Service Enhances USPS Resident Database

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The National Association of Advertising Distributors has introduced ResPlus, a new product that overlays head-of-household names to the U.S. Postal Service's National Resident Database list.

The NRD contains 110 million U.S. mailbox addresses with vacancies and "do not mail" households eliminated. The list can be selected via carrier route and can go to all residents in an area. The mailings usually are addressed to "Resident" or "Occupant." NAAD, Centreville, VA, is a consortium of 16 mailing services companies that sells the NRD list.

The NRD is purchased by a variety of companies -- from mom-and-pop retail stores that mail a few times a year to major coupon mailers with national distribution of solo or co-op mailings. ResPlus offers consumers a list of deliverable names and addresses that are overlaid on the NRD list so companies can directly target head-of-household names but still pay the low-cost, walk-sequence charge.

While the cost of ResPlus is still being determined, insiders say the NRD list with ResPlus is only a few dollars per thousand more than the NRD list without ResPlus.

The name list is the result of a relationship the NAAD has formed with an undisclosed list company, according to NAAD member Frank Powell of PrimeNet Marketing Services. Currently, seven NAAD vendors sell ResPlus.

"With ResPlus, not only does [the customer] get the specific named households, but he is getting those households that another name list doesn't have," said Keith Judkins, executive director of NAAD.

"We are offering the bridge between a totally personalized mailing and the previous saturation mailing without names," said Jack May, vice president of operations at AmeriComm Data Direct, which sells ResPlus. AmeriComm is a division of AmeriComm Direct Marketing Services.

"This is the middle ground," he said "It is so much more cost effective than the standardized compiled list because it offers a lower postage rate and lower cost of delivery."

In addition, May said, research has shown that when a recipient is looking at an address label, he is more comfortable when he sees his name and more inclined to buy.

"In most cases, if [consumers] are looking at circulars and just want to read what is inside, then the generic 'Resident' works fine," he said. "But if they are looking at labels on an envelope mailing or on a small self-mailer, then having the name is going to perform better."

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