Does your business deal with expensive return mail? If so, it’s possible your customer addresses are not valid or updated because they have not been cross-checked with the NCOA database which is a database that lists changes of addresses going back 48 months. If you want to reduce return mails, a best practice is to cross-check your customer address data with the NCOA database.

Here’s everything you need to know.


NCOALinkTM (which stands for “National Change of Address”) has been introduced by the USPS with the aim of replacing NCOA and FASTforward® MLC services. Thus, starting on October 1st 2004, USPS required mailers to switch to this new database. It enables companies to update their mailing lists with new addresses from businesses, families, and individuals that have moved.

Now, let me ask you a new question- do you know that approximately 48 millions Americans move… each year? Roughly speaking this is 17% of the adult population.

Let’s say you have a customer database of 10,000 customers. In just one year, 1,700 (give or take) of your customers are likely to move and change their address. In simple words, this means that your mailings won’t reach them!

Now that we know the impact of outdated customer addresses, we will explain how to cleanse your customer address database


USPS designed NCOALinkTM to better protect the privacy and security of name and address information entrusted to them. USPS aims to reduce the costs that come from handling Undeliverable-As-Addressed. Also, their goal is to increase the utilization of change-of-address information.


In a nutshell, NCOALinkTM does two things:

  • standardizes your addresses so they follow the recommendations from USPS. For example, it corrects typos, formats the address according to the standards, and even adds ZIP+4 codes.
  • compares your addresses to the information found in the National Change of Address database.


First and foremost, NCOALinkTM improves your delivery rates by providing the addresses for those people and businesses that moved within the last 4 years.

Then, it lowers your mailing costs by standardizing your addresses to meet USPS standards. Also, note that bulk shipping discounts are impossible without NCOA verification.

It is worth mentioning that, by using NCOALinkTM, your customers and business partners know that the security of their data is paramount to you.

Lastly, NCOALinkTM makes sure your mailing is delivered faster which means you’ll never lose a business opportunity due to mailings that take too much time to reach their recipient.


By know, the benefits of using NCOALinkTM should be clear. But why should you use our WinPure NCOA?

So, WinPure NCOA matches your lists against the full NCOALinkTM dataset of approximately 160 million moves on file over the last 48 months. All you have to do is to send us your mail file, and WinPure NCOA will update the addresses of customers that have moved.

Our service simply helps you improve your deliverability rate, save money through postage discounts, and eliminate wasted postage. Furthermore, you will be eligible to receive the bulk mail postage rate from the Postal Service. Head over to our web page and get started cleaning and enriching your list. It’s easy as 1-2-3.

Written by Farah Kim

Farah Kim is a human-centric product marketer and specializes in simplifying complex information into actionable insights for the WinPure audience. She holds a BS degree in Computer Science, followed by two post-grad degrees specializing in Linguistics and Media Communications. She works with the WinPure team to create awareness on a no-code solution for solving complex tasks like data matching, entity resolution and Master Data Management.

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