Improve Address Data Accuracy with Delivery Point Validation (DPV) and Address Verification

Melissa IN Team | Address Verification | , , ,

In today’s digital era, sending mail by post seems unnecessary. But, it’s still a very effective way to reach out to your audience. Direct mail has the third highest ROI. It’s much higher than that of an online display campaign or even a paid search.

Some of the biggest companies use direct mail to send promotional mail about new launches, to send invoices, and much more. Interestingly, a survey showed that direct mail has an average response rate of 5.3% while the response rate for email is a mere 0.6%! That said, none of these statistics matter if your mail doesn’t reach the intended recipient.

About 5% of direct mail sent through the postal system is undeliverable. When it comes to undeliverable and delayed mail, some reasons are uncontrollable. You cannot control traffic situations or bad weather. Neither can you control your mail getting lost in the mailroom.

It’s common for people to move every few years and the addresses you hold in your database can become outdated. Street addresses may change even when people don’t shift. The municipal corporation may change the street name. Even if the address is correct, it may be undeliverable because of the wrong formatting. This is where Melissa’s address verification API and Delivery Point Validation (DPV) can help.

What is Address Verification?

There are a number of address verification solutions available today. These tools check incoming address data as well as data stored in your database for accuracy, validity, completeness and formatting. This helps ensure that your address book contains high-quality data with accurate mailing addresses.

Address verification works by comparing the addresses being entered with a reliable third-party database. This ensures that all the addresses entering your database are current and valid. The process must also be repeated at regular intervals to make sure that the addresses in your database stay valid.

If needed, the address verification tool can also make edits and correct the formatting. For example, the city may have changed a street name and address verification tools can update such data to keep your records current.

Is Address Verification Enough?

Verified addresses are not always synonymous with deliverable addresses. Let’s say an address is listed as Apartment no. 920. The street is marked as one where house numbers range from the 700s to the 900s. In this case, the address entered may be marked as accurate but when the delivery agent reaches the street, he may find the apartment numbers stop at 915. Thus, the package is returned and marked as undeliverable.

Including delivery point validation helps overcome these hurdles.

Differentiating Between An Address And A Delivery Point

A street address typically has a building name, street name, city, state and ZIP code. When it also contains the specific point where the mail can be dropped off, it’s known as a Delivery Point. This could be the apartment door with a mail slot or a curbside mailbox or a PO box. There may be multiple delivery points on a single street address. This is often the case with offices and apartment complexes. Including the point of delivery on your mail is instrumental in increasing deliverability.

Enhancing Data Accuracy With Delivery Point Validation (DPV)

Delivery Point Validation verifies addresses against the most recent postal database to create a unique 11-digit code. This consists of a ZIP+4 coding system along with an additional 2 digits to narrow it down to a delivery point. DPV confirms deliverability and also notifies the sender about any potential reasons why it may not be delivered.

How Does DPV Benefit Your Business?

DPV as the one offered by Melissa’s address verification API goes a step above regular address verification. It confirms that the address is valid and that mail can be delivered to the address. Some of the ways this can benefit your business are:

  • A Cleaner, More Complete Database

Verifying the delivery point on your addresses makes sure the data you store in the database meets high-quality standards. DPV checks data to make sure it is accurate, complete, correctly formatted, standardized and unique. Thus, it is more reliable not only for ensuring that your mail reaches the recipient but also for any data-driven decisions you want to make in the future. For example, a high-quality database gives you a more accurate picture of your customer demographics.

  • Higher Customer Engagement And Satisfaction

Today, brands stand out because of the customer experience they offer. Many direct mail campaigns are time-sensitive. If you send out coupons, they must reach the customer before they become invalid. Similarly, if you send out a promotional mailer about a new product launch, it needs to reach the customer by a designated date. If your mail reaches too late, it is ineffective. On the other hand, when your mail regularly reaches customers in time, your customers are more likely to become loyal customers. It keeps your customers engaged and boosts satisfaction rates. They’re ultimately more likely to stay loyal to your brand.

  • Minimize Financial Losses

Unreturned mail has financial implications. It’s not just the wasted postage. There’s the cost of reshipping the material, the cost of labour, the cost of time spent finding out the correct address and repacking the package and so on. If you’re sending delicate, breakable material by post, there’s also the risk of damage in the extra to and fro. DPV increases the chances of timely delivery and thus helps minimize these extra costs.

Summing It Up

Direct mail is as effective today as it was decades ago. It is used for B2B as well as B2C mailing among a range of industries including those in the retail sector, consumer goods and financial services sector.

That said, for direct mail to be effective, you must ensure that it is deliverable. Delivery Point Validation checks that the addresses in your database are accurate, valid, complete and formatted correctly. This helps ensure that your mail reaches the intended recipient in time.