There are many good reasons to keep your supporters’ mailing addresses up to date using the National Change of Address (NCOA) service.
Even in our ever-increasingly technological world, paper mailings still play a key role in many organizations’ overall communications plan. Many companies offer NCOA service, and the data comes right from the US Postal Service.
The US Postal Service reports nearly 40 million (or 13%) of the US population changes their address each year – that’s potentially 13% of your list that your mailings aren’t reaching if you aren’t running NCOA on a regular basis.
Three reasons to keep your mailing addresses up to date
1. Deliverability – This one is pretty straight-forward. You will get more “bang for your buck” if you ensure all of your mailings are going to the correct address. You can’t always guarantee that every piece of mail will be looked at by the intended recipient, but the chances go up significantly when your mailings are going to the correct recipients.
2. Receive Bulk Mailing Rate – Most nonprofits are aware that in order to receive the bulk mailing rate, they must run an NCOA append on their list at least every 90 days. Many companies offer a discount for setting up an automatic run of an NCOA append every quarter, so that’s something to look into. As a bonus, you won’t have to remember each time.
3. More effective results – Running an NCOA append on your list at least every 90 days will lead to better overall communications success for your organization. Not only will more people receive your mailings, but it should increase response rates for donations and other calls to action. This is especially true if your campaign is focused in a certain geographic area. You won’t waste time and money sending mailings to people who no longer live there, and you won’t miss out on new people who have moved into the area.
If you are looking for other ways to enhance the data on your constituents, consider running an append for email, phone, geographic, or other demographic information as well. The more you know about your constituents, the better you can serve them!