Greetings & salutations from your neighborhood survey partners, DataForce Research here!
As many of you are involved in survey research, one of the more common types of participant outreach involves mailing a physical survey, but you have probably noticed that some pieces of mail just never get delivered.
If you would like to understand more about these UAA (Undeliverable As Addressed) pieces, and how to remediate these issues, keep reading!
UAA stands for Undeliverable As Addressed, and is what the USPS uses to classify a piece of mail that is unable to be delivered. There are a variety of reasons why a piece of mail may be determined to be undeliverable, such as:
- Misspelled addresses, or incorrect street numbers
- Participant no longer lives at the address
- The house looks vacant, nobody lives there
Once a piece of mail has been determined to be undeliverable, it may follow one of the following paths:
- Forwarded if a COA (Change of Address) is on file, and mail was addressed to an individual instead of resident
- Returned to the sender
The type of mailing class used will also impact how USPS processes UAA items. For example, a piece of First-Class Mail will either be forwarded or returned, allowing the sender to correct their data, while marketing materials are generally just discarded, unless Address Correction is specifically requested.
So, now that we understand what UAA mail is, what can be done about it?
Fortunately for us, in recent years the USPS has implemented a free service called ACS, or Address Correction Service. ACS will provide feedback to the sender in the form of UAA codes to help you update your address list for future mailings. Some of the most common ACS codes that you will see are:
- Temporarily Away
- New Address
There are some exceptions that apply here, depending on whether a specific resident was addressed, or just ‘Individual’ or ‘Resident’. For example, you will not receive the code of deceased if you just address the mail to something non-specific, like Resident.
You can either get this ACS information directly through USPS, or there are some services that offer mail report tracking, which will implement this ACS information into their reports.
If you have any questions about utilizing ACS information for your projects, give us a call today for a free no obligation consultation.
Until next time, Data Warriors!