Randy Weiler, SPC’s Director of Postal Affairs and Logistics, is here to help you navigate the labyrinth of the USPS. What does it take to efficiently move your projects through the USPS system? What efficiencies can you gain from SPC’s lettershop expertise? Who determines postal increases?
Every month, Randy fields your burning questions about mail and postal affairs in a Q&A format. You can email him at email@example.com or post a question via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskRandyUSPS. We post the questions and his answers each month both here on the SPC blog and on social media. To see a full list of questions that Randy has answered, check the Ask Randy Index.
1) How is it that you can have bad addresses (mail being returned because the person is no longer at that address), when you run the list through CASS, DPV and NCOA and it does not trigger as a bad address?
The most common reason for mail not being delivered has to do with individuals moving but failing to provide a change of address (COA) with the USPS or filling out the COA incorrectly. I’ve heard that close to 40% of movers fail to file a COA with the USPS. For some period of time, these individuals will not be reflected in the NCOA files. Therefore, even though a mail file is run through NCOA, updated address information may not be available.
CASS and DPV will look for addressing accuracies related to street addresses, cities and zipcodes. However, CASS and DPV do not check for addressing accuracy relating to the individual’s name.
A great link to learn more: http://www.nationalchangeofaddress.com/FAQs.html#19
2) When should you use an Ancillary Service Endorsement? Which one is the right one to use?
Ancillary Service Endorsements should be used when information on an addressee’s new address is wanted and to provide the USPS with handling instructions for undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail pieces. In my opinion, Ancillary Service Endorsements are more necessary when conducting mailings to individuals with an already established relationship. In other words, Ancillary Service Endorsements are not as important with acquisition type mailing efforts.
There are five types of endorsements “Electronic,” “Address,” “Return,” “Change,” or “Forwarding,” followed by the two words “Service Requested” that are the same for all mail classes. The USPS action and the applicable fees vary by endorsement type and mail class.
The right endorsement is going to depend on the desired final disposition of the mailpiece, the method of obtaining updated addressing or UAA codes, and acceptable associated costs. My preference is to use the “Electronic Service Requested” endorsement as it allows for USPS forwarding instructions to be provided in the Full-Service Intelligent Mail Barcode on the mail piece as well as limiting returned mail and potential fees. Furthermore, updated addressing and UAA codes are provided back in a USPS data feed which limits the need for manual data entry.
For more information and where I went to gather information to answer this question: http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/qsg300/Q507.pdf
3) What are the benefits of using Intelligent Mail Barcodes when mailing?
The benefits of using an intelligent mail barcode (IMb) on a mail piece are numerous.
- Automation: Having an IMb generally means that a mail piece is eligible for a USPS automated rate. There may be times when this is not true, such as IMb location, mail piece design flaws, or address quality.
- Mail Tracking: The USPS can provide data on mail piece delivery using the data imbedded in the IMb.
- Address Change Service (ACS): The USPC can provide data on Change of Address or Undeliverable as Addressed information using the data imbedded in the IMb.
- Mail Ownership: The Mailer ID of either the mail service provider or mail owner is contained within the IMb. This information can be used by the USPS to contact the mail owner should there be any concerns with a mailing as it travels through the USPS system.
- Service Type: Also contained in the IMb is the Service Type Identifier (STID) which provides the USPS information and direction on the mail class as well as mail tracing, mail forwarding, and address correction.
4) Backstreet Boys or N’SYNC?
Director Postal Affairs and Logistics