Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What is DPV (Delivery Point Validation)?

Mailers today who do not use a DPV service are either really out of the loop or they don't really care whether their mail actually arrives or not.

I've been in the category of "really out of the loop" until recently when I became aware of the pitfalls of not using a DPV service to ensure your mailing address is deliverable.

Let's say you process your mailing list through a standardization service without DPV and then try to merge all duplicates together in your database. If you do not validate down to DPV level, you may be losing address data and names from your list . DPV validation will tell you that the mail will actually get delivered to a delivery POINT which other validation levels can not do. ZIP4 encoding can only give you the general range of zip codes and tell you whether or not these are valid ranges, but for all you know you may be mailing to an empty lot or a torn down building, not to mention the high rises that won't deliver your mail without that apartment number.

So mailers who are interested in keeping their lists in good shape should choose some form of DPV solution. I am looking into the PostalSoft validation which is described on their website:

Delivery Point Validation (DPV)

By adding delivery point
validation to your data cleansing process, you can bring data
validation to finer precision. A DPV solution:

  • Determines whether a particular address — a specific house number,
    apartment number, or suite number — is known to the USPS (United States
    Postal Service) as a valid point for delivering mail, which helps
    reduce mail-order fraud.
  • Identifies whether an address is a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency
    (CMRA), such as The UPS Store, which can reduce fraudulent credit card
  • Increases the accuracy of matched records and helps create a more
    accurate view of each customer, resulting in more sophisticated
    marketing campaigns, such as loyalty programs, or more highly
    personalized offers.

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