jwtaber wrote:Those of you outside Pennsylvania and its coordinating councils might not be aware of this, but there's now an NCOA/address-checking service called Melissa that only costs $50 for a four-year contract. In my stake, we've asked the wards to set that up, and process that once a quarter now that Salt Lake is sending Address Unknown records back quarterly. I don't think any of them have it quite off the ground yet, but it would be much cheaper than all the postage required for mailing out quarterly newsletters like one of my wards did before (see my post #13).
Without exploring the details, that seems a pretty good price for NCOA processing, expeciallly against the 48-month database. We have been using Anchor Computer's NCOA service annually for that service at a higher cost.
However, I think you need to read the fine print of the agreement you make when you use such processors, whice are licensed to use the USPS National Change of Address database under controlled circumstances. In order to use such a service, I think the user must sign a USPS-required form attesting that he is running this batch of addresses in order to preprocess a list for an actual mailing. So the NCOA service supplements the mailing and makes it more efficient, but I believe the end user cannot use it as a substitute for mailing to the scrubbed list.
Even at $75 minimum per batch, which is what our unit has paid for our annual year-end mailing, the NCOA processing is well worth the cost because of the efficient output. But we still have to do the mailing and pay for the postage.
Edit: The USPS-required form at Melissa is substantially identical to the form we sign for Anchor. (Complete with USPS logo. Only the licensed vendor name is different.) The form says in relevant part:
I also understand that the sole purpose of the NCOALink service is to provide a mailing list correction service for lists that will be used for preparation of mailings.
FYI, here is a link to the USPS list
of all vendors licensed to provide the 48-month "full service" NCOALink processing. There are other vendors, typically cheaper, that only use an 18-month database.