NCOA: USPS National Change of Address Service
National Change of Address (NCOA) is a product of the United States Postal Service, USPS, and is used to provide updated and accurate addresses for individuals, families, and businesses.
NCOA is a secure dataset of approximately 160 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records consisting of the names and addresses of those who have filed a change-of-address with the USPS. It is maintained by the United States Postal Service and access is limited to licensed service providers such as Visions, Inc..
NCOA minimizes the number of UAA (Undeliverable As Addressed) mailpieces saving the mailer money and reducing the USPS's processing of this type of mail. The use of NCOA is required in order to obtain bulk mail rates.
Can You Opt Out of NCOA?
We are required to use NCOA for all Standard and First Class mail with furnished lists unless the mailing address of each piece includes either "OR CURRENT RESIDENT" or "TO OUR FRIENDS AT" or similar.
Acquired lists have already been run through NCOA by the list owner or broker.
How NCOA works
NCOA addresses in the database are specifically designed to match the USPS requirements. Each entry is matched against other entries to ensure that there are no repeated addresses. The software will update old addresses through the information provided by the USPS. Mail recipients have the option of changing their address online or filling out the "Change of Address" form at the Post Office when moving.
Consider Your Options
When evaluating your marketing strategy and ways to minimize postage costs, it's important to consider carrier route mailings vs. targeted list mailing. Store and restaurants, for example, typically are more interested in geographical areas, ie. saturation. Services that target a group by the number of school aged children or homeowners’ age or household income are more interested in targeted lists.
A restaurant may be more interested in targeting whoever lives at the given address and a non-profit for example may be more interested in following an individual to their new address regardless of location.
Postage costs can be reduced up to 40% by choosing a carrier route saturation mailing when you are targeting a geographic area rather than a list comprised of targeted individuals.
Contact your sales representative to discuss ways to optimize your mailings and minimize your postage costs.