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FAQ: UK NCOA Update or UK NCOA Suppress

Date: July, 2012 --

Which Is Right for Me?

Data Services, Inc. offers two distinct National Change of Address (NCOA) Services for marketers targeting the United Kingdom with their direct mail efforts, so, as many marketers ask: ‘What's the difference between UK NCOA Update & UK NCOA Suppress and how can we best utilize of one or both of these services with our data?’ 

Let’s begin with UK NCOA Update.

The Royal Mail UK NCOA Update File is built exclusively from data sourced from the Royal Mail Redirection Service. The file updates monthly and contains 21 million records, dating back to 1995, with approximately 100,000 mover records added each month.

How UK NCOA Update Can Be Used: UK NCOA Update allows you to keep contact with your best current or lapsed customers/subscribers and prospects by updating their postal address in the event that they have moved. You may also use the UK NCOA Update service to update files of inquirers which have been obtained for the purpose of marketing commercial communications.

How UK NCOA Update Cannot Be Used: Due to UK privacy laws it is required that you as a marketer have an existing business relationship with the contacts on your database in order to receive the updated address provided by the UK NCOA Update service. For this reason, rented address records may not be processed through this service.

Now for the UK NCOA Suppress Service.

Like the Update service, the Royal Mail UK NCOA Suppress File contains only data sourced from the Royal Mail Redirection service and is therefore fully verified. This file also updates monthly but contains approximately 40 million records, again dating back to 1995, and continues to grow at the rate of approximately 100,000 records each month.

How UK NCOA Suppress Can Be Used: The Royal Mail UK NCOA Suppress service allows you to flag or delete clients and prospects that are no longer valid. Unlike the UK NCOA Update process, this service does not return an updated record, but will simply flag those no longer located at the address you have on file for suppression or deletion. This type of service is also known to many marketers may as a “Gone-Away” Suppression as it allows them to simply identify those no longer present at the address in their database. Given that no update records are returned, an existing relationship with those on the file to be processed is not required and, as a result, rental records may be processed through this service.

How UK NCOA Suppress Cannot Be Used: Given that there is no requirement for marketers to have an existing business relationship with the records on file in order to process via this service, there is no limitation on what type of UK postal file may be run through this process in order to identify users for whom you no longer have a current address.

Other UK NCOA Tips:

                - Both UK NCOA Update & Suppress services rely on a match with the address records on your database in order to identify movers. For this reason, it is crucial that the address records in your file/database are properly standardized, formatted, correct and validated in order to ensure you get the best possible match rate from either process. Data Services’ UK Address Hygiene Services will ensure this is the case.

               - On many files and databases, especially those with significant volumes, the UK NCOA Update process is likely to produce some amount of duplication given that the updated address record you receive from the service may prove to be a match, at the individual or household level, with data already present on your file. Therefore it may be necessary to consider utilizing a Merge/Purge (duplicate elimination) process post-NCOA in order to eliminate any such issues that may result.

Get in touch with your Data Services, Inc. representative or call (800) 432-4066 or +1 (410) 546-2206 to learn more about our US, Canadian and International direct marketing services, and don’t forget to inquire about our Free Data Test.