How Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) Impacts Your Business

The USPS has a problem with not getting all mail delivered to their intended recipients. The reasons vary, but it’s mainly due to incorrect or incomplete addresses, or the recipient refuses to accept the mail. While the mail carrier can always send the mail back to the sender, the failure to deliver has already negatively impacted the sender and their business in more ways than one.

What is Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA)?

The USPS defines Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) as any mail that is returned to us as undeliverable because the address on the letter or package doesn’t match any of our records. Mail may be classified as UAA because:

  • The addressee has moved
  • The address is incorrect, incomplete, and ineligible.
  • The intended recipient is unknown or has passed away
  • The recipient refuses to accept the mail or fails to claim the mail
  • The necessary postage has not been paid

What are the consequences of Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA)?

Undelivered mail can be a burden for businesses because the costs of delays, correction fees, and attempting to deliver again can add up. Remember, you’re still spending each time you send out mail, and it returns. Therefore, if a customer address changes and you don’t update your records, you’ll continue spending on postage to have that mail delivered. You’re also burdening mailing carriers by sending them out to addresses where your intended recipient no longer lives. 

UAA also causes shipping delays as the mail or package gets sent back to the recipient for address correction. By the time it’s back in transit to the correct address, the customer may already be filing a complaint or leaving a negative review. UAA also means the mail may be stuck at a post office waiting for someone’s signature. Delays can also result in demands for refunds, causing more loss in revenue.

UAA can also lead to failed marketing campaigns. If you’re trying to reach your target audience by mail and your database is filled with UAA, you’re not going to meet your marketing goals or get the projected response because the intended recipients never received your marketing collateral. And by the time you update all their addresses, the marketing material may no longer be relevant or be of interest to the recipient.

You can prevent having a database with Undeliverable-as-Addressed (UAA) by using the following strategies:

Keep in touch with your customers – Stay on top of changes by staying connected with your customers and target audience. Ask them to update their information to ensure there are no delays or problems. It’s also better to know which people on your mailing list are no longer interested in receiving mail from you. If they opt-out and update your database, you’ll not only have a cleaner database but also lessen the burden of UAA on the USPS.

Leverage data enhancement services – Each year, about 15% of the U.S. population moves to a new address. Using National Change of Address (NCOA) services, you can improve mail deliverability, reduce mailing costs, increase customer lifetime value, and gain business intelligence. Reaching your target audience also maximizes marketing campaigns and leads to increased ROI. 

For more information on how to prevent UAA from impacting your business, click here