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Whether you’re sending customer statements, marketing brochures or critical patient information forms, you really can count on good old “snail mail.” Go ahead. Laugh. But there’s absolutely no question that traditional direct mail is still one of the most effective methods available to get your message to your audience. In fact, you can be sure nearly 100% of your correctly addressed mail will get delivered and studies show that 80% of recipients will at least scan it.

Here’s the real question: “Is your direct mail process as efficient as it can be?”  Consider these two vital questions:

·       Are you sure you’re not wasting money due to inaccurate or duplicate addresses?

·       Are you sure you’re taking advantage of all available postal discounts?

If your answer is “No” … or even “I don’t know” … to either of these questions it’s probably time to take a closer look at your direct mail program.

Successful direct mail programs start with a comprehensive mailing list purchased or developed based on target audience data. But acquiring the right list is just the beginning; the larger issue is making sure it’s accurate the first time, and every time, you use it. With over 43 million Americans moving each year, undeliverable-as-addressed mail is a continuous concern.  Do you really want to spend money printing and mailing items that get returned to you? Or mailing the same piece to the same person twice? Savvy direct mail managers rely on data cleansing methods to avoid the list inaccuracies that cost you money.

At a minimum, make sure your direct mail process includes:

  • NCOA Link: National Change of Address processing helps reduce UAA mail by identifying and updating the addresses of people and businesses that have moved. Processing your mail list through the NCOA Link also qualifies mailings that meet the quantity requirements for First Class and Standard/Nonprofit Mail presort postage discounts.
  • Address Verification/CASS Processing: The Coding Accuracy Support System validates, corrects, and standardizes your address data by matching addresses in your list to the monthly updated USPS National Address file.  CASS Processing adds the correct ZIP + 4 postal codes and appends missing apartment and suite information, resulting in postal discounts and less undeliverable mail. 
  • Full Service Intelligent Mail Service: This service level qualifies your mail for additional per piece automation discounts, address correction on full service pieces and mail entry visibility.

If you’d like to really optimize your program, look for a direct mail supplier with the expertise and resources to manage your program from design through delivery. A really good one will start with a professional designer who can create an attractive piece that meets USPS guidelines for physical characteristics like size and weight to qualify for the best postage rate. Your supplier should have expertise in data/list management as well as postal regulations, and should have the ability to print, assemble, meter, mail and handle response management. They should also offer options like comingling to ensure you’re taking advantage of volume discounts. If they have digital print-on-demand capabilities to enable cost-effective personalization or versioning you’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot.

That’s a lot to think about, but it all comes down to this. You’ve got to get your message in the hands of your recipients in the most cost-effective way possible. We can help you with that. When you’re ready to “uncomplicate” your direct mail program, let your local Curtis 1000 consultant show you what we can do or fill out the “How Can We Help You” form on our website at