Thursday, October 25, 2007

Percentage of Americans who do not fill out a Change of Address with USPS

Here is an excerpt giving an estimate of how many Americans move each year that do not fill out a change of address request with the post office. These address changes would not be returned with NCOA and would require other means of address recovery such as a "Deluxe" NCOA service that utilizes other address change databases such as magazine subscription lists, utility company databases and even the "Pizza Hut" database they maintain of deliveries they've made and address changes they've maintained.

One of the fallacies surrounding consumer list compilation is that the U. S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address file is the answer to this problem. The fact is, however, that NCOA, while helpful, falls far short of the accuracy that most of us would prefer. An estimated 30 percent of the people who move in the United States never file a change-of-address form with the postal service. And even when they do, it is sometimes weeks or even months before that information is made available to list compilers or the direct marketers who use the lists.

Competent list managers have created routines that address this problem. For example, if there is a change of address on a current, reliable source (such as new billing addresses for a charge account or new utility hookups) the new address might be placed in the consumer record. This type of effort can significantly improve address quality on a mailing list – but it cannot ever be perfect.