Happy New Year! It’s Time to Clean up Your Mailing List.

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Same name. New Address.

It's time to clean up your mailing lists.A record 8.9 million people moved during the pandemic!

I just spent the two weeks after New Year’s cleaning up our CRM, Hubspot. Even though I am constantly reminding my clients to clean up their email and mailing lists, I have been a little lax through Covid and not mailing quite as much.

I can’t count the number of times we receive mail at MEDiAHEAD with employees that retired 15 years ago – piles of it! And catalogs – thick catalogs, sometimes 10 from the same company to people that haven’t worked here in years.

Mailing Options

First Class Mail is more expensive, but it will be delivered faster and comes with additional services like Return to Sender. Certain types of mail must be sent First Class, such as invoices, statements, and other personalized mail.

Many companies use Bulk Mail because it is less expensive for advertisements and mass communication. Bulk Mail is not automatically forwarded or returned to the sender if it is undeliverable, so you will not know if that person is no longer there or if your list is accurate. With the cost of printing and postage, it makes sense to clean up your list before you send out a bunch of mail that will never be seen by the intended recipient. (You could also add Return Requested for an additional cost. Although, this could get very expensive if your list is horribly outdated.)

USPS: First Class Mail versus Bulk MailThe days of dropping thousands of “Resident” postcards in the mail is over, they just don’t get the response that they once did. Years ago, I approached the YMCA because they were dropping 900,000 postcards in December and January without a great response. I convinced them to buy/clean their list and target to specific categories of recipients with different photos and offers to go along with it. Even though we dropped a much smaller number of postcards, their response was 5 times that of previous years.

Things to check in your CRM before a mailing:

  1. Insufficient Address – suite, apartment number, etc., is invalid or missing, the mail piece will be returned or tossed.
  2. Non-Deliverable Addresses – unable to forward, somebody moved and didn’t tell USPS to forward their mail, or the forwarding period has ended.
  3. Make sure the Recipient’s Name is spelled correctly – I constantly get mail addresses to Catherine or Cathy. Nope to that company.

Mailing is perceived as a more trusted, personal form of communication. At the very least, make sure their name and address are correct!

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