CASS Certification and NCOA Processing in Mailing
What Is the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)?
Coding Accuracy Support System or CASS is the software mailers use to standardize the format of an address, add Zip+4 information, and add a Delivery Point Barcode to the recipient’s address. The software provides address updates every 2 months. CASS certification is a requirement for Automation Compatible Mail qualification in order to receive automation postal rates and discounts.
What does CASS Software Do?
CASS software will correct and standardize addresses. By matching the address provided by the client to the CASS database, it can perform several other address matching functions as well. If there is enough information that doesn’t conflict with another address, it can even add missing address information, such as ZIP codes, Zip+4, cities, and states in order to ensure the address is complete.
Any mailing subject to automation rates must have the address properly coded with a CASS-certified address matching method. CASS is primarily for making sure the address to which you are mailing exists. After being confirmed, it is coded with an Intelligent Mail Bar Code and converted into a standardized appearance.
What are some of the things which get corrected by CASS?
Here’s an example of what CASS can do:
The misspelled and incomplete address:PermaGraphics, Inc
25 Graphics Place
Will be changed to:PERMAGRAPHICS, INC
25 GRAPHIC PLACE
MOONACHIE NJ 07074-1106
The supplied and incomplete address was found in the CASS database. The address was standardized to all upper case with the correct zip+4 zip code.
Will CASS fix every address and find my intended recipient?
CASS will verify and fix the address to the best of its ability. If it cannot be corrected, the address will be marked as “Non-CASS”. “Non-CASS” simply means there’s something wrong with the address which renders the software unable to update it. The ability of CASS to match an address can vary greatly. One factor is the quality or percentage of complete address originally supplied by the client. Another element which may affect the ability of CASS to correct the address is the length of time since the address was last updated.
CASS Certified Lists Must Achieve 98.5% Accuracy or Higher
In order for your mailing to qualify for automation rates, it has to be CASS Certified with a passing score. In order to achieve a passing score, there must be a minimum accuracy percentage for the three typical CASS product categories, 5-digit, carrier route & zip+4/DP. All three categories require a passing score of 98.5% accuracy or higher.
If your list does not attain a passing score, we can sort for the non-CASS records and do a visual check. If nothing appears wrong with the addresses, we can mail the non-CASS records at the non-automation rates and the balance at the automation rate. The other option is to simply remove the non-CASS records and rerun the CASS program. This will yield 100% accuracy and the entire mailing will receive the automation postal rate.
What is a NCOA update (National Change of Address)?
NCOA stands for National Change of Address. NCOA, also known as NCOALink, is a secure dataset product maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. It contains a list of all individuals and companies that have completed a change of address form in the previous four years.
In May 2020, the American Community Survey (ACS) data reported, during the past five years, over 40 million Americans moved each year or 13 percent of the U.S. population is moving every year. If the proper procedure is not performed by the mover to update their information in the USPS system, a host of issues can occur.
There are multiple causes of undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail such as outdated address information, the name and address cause a matching error, or address information which was is entered correctly or in the correct USPS format. Unfortunately, the consequences of UAA mail are wasted costs and lost opportunities for revenue and profit. When your marketing mail is returned, there is a missed opportunity and no sale to be made!
A NCOA update can help reduce the presence of UAA mail pieces. This is done by identifying and matching move update requests with new addresses, and correcting and properly formatting the new address or removing it prior to mailing.
How Does the National Change of Address (NCOA) product work?
The NCOALink Product is a secure dataset of approximately 160 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records. It’s comprised of names and addresses of individuals, families, and businesses who have filed a change-of-address notice with the Postal Service.
It was developed with secure data store technology to increase security of postal customer data and protect the privacy of the information. The NCOALink Product enables mailers to process and update mailing lists with new addresses prior to mailing. The NCOALink data is provided on a regular basis to companies that have been licensed by the Postal Service. Each data entry is matched against other entries to ensure there are no repeated addresses. The software will update the client’s address database with the information provided by the postal service. Updated records are marked as changed in the database making it easy to find by sorting.
To obtain presorted discount mailing rates, NCOALink® is required to be performed on the client’s database every 6 months. The benefit is a reduction in the number of UAA, “undeliverable-as-addressed.” mail pieces which saves the client money and reduces the USPS’s processing time.
How Long Does NCOA Forwarding Last For?
When a person completes a Change of Address form, first class mail will be forwarded to the new address for a period of up to one year. The new address information is also added to the NCOA database. After one year, the post office will return the mail to the sender with a yellow slip affixed which provides the mover’s updated information if it is still available.