In today’s mobile world, many people spend part of their year living in a different location than their primary home.  The most common example of this is retirees who move south for the winter, but it also includes people splitting their time between multiple work locations and grandparents living for extended periods with different sets of grandchildren.

The U.S. Postal Service now lets you know if someone has provided them with a temporary forwarding address in their National Change of Address (NCOA) files.  Does it make sense for you to mail to people who’ve temporarily moved?

The answer, like so many others in the data hygiene world, is “it depends”.  These individuals might be some of your best donors, in which case reaching them would have a very positive impact on a mailing’s return.  However, the reverse may also be true — maybe the last thing they’re going to consider when they’re sitting on the beach in Florida is the plight of the homeless in Maine.  The only way to find out for sure is through testing.

We’ve had a variety of results when doing this research for our clients.  One company had a very favorable response rate when they mailed to records whose mail date was more than 30 days from when the NCOA was run.  Another found that their response rates for temporary moves was so low that it made no sense to include them in any future mailings.

If you’d like help maximizing the return on investment of your mailings from our data hygiene and merge purge experts, please call John Bell at (310) 372-9010 or let us know the best time to contact you.


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