Attacking Return-to-Sender Mail From All Directions


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If you mail, you have return mail that is a drain on your bottom line. This presentation from the 2012 National Postal Forum in Orlando Florida provides ways to determine the true root causes of return mail and how actual mailers have attacked the issues from multiple directions, bringing their return mail rates to under 0.25%.

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Attacking Return-to-Sender Mail From All Directions

  2. 2. Return Mail defined Industry Statistics Causes of Return MailAgenda Processes Resolving the Issues Market Discovery Technology 2
  3. 3. Return MailMarket Problem Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) and Return Mail (return to sender) leads to wasted costs Increases cost of: Postage Print Manual processes (sorting and distribution) Tools to correct bad addresses Lost communicationPervasive Industry wide issue Concentrated amongst high volume mailers - often regulated to produce mail USPS® Carriers retiring - loss of postal carrier knowledgeUrgent USPS Compliance - Revenue protection (discounts, fines, and penalties) Economy - Companies looking to reduce costs & increase customer satisfaction Resources - free up resources to allow for use on other corporate (growth) projects Insurance & Financial - no measurement or tracking of account follow-up by Sales reps 3
  4. 4. Industry Problem Return mail volume is not decreasing, even though mail volume is decreasing 2004 – 1.6% of FCM returned 2011 – 2.0% of FCM returned UAA costs the USPS $1.36B annual Return Mail is a $777.6 M – Return to Sender $271.8 M – Forwarded $20 Billion $266.4 M - Waste Industry Problem Undeliverable Mail Volume 8 6Volume (B) 4 2 0 1998 2004 2010 2011 Forwarded 2.093 1.985 1.235 1.116 Returned 1.311 1.603 1.593 1.504 Waste 5.904 6.136 4.12 4.4 4
  5. 5. Return Mail – Root CausesInitial Occurrence: Invalid Input Error (Typo) Missing information 40% Non-USPS information of bad addresses are data entry related Address Changed - Gartner research Renamed / Renumbered Re-construction Disasters Person Moved Processing Errors: Machine Human Did not use / follow-up on data (warnings) from available tools 5
  6. 6. Return Mail – Root Causes Cont’dRecurring Occurrences: Failure to Detect Apply updates Apply data to future mailings Investigate / follow-up Error in applying updates Delays in getting and applying updates Confidence Required 6
  7. 7. Common Processes Account Managers Address Address Address Quality Quality Quality Customer SORs Call Center Document Creation ReturnApplicatio Mailn Owners Center Address Print Quality Address (ACS) Quality Mail Finishing Sortation Equipment MERLIN Postal Payment & Services Solutions ® 7
  8. 8. Resolving UAAAddress Quality Tools Available Today: CASS, DPV, LACSLink, SuiteLink NCOALink 3rd Party Data Tools Workflow Management ToolsBuild A Logical Workflow: Address Quality can be implemented at multiple points in your mailing process Database Document Mail Return Mail Management Creation Production Management 8
  9. 9. Data Entry Data Entry accounts for 20-40% of data quality problems Need to cover ALL sources of data entry and updatesData Entry – Reverse ZIP Lookup N ew Cu stomer Type Primary Data Entry Va lidate Ask For Generate Address Street & Customer City & State Type Street Ab brevia tions ZIP From C ASS Fro m C ASS Ask for Cu stomer Secon dary C hange s Address Database Customer Database 9
  10. 10. Customer MaintenanceLevel 1: USPS based tools used to qualify for postage discounts: CASSTM, DPV®, LACSLink®, SuiteLink®, NCOALink®Level 2: 3rd party data sources and tools: Data beyond the timeframe of the USPS® database tools Data not reported / available to the USPS Use to augment Level 1 data Use when results in a positive ROIUse to initiate and track additional activities to confirm or correctinformation 10
  11. 11. ProductionData: USPS based tools used to qualify for postage discounts: CASSTM DPV®, LACSLink®, SuiteLink®, NCOALink® Real time 3rd party data sources and toolsMail Piece Design and Production: Facilitate USPS® processing Letters vs. Flats Facilitate communication of delivery information Use of Address Change Service Use of IMb TracingTM Facilitate return mail processing Unique piece identification (owner, value, contents) IMbTM Additional barcodes 11
  12. 12. Return Mail – PB Market Discovery Issues With Current Processes50% 47% 44%45%40%35%30% 26%25%20% 16% 16%15%10% 5% 0% Decentralized Reactive Low Correction Not Measured Manual Rate What Are Customers Doing With Return Mail? 50% 45% 45% 40% 36% 35% 28% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 8% 10% 3% 5% 1% 0% Return UAA Measure Scan & Update Update SOR Remail Secure to Dept Volume Image Addresses Destruction 12
  13. 13. Return Mail – Integrated TechnologyStep 1: Capture Step 2: Address Update• Get physical mail into electronic state • Take bad addresses and make them good Secure Capture of  Mail Prep, Sortation, Extraction,  Undeliverable as Addressed  Scanning  and Data Conversion Mail or UAA Data Address Hygiene, Postal Move  RTS Yellow Sticker Update and 3rd Party Data Sources Step 3: Post Document Processing • Remail with updated address • Or, if no new address, store or shred Address Updates System • Update databases, if data is available Updates of Record Rebound Mail Customer  Interface  Feedback file Host (Secure Web Host) Original Documents Inserted, Imaged,  Scanned and Remailed or Reissued,  Delivered to Updated Address Secure Destruction 13
  14. 14. Utilize Digital Connections1Nightly push of all“repeat” offender return 4 mail addresses/ Customer receives messageaccounts thanking them for the update of their profile2 Customer receives notice via email or 5 SMS . Customer receives subsequent multi-channel communications3 Customer clicks notice to: • Update address • View/pay statement 14
  15. 15. Document Value Drives DecisionsDocument Type Value of Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Return on the (Capture) (Address (Document Investment Document Update) Management)Invoice $0.40 cost Image & Postal, 3rd Update $98.80 per $100 create data Party, Database piece (balance) file Phone Reprint / Mail $0.20 $1 $0.40Marketing $0.70 cost Image & Postal & e- E-mail PDF $50.48 per $50 per create data mail $0.01 piece response file $0.01 $0.20Compliance $0.50 cost Image & Postal Update $0.29 perCorrespondence Legal Risk create data $0.007 Database piece file $0.00 $0.20Monthly $0.40 cost ACS Postal Update $0.39 perStatement $0.00 $0.007 Database piece $0.00 15
  16. 16. In Summary: Major Impacts: • Delayed and failed communicationsIf you mail, you havemail that is not • Wasted production costsdeliverable as • Additional processing /addressed and may handling costsresult in return mail. • Delayed payments • Lost Opportunities • Lost Customer Connection 16
  17. 17. Questions and AnswersFor more information: Website: Email: mailservices@pb.comJeff Stangle Adam CollinsonDirector of Solutions, Postal Consulting Engagement Manager/SDCPitney Bowes Management Services Postal Consulting704-461-8072 Pitney Bowes Management 630-907-2595 17
  18. 18. THANK YOU.