Dealing with returned mail is a pain. You have to take back the mail, figure out why it was returned, update your database, shred the mail, and get a corrected address for future mailings. Believe it or not, as much of a headache as it is to us, it is a time and money sink for the USPS, too! That’s why they developed the “Secure Destruction” initiative, which is a pretty great program where they destroy the mail for you, and save you some time and money. Here are eight ways this program can save you time and money:

  1. Someone has to update your mail file/database - It costs money in physical labor to create to collect and retain data for Return to Sender (RTS) mail.
  2. It’s secure! The process to destroy takes place within a Secured USPS facility, reducing risks of information exposure. USPS employees do the actual information destruction, with top of the line cross-cut shredder machines.
  3. You won’t mail those same people at that address again. You experience cost savings before you mail to the same address again, and working with a provider for mail tracking, you can get this bundled all in one place with the Address Correction (ACS) File and mail deliverability file.
  4. Updating the ACS file manually takes time! There is a cost to maintain internal postal expertise. Although the USPS sends back a basic undeliverable file, service providers can even consolidate this report for direct import and append, saving you even more time.
  5. If you work with a provider using a consolidated report of ACS and secure destruction, you can automate address update process to be much quicker. For mailers that mail frequently, this ease of implementation can add up quickly.
  6. This service eliminates mail handling and destruction. Even costs like time to securely destroy returns on your side (and even paying to recycle them!) can add up on your end.
  7. Flag records with no forwarding address for follow-up. Just because a customer or prospect moved, that doesn’t mean they are no longer good customers! Why waste time and money on a mailing list just to lose those customers when they move?
  8. A move is stressful enough, why not help your customers, and be the first one in their new mailbox? Save labor and increase customer satisfaction by keeping your list clean and not landing undeliverable mail in the wrong mailboxes.

The USPS offers a basic service – they take the piece, destroy it, and let you know it’s destroyed. This is a GREAT service, don’t get me wrong, but it may make sense depending on your business needs to choose a provider that can tack secure destruction and Address Correction Services alongside your mail tracking. That way you can wrap it up into a single report, and avoid having to go through multiple portals.  I hope you start taking advantage of Secure Destruction soon, and you start saving time and money, too!

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