to send the mail to its proper destination and as fast as possible?

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