Every year, more than 6 billion pieces of mail are deemed undeliverable as addressed (UAA) by the U.S. Postal Service, which then forwards, destroys or returns the mail pieces to the sender. For years, dealing with return to sender mail has been something most businesses have looked at as a "cost of doing business." And at an average production and delivery cost of $3 per piece1, it's a significant cost. However, there's a much larger but more insidious figure at stake: the cost of losing your current customers and the expense to replace them.
Every mail piece deemed return to sender is a lost touchpoint. At the very least, the missed communication negatively affects the customer experience. At its worst, it can lead to a lost customer. And one of the downsides related to how we're all so readily connected these days is just how easy it is to share that negative experience with others...
Bad customer experiences by the numbers2:
Unfortunately, exactly how to shift perspective regarding the mail center from "cost of doing business-land" to "value-added, strategic player-land" still remains a mystery to some. To look at ways you can reduce your return to sender mail load, it helps to think about some of the factors implicated in making a mail piece undeliverable: