The digital world has encompassed a good portion of our lives today, even to the point where much of our mail is seen only in an inbox on our screens. With this common-day scenario, receiving an envelope in the mail or a package at the door has even more sentimental value than ever before. In order for the mail to make it safely to its destination, however, it’s imperative to make sure the receiver’s address is always correct and up-to-date.
Donna Flanagin, owner of Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service, explained that using a post office (P.O.) box as the main address is one of the best ways to eliminate any confusion or problems that could arise when it comes to sending mail. While different types of addresses serve different purposes in certain situations, P.O. boxes should be considered the default, and in some cases, it can be the only type of address for them to use.
“If you have a P.O. box, that is your primary address,” she said. “Now, an example would be towns that have nothing but P.O. boxes. They have a physical address for the fire department, so the fire department can find them but for mail, it should be mailed to their P.O. box. P.O. boxes are always the primary address if they have one.”
While having the P.O. box is half the battle, knowing the address inside and out is another important part to the equation.
“I always try to tell my customers that your address is like your phone number. If you get one digit of your phone number wrong, you do not reach the person you want it to,” Flanagin said. “The post office is very similar to that. The post office has one address for you that it wants to deliver mail to, and when people start playing with that address it can cause a problem.”
Even the smallest of mistakes can throw the system for a loop. This is especially for Flanagin’s, a business that relies on computers to sort through databases and won’t recognize an address if it’s not entered with 100% accuracy.
“Issues come up in my line of work all the time. Every single list that I work with is processed against the U.S. Postal Service national database. It'll tell me immediately if it doesn't recognize that address. It doesn't necessarily tell me what the correct address is though. It just says what we're submitting here. It doesn't recognize it,” Flanagin said.
As a result, when an address is not recognized, it increases the chance of the mail not reaching its intended recipient, and the chance of the mail being tossed is also at a higher risk as well.
With such issues happening in a larger frequency, Flanagin stressed the importance of staying on top of updating addresses, especially if a customer has recently moved, changed locations, or if a P.O. box has recently closed.
“I work at getting my customers to update their databases as best they can with the information that we know is the actual address so that it permanently is changed, and every time we do a mailing, we don't have to research what their actual address is,” she said.
She also encourages everyone to be precise with all information entered, including things such as apartment, suite, or unit numbers.
“There's no point in gathering data that isn't good, because you've wasted a ton of money. The real key is to do it right from the beginning,” she said.
It’s also recommended to do at least one or two first class mailing per year, and then to request anything that can’t be delivered to be returned back to you as well.
“You will get everything that that postman is not able to get delivered to you and at that point you need to update your database,” Flanagin said. “If you're using our service, all we ask is that once we send you the reports that you actually update your database.”
For more information on Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service, visit mybulkmail.com.