Direct Mail Data Accuracy is Vital Now, More Than Ever.

By John Bell, MMI Direct

Data accuracy is essential to meet USPS deliverability requirements. Especially now during the busy year-end fundraising season.

Address hygiene is particularly critical as large numbers of people relocate during the ongoing pandemic. The National Association of Realtors recently reported that in August, U.S. home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years.

This moving trend is expected to continue as people take advantage of work-from-home flexibility and migrate to lower-density areas, and low mortgage rates, among other factors.

The current high level of moves will have an impact on all donor files. Fundraisers should run National Change of Address (NCOA) more frequently due to this surge of moves. For example, recently our team ran a nonprofit’s data file through the NCOA process just three weeks after the initial run and saw a 60% increase in moves between the two runs.

NCOA is required by the USPS for automation discounts. Mailing addresses must be updated with NCOALink within 95 days of the mail date. We recommend working with your data hygiene partner to build in additional NCOA processes given the increasing relocation trend.

Monitoring trends in your merge/purge and data hygiene processes are always important. Even more so now, as moving trends could have strategic implications for your fundraising program. Always look for changes in your data from previous runs, and review match rates at the overall level and even at the list level.

A thorough, customized and frequent data hygiene program will provide the clean and accurate data you need to improve mail deliverability, get your mail delivered faster, reduce your postage rates, printing and mailing costs, and ultimately improve your campaign performance.

Given today’s challenges, data accuracy is more important than ever.