What is NCOALinkTM (National Change of Address)?


Every year approximately forty million Americans move their place of residence and/or   business, but their old addresses often remain in the mailer's computers. As a result, mailings continue to go to old addresses and not the new ones. United States Postal Service® estimates that at least 8% of all standard class mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses. This means lost opportunities, lost sales, and wasted money.


There is a solution. The NCOALinkTM system makes available current change of address information that can help reduce your undeliverable mail. Addressing errors are identified and corrected before mail enters the mail-stream. Mailers use NCOALinkTM to save thousands of dollars that would have been spent on wasted materials and postage. In addition, valuable customer names that would have been lost have been updated to receive current and future mailings.


Why Mail is Undeliverable


The United States Postal Service® has identified the following reasons for undeliverable mail:


The first line of the address:

    • Addressee unknown to carrier.
    • Addressee temporarily away.
    • Addressee's name misspelled.
    • Addressee's Street Address Errors.
    • Missing address line or street name.
    • No such or incorrect street.
    • No such or incorrect number.
    • Missing house number/ P.O. Box.
    • No such or incorrect apartment, suite, etc.
    • Missing or incorrect street directional or suffix
    • No such rural route number/rural route box.
    • Rural route address change to city-type address.


The last line of the address:

    • Incorrect or missing ZIP Code.
    • Incorrect or missing city and/or state.


Other reasons for un-deliverability:

    • Change of address on file.
    • Forward order expired.
    • Moved, left no address/box closed, left no order.
    • Address vacant.
    • No label/illegible label.
    • No mail receptacle.



How NCOALinkTM Works


Data processed through NCOALinkTM is first standardized to conform to USPS® requirements, including the ZIP + 4® code. Once the address has been standardized and the ZIP + 4® code applied, an attempt is made to match the address against the NCOALinkTM File, which contains approximately 115 million records or 48 months of permanent address changes. Address change information is derived from the PS Form 3575, Change-of-Address Order, filed by relocating postal customers. If an exact match is made with the name and old address, the move information is provided to the mailer. NCOALinkTM helps reduce undeliverable-as-addressed mail by correcting input addresses prior to mailing. Since 1986, NCOALinkTM and its predecessors have saved mailers millions of dollars that otherwise would have been wasted in materials and postage.




NCOALinkTM Match - Corrected Address Is Provided





Paul Jones
123 Main Street
Anytown, CT 06084

Paul Jones
123 Main Street
Anytown, CT 06084

39 Oak Street
Anytown, MA 01245

William Smith
481 Elm St, Apt 4A
Anytown, CA

Bill Smith
481 Elm St, Apt 4A
Anytown, CA 90241

11 Duck Lane
Anytown, IL 61411


NCOALinkTM Footnotes


NCOALinkTM Footnotes allow Anchor to assist the mailer in deciding on a set of business rules that would only drop records for those who moved without providing a new address. Records that are potential un-deliverables (but were not considered a NCOALinkTM match) are flagged as Footnotes. The mailer then can decide whether or not to mail to these addresses. However the quantity of “Footnotes” you will receive under NCOALinkTM may be very much reduced as compared to previous NCOA processing.


The Benefits of NCOALinkTM and Footnotes


NCOALinkTM provides mailers with the capability to receive a current address before mailings. NCOALinkTM provides additional benefits including Address Standardization and ZIP + 4® appending, ZIP™ Correction, Carrier Route Coding, and a CASS™ Report and DPV™.


NCOALinkTM footnotes indicate a match was close but not good enough to meet the strict USPS® matching guidelines. The footnotes indicate the reason a match could not be made with the NCOALink file, and a mailer can investigate the address record and provide necessary corrections. A no-match to the NCOALink file does NOT return the new address - the Return codes when provided may give an indication why.




NCOALinkTM Footnotes and $$$ Advantages

The following example will demonstrate the effect of NCOALinkTM Footnotes processing of a 1 million mailing. If,

    • NCOALinkTM Footnotes match rate of .15% equals 1,500 mail not posted.
    • At $400/M (estimate to mail), the savings equal $600.00.
    • If the 1,500 NCOALinkTM Footnotes names are replaced with 1,500 deliverable names and a 2% response rate results this equals 30 additional orders.
    • If the average order is $50, Additional Sales = $1,500.


Processing a one million mailing with Footnotes included in the NCOALinkTM processing can result in additional savings and sales of $2,100 plus the potential ongoing revenue stream from these new customers.




NCOALinkTM and Footnotes
Cleans Your Customer & Prospect Files of Undeliverable Names & Addresses

Here are actual case stories...







Original File



NCOALinkTM Corrected






Footnote Hits






Total NCOALinkTM& Footnotes






Mailing Cost






$$ Saved




The Cost of NCOALinkTM & Footnotes Processing is a Tiny Fraction of the $$'s You Save!!


The powerful NCOALinkTM software will make name & address corrections, correct ZIP™ Codes, standardize your addresses, add ZIP + 4® and Carrier Route codes to your file.



NCOAlinkTM Processing is performed by a non-exclusive licensee of the United States Postal Service®.