Mailing 101: How to Deal with Address Errors

If you have ever provided your own mailing list for a postcard (or any) mailing, you may have noticed that you ended up mailing fewer cards than you expected.

But why is that?

Well, there are several situations that may cause this. I’m going to use our company, PostcardMania as an example in this post…

If you mailed through us, we may have removed duplicate names and addresses from your list. We may have removed some people that moved out of the area where you do business. Or, most commonly, we simply removed addresses that weren’t valid.

At PostcardMania, we use CASS certified software to check the addresses in your list.  CASS stands for “Coding and Accuracy Support System.” It is the system the USPS uses to check addresses and our software is certified to perform these checks.

The Post Office keeps a record of all valid, deliverable addresses in the country. Our list processing software keeps a database of these valid addresses and is updated regularly. So, each address in your mailing list is checked against this database and if a match cannot be found, the address is flagged as invalid. If the street name is misspelled, a portion of the address is missing, or the address is entered improperly in any way, it may be flagged as an address error.

In order to make sure our clients get the most out of their mailings, we remove all address errors. If the address is not recognized, we cannot claim a discounted postage rate for a card mailed to that address. That means you would pay a higher postage rate for a card that is less likely to be delivered. We don’t like that.

There are, however, some instances where it makes sense to mail to the address errors – so long as you have a valid city, state and zip (if any of these are incorrect there is no chance the card will be delivered). If you are mailing to airports, hospitals or schools, for example, it may be worthwhile to mail your address errors.

Basically, if the city, state and zip are all correct, the card will get into the hands of a mail clerk in the area where it needs to be delivered.  If that mail clerk and the mail carrier recognize the street address, there’s a pretty good chance it gets delivered.  If the mail carrier sees “Clearwater Municipal Airport” in place of a street address, he/she will most likely know where to deliver it.  There is also a chance that a street address with a slight misspelling gets delivered, too, but it is certainly less likely than if the address were correct and valid.

If you mail with PostcardMania, we’ll note on your postage invoice how many of your records we removed from your mailing.  If you want to leave them in the mailing, you just let your Mailing Services Representative know and we’ll leave in every record with a valid city, state and zip.


Mail Smarter,


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