Marketing and Direct Mail Tips

Avoid Move Update Penalties

The Postal Service is now assessing penalties for mail that fails to comply with move update standards. A penalty of seven cents per non-compliant piece will apply to any mailing where more than 30% of moves are not updated correctly.

Sample testing will be done for all First Class and Standard Mail and the USPS will provide feedback to the mailer on the effectiveness of their Move Update process. The assessment applies only to those pieces in the mailing that are found to exceed the 30% tolerance level, based on the sampling.

Example: if a mailing is found to have an error level of 50%, then 50% minus 30% (tolerance level) = 20% of the mailing that will is assessed $0.07 per piece.

So if this mailing consists of 50,000 pieces, 10,000 of the pieces would be charged $0.07 per piece, for a total assessment of $700.00.

Any mailing that has five or fewer update errors is not assessed the fee, regardless of the percentage that is not updated.    

Since November 23, 2008 the Postal Service has required Standard and Non-Profit mail to comply with Move Update standards. Presorted First Class mail has required compliance for the last 10 years. To comply you must have updated your mailing list within 95 days prior to the date of mailing using one of the following authorized methods:

  • NCOALink processing.
  • FASTforward MLOCR processing (letter mail only). 
  • OneCode ACS (Address Change Service) in conjunction with an Intelligent Mail barcode and a mailer ID. 
  • Address Change Service used with an ACS participant code and an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement.*
  • Use of an appropriate on-piece ancillary service endorsement without ACS.*

*If you use ACS or on-piece ancillary service endorsements you must incorporate the address changes received prior to subsequent mailings.

The Postal Service will use NCOA data as the standard for testing using their postage verification systems. For that reason, Eye/Comm recommends NCOA for Move Update compliance. If you need to use an alternative method, Eye/Comm can help you determine which method is best for you.

Remember, your list must be updated within 95 days of a mailing. For example, a mailing entered on January 4th must bear addresses that were updated no earlier than September 29th. 

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