Survey Reveals Untapped Business Opportunities in Mailing Process Automation

Organizations Investing in Improved Mailing Accuracy Stand to Benefit from Upcoming Changes to Postal Rate Structures

LANHAM, Md., January 04, 2010 - Pitney Bowes Business Insight, the leading global provider of location and communication intelligence solutions, today released the results of its mailing address quality survey. The survey findings, consisting of responses from major high-volume mailers, revealed that while companies are concerned with address quality, many are not yet prepared to receive the cost-saving benefits related to USPS rate changes for the proper management of returned mail and address updates.

The survey, conducted by Pitney Bowes Business Insight, evaluated how companies are managing address updates and returned mail. The USPS® Move Update Standard aims to reduce the volume of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail, which according to the USPS, costs about $1.6 billion to process. The latest standards became effective November 23, 2008, requiring businesses to update their bulk-mailing lists for both First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® within 95 days of the mailing date. Effective January 4, 2010, companies whose mailings are not compliant will be subject to an additional postage of $0.07 per assessed piece.

Key survey findings include:

  • Sixty-four percent of respondents said they use the National Change of Address (NCOALink®) method to identify address changes to help reduce undeliverable mailpieces before they enter the mailstream;
  • Fifty-four percent rely on Address Change Service (ACS™) to ensure that the new address information is returned to the mailer. However, only about half of the companies surveyed reported that they thoroughly analyze the ACS™ notices received, potentially missing out on key information about the UAA mailpieces;
  • When mail is returned from NCOALink® or ACS™ due to incorrect addressing, 33 percent said they rely on manually updating the addresses, the most costly method. Only slightly more respondents (39 percent) say they have an automated process to deal with returned mail from NCOALink® or ACS™;
  • Forty-six percent of respondents consider handling return mail a manually intensive process and 22 percent believe that having multiple databases requiring updates is also a key constraint;
  • When it comes to updating addresses in environments that include customer consent as requirements (by legal or business rules), respondents primarily relied on sending consent letters (22 percent) or e-mail confirmations for verification. Of note, the 22 percent of respondents who selected “other” methods for updating addresses, suspect that they do not have an adequate process in place and some rely on their clients to make the updates; and
  • For Move Update processing, about half of the respondents indicated they use an “on premise” solution rather than a hosted or Software as a Service (SaaS) offering.

“The results of the Pitney Bowes Business Insight survey indicate that mailers have the opportunity to enhance their best practices for updating address changes, but many have not yet made the investment,” said Matt McPartlin, director of product management, Pitney Bowes Business Insight. “With the upcoming changes to postal rate structures in the Move Update Standard, mailers that take steps to improve their address database management today will benefit from greater cost-savings and better overall customer communications in the long run.”

The survey conducted exclusively by Pitney Bowes Business Insight queried more than 50 North American executives and IT managers who conduct high-volume mailings in industries including insurance, financial services, communications or utilities, government, service bureaus and others.

For complete survey results please contact Anna Dreyser or Jenny Ng at

About Pitney Bowes Business Insight

Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI), a division of Pitney Bowes Software Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc., provides a unique combination of location and communication intelligence software, data and services that enable organizations to make more informed decisions about customers, competition and market expansion. With the industry’s most comprehensive set of solutions for maximizing the value of customer data, PBBI provides the tools required to more effectively locate, connect and communicate with customers in today’s global markets. Leading organizations rely on PBBI solutions to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of customer information delivery and drive profitable growth. Visit and for more information.

USPS, First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, NCOALink and ACS are trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service.