Jan
13
2011

Catalogs, catalogs and more catalogs

Two years ago, I moved into an apartment building in the Boston area. I filed my change of address with the post office and changed my address with all necessary parties. I thought my mail was all set, but I kept receiving pieces in the mail that did not belong to me or my husband.

I noticed that it wasn’t bills from previous tenants or letters, but rather catalogs from a large assortment of retailers. When I received them, I threw them into the garbage can that sits next to the mailboxes and went on my way. Gradually over time, I notice that the catalogs never stopped coming and that other residents in the apartment building were experiencing the same thing.

While one of the catalogs was of interest to me, the others were just a waste of resources, both for the company sending them to me and the environment. The part that gets me the most is that I have now lived in this apartment for two years, and still receive catalogs from retailers that I have never purchased from.

As retailers know, catalogs are expensive to mail and produce. While it is a good form of marketing that can induce potential customers to buy, it can be a waste when sending a catalog to an incorrect address or an individual who does not fit the profile for a potential customer.

An easy way to fix this is to run address files against the USPS® change of address file. That way, retailers can see which of their customers and prospects have moved and append the new address into their system. This will not only prevent wasted resources, but also help retailers comply with bulk mailing regulations.

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