The National Change of Address, NCOA service, is offered by all licensees of the United States Postal Service, USPS. The actual source of the data for the NCOA is a permanent Change of Address, COA, which is filed by a postal customer that is relocating. There are approximately 40 million COAs filed each year and the NCOA database is updated each week with the new information. All changes maintain in this file for a period of four years.

All data that is from the permanent COA cards from all over the country is transmitted to the National Customer Support Center of the USPS. No temporary moves are carried on the NCOA database. Each week the data is compiled, there are edit checks completed and then the data is sent to the licensees that are operating under a USPS non-exclusive license.
The list that you have is compared to the data that is sent to the NCOA file. The address change information is supplied to you when the address information and customer’s name matches the address and name that is within the NCOA database.

Each record that is provided by NCOS includes the relocating individuals name in addition to their old and their new address. The old address will be compared to the NCOA customer’s list for the purpose of matching and then the new address returned, if there is a match made, to the particular customer.

There is strict logic used for control of the COA information. In order to take full advantage of the information that is given by the NCOA process, it is crucial that you understand the matching logic that is used. All of the matches that are made to the actual NCOA file will require an exact match on the address. The name matching standards is determined by the type of move that is in the NCOA file.

Name Matching Requirements for Move Types Include:

* Individual Move: This will be a match on the first name, middle name or initial, the surname and title. The gender is also checked and any potential nicknames are also considered.

* Family Move: This is also called a household move and requires only a surname move.

* Business Move: Requires a specific match for the business or the firm name.

The NCOA provides an excellent management tool for any mail list, ensuring that any direct mail marketing campaign will reach the current address of potential customers.

If you are interested in the list management tools offered by NCOA USPS, check out the services from Anchor Computer Software at AnchorComputerSoftware.com.

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