Exaggerated software claims
If you’ve already spoken to some address correction vendors you might have heard claims that their software can increase the amount of mail that is deliverable. We’re going to walk through what happens when Canada Post gets an invalid address and its ultimate destination. By the time we’re done I am hoping you will understand how silly that claim really is and at the same time give you insight into the real reason good address management software is vital.
Canada Post will tell you that returning mail costs them much more time effort and money than delivering it to begin with. The system is not setup to move mail back to the sender like it is to move it to the receiver. It bypasses all of their equipment until it is back in your hands. This alone is more than enough incentive for them to try and make sure that mail is delivered to the right door the first time.
What happens when you send out an invoice with the wrong address? The first machine your mail will reach in the Canada Post facility will attempt to read the address and sort it for the appropriate transport method to get to the next downstream station. In some facilities if the first machine’s rudimentary address matching system cannot identify the address, the mail is redirected for a second a “semi-automatic” machine. On this machine a camera will show the address to an operator who attempts to decipher the address. These operators have a range of resources available to them to help determine where you MEANT to send your mail. We’ve even seen addresses with an incorrect postal code, street number and city name reach the addressee, (probably by looking the name up in a telephone directory).
In some cases invalid mail is passed on downstream towards the postal code where local postal workers may have knowledge that helps get the piece delivered. In some rural communities many of the delivery carriers know personally the recipient of the mail they deliver. They use this knowledge to make sure that your mail gets delivered to the person you sent it to.
As you can see your invalid mail is being reviewed by one or more people who are trained to make sure they get your mail into the hands of who you are expecting to get it. If a software company has made software that could outperform those human specialists you could bet that Canada Post would be using the software and not specialists and the software company probably would be designing something more sophisticated and lucrative than Canadian address correction software.
If address correction software Canada doesn’t increase my mail deliverability, what does it do? A good software plays two vital roles in mail delivery.
First, address correction automation generally speeds up delivery by making all of your deliverable pieces optimized to Canada Post specifications. The software on the first machine discussed doesn’t have to work as hard and therefore less mail is sent on for the much slower review requiring human interaction.
Second; and probably more importantly, it identifies mail that will provide a problem for Canada Post and may end up being returned (or sent to the recycling bin in the case of Personalized Mail / Admail). If the software can’t come up with a correction you can assume that at best the mail will be sent on to be deciphered by a person, at worst it will be returned or destroyed. Admail users save money by not sending to these rejected addresses at all; Letter mail users will often use other means (such as calling their client) to find the real Canada Post address of their customer.
You should trust a company that will be responsible for taking care of your customer information. If a company is exaggerating the capabilities of their software, how much can you trust them?