Recently in Address Quality Category

Mailing List Accuracy Becomes More Stringent

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Mailers face additional penalties in not meeting new Post Service regulations requiring valid, deliverable addresses


The newest wrinkle from the U.S. Postal Service impacts businesses with substantial mass mailing efforts. New Mail Update regulations are intended to limit an unacceptable percentage of wrong addresses, which are costly for everyone concerned.

The key word here is "unacceptable."

Be warned: The threshold at which the Postal Service measures adequate mailing-list accuracy and the way it does it are changing dramatically.

Bad addresses already are costing businesses millions. When a letter or bill, package or flat, gets bounced as undelivered as addressed (UAA), the business and its mail house are on the hook not only for penalties, but also for poor customer communications and marketing effectiveness, lagging account receivables, fewer sales, and more unhappy customers.

As for the Postal Service, it doesn't want to eat the cost of hauling the bad stuff back to the mail facility, sorting it again, mailing it back to the mailer, and so on. It's no wonder the Postal Service has been levying compensatory costs on mailers with bad databases.

Now, as of March 1, 2018, that cost promises to become increasingly onerous--or shall we say increasingly motivating.

The old rules mandated that addresses be screened via a machine with the ungainly name of Mail Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument. It's acronym, MERLIN, implies a certain magical ability to detect bad addresses, but in reality all these machines have been doing was randomly checking a portion of a submitted mailing list. If a generous 30 percent or more of that sample was faulty, the mailer was hit with a fee of 7 cents per piece for the percent of bad addresses above that threshold.


Now, the Postal Service will be leveraging its Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) technology to check every single address a mailer submits in bulk for accuracy, not just a random sample.

Further, the allowable threshold of 30 percent of bad addresses is history. Now, if only 0.5 percent of addresses are faulty, failing to mirror Postal Services change of address (COA) records beyond a certain cutoff point, the mailer is hit with an 8 cent fee on each bad address beyond this vastly more stringent threshold.

The potential for thousands of dollars in penalties due to out-of-date mailing lists is now very real.


What are direct mailers to do to achieve 99.5 percent address list accuracy?

First, they should get current with all change-of-address requests ... if they can. Each year some 40 million Americans move, and only a portion bother to submit COAs, and those that are filed only gradually find their way into the Postal Service's system.

Further, mailers should assure that all addresses match official Postal Service formats of street address, apartment number, accurate city name, and the like. It's amazing how often an addressee himself doesn't know what town he lives in ("Is it Hollywood or Los Angeles?"), and these sorts of things can easily gum up a mailing list.

Yes, there are some Postal Service aids, but they're not particularly user friendly. One service allows mailers to electronically receive change-of-address information after a mailing--a little late to avoid penalties, wouldn't you say?--while another provides a database of 160 million "permanent" change-of-address records.

A "permanent" database? I saw you smile!

Fortunately there are easier, more accurate, and less bothersome solutions. 


·         Melissa's SmartMover cloud service provides fast, easy change-of-address processing for U.S. and international addresses that are accurate in real time. With SmartMover, direct mailers can be assured of staying on the right side of the Postal Service's new Move Update and COA regulations, while increasing customer lifetime value and mailing ROI.

·         Melissa's Address Verification Service verifies addresses in the U.S. and worldwide, also in real-time. We're talking complete, standardized, and accurate USPS addresses while correcting errors and adding in missing components like postal codes.

·        And Melissa's Personator cleans, verifies, standardizes, and completes names and addresses (as well as phone numbers and emails if you need those), matching names to addresses to authenticate the identity of a customer.


Staying on the right side of the U.S. Postal Service's new Move Update regulations is good business for direct mailers and mail houses. It avoids costly penalties while assuring optimal mailing accuracy and customer satisfaction.


And you'll want to do it with a partner who's the leader in data accuracy: Melissa.


Introducing Business Coder for United Kingdom

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Melissa is happy to announce the release of our Business Coder service for UK, where you can verify, validate, and append firmographics for businesses in the UK. Originally servicing only the US, our webservice now expands to the UK as one of our more popular demands for business identification.

Our Business Coder UK webservice can help provide address cleansing and verification, along with business verification and appending of firmographic data. Our SIC Codes and Descriptions can help identify industries that the targeted businesses belong to, along with incorporation dates to help verify the correct businesses.

Similar to Business Coder US, our familiar result codes can help determine any issues with address or business validation. Ensure that the data returned along with our results help verify correct businesses in your data.

Powered by our Global Address engine, our address validation system thoroughly covers streets across the United Kingdom. With quality data ensured by experts and reliable sources such as the Royal Mail, be sure that you standardize and correct any addresses for your list of businesses to ensure that your deliveries do not go to waste.

And don't forget, this is only an announcement for our initial release. We're constantly striving to improve our webservice, as we plan to add additional fields and features to Business Coder UK. Check out our wiki and be on the lookout for new updates for the webservice!

Please note that for our release, Business Coder US and Business Coder UK will have separate URLs to make web service requests to. Additionally, Business Coder UK requires a separate subscription from Business Coder US. Please visit our wiki for more information on how to what to expect out of the new Business Coder.

Business Coder UK wiki:

Looking for Someone? Try our New Personator Search

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Personator Search is a new cloud based solution provided by Melissa that allows users to retrieve multiple verified contact records based on an input address, name, phone, or email. With this service, power users can easily parse through multiple individuals at a single address, multiple individuals with the same name, and more to get precisely the record they are looking for.

In a Nutshell

In essence, our Personator Search will take in a user's input information, search against a massive multi-sourced database, and return all information we have associated with those inputs. The user can then parse through their results to find the individual, address, phone, or email they are looking for.


A Full Suite of Information

As stated above, Personator Search can return contact information based on an address, name, phone, or email input. More specifically, the outputs include:

·         One full name per record

·         One current address per record

·         Move date for the current address

·         All previous addresses associated with the record

·         Move date for the previous addresses

·         All phone numbers associated with the record

·         All emails associated with the record

·         Date of birth

·         Date of death

What an example XML format response may look like:

XML format.png

Complete User Control

Data Management

While Personator Search will return up to 500 individual records with an extensive amount of information in each, the user can impose limits on responses to prevent overwhelming intricate data retrieval and management processes. Each response is split into pages, which by default contains 10 records per page. However, the user can use built in options to change the amount of records per page, the maximum amount of phones or emails returned, or even return every record simultaneously.

Search and Sort

In addition to controlling the amount of data and what kind of data is returned, the user can also control how their information is used to search Melissa's massive contact database. The search type option will allow the user to select what piece of input data is the primary pivot when verifying or appending information. Let's say for example, an address, name, phone, and email are all entered as an input. Search type will allow the user to find all individuals associated with that address, all individuals of the input name, all individuals with the input phone, or all individuals with the input email, depending on the search type they choose. And if left blank, it will cascade through those options in order until records are found.

Search conditions also allow the user a higher degree of power with Personator Search. When set to strict, the service will only return records that match the inputs exactly. When set to loose, the service will return all records that fully and partially match the input information. Lastly, the progressive option will at first run a strict search, but progressively drop inputs if nothing is found initially. In addition to this, an age filter can be applied to return individuals of a certain age range.

Lastly, the sorting option tells the service to return records in a certain order. The response can be sorted by postal code, city, address, name, date of birth, date of death, move date, and Melissa Address Key, in either ascending or descending order.

Using Personator Search

Personator Search is currently available as a cloud solution, hosted by Melissa. Users can access the service through REST request, and responses are returned in either XML or JSON format. More information about Personator Search can be found at the link below.


By Kevin Ubay-Ubay, Sales Engineer

Global ID Verification is Melissa's powerful cloud service that gives one single, simple way to clean and verify your global contact data. Leverage our experience in name, phone, address, and email validation to gain comprehensive contact checking and identity-level verification.

Our web service may be applied to:

  • Age verification
  • Name-address verification
  • Anti-fraud applications
  • Online shopping cart & eCommerce platforms
  • FinTech/Banking

When you need your contact data checked and verified, Global ID Verification begins with standardizing and validating your records. At this stage, the service will parse and standardize your data as well as check for the following:

  • Name is in a valid format
  • Address is deliverable
  • Email address exists
  • Phone number is callable


  • Full Name: John doe
  • Phone: 8458692102
  • Email:
  • Address Line 1: 1 unicorn
  • City: norwich
  • Administrative Area: Postal
  • Code: NR33AB Country: GB


  • Full Name: John doe
  • Phone: +44 8458692102
  • Email:
  • Address Line 1: :1 Unicorn Rd
  • City: Norwich
  • Administrative Area: Norfolk
  • Postal Code: NR3 3AB
  • Country: GB

In the diagram above, you can see the final result of reformatting. Casings are changed and abbreviations are corrected. Continuing the process, you gain missing street suffixes, phone country dialing codes, missing state/province/administrative area info, and even typographical email domain corrections. For example, will be adjusted to

Next, Global ID Verification evaluates your data against trusted reference data in order to verify each individual's information so you can be confident that names and communication channels are current.

In this verification stage, the web service takes the standardized name, phone, email, and address from the previous stage and performs ID verification. Additional input, such as an individual's national ID, such as a social security number and date of birth can be verified as well; depending on the country of origin.


  • Full Name: John Doe
  • National ID: HJDO840230HVZRRL05
  • Date of birth: 2/30/1984
  • Phone: +56-222-226-8000
  • Email:
  • Address Line 1: Paseo De Los Conquistadores 2000
  • City: Guadalupe
  • Administrative Area: NL
  • Postal Code: 67170
  • Country: MX


  •  KV01 - Address matched

  • KV02 - National ID matched

  • KV03 - First name matched

  • KV04 - Last name matched

  • KV05 Phone number matched

  • KV06 Email matched

  • KV07 Date of birth matched

The diagram above shows how the service will return result codes indicating which information has been matched. By observing what kinds of result codes are returned, you may determine how reliable your data is.

Global ID Verification will be available as a web service hosted on our servers - which means you won't have to worry about updates and maintenance. Information about the countries supported and the level of coverage may be found on our wiki at Sample code and documentation is also provided to help you get a jump start on building applications and services incorporating our ID Verification technology.

By Samuel Chung, QA Programmer

Microsoft Dynamics® CRM has served as an important tool for many organizations to keep track of various key details such as Contacts, Leads, Competitors, and Invoices--in order to maintain overall business success. With Melissa's Dynamics CRM plugins, you can easily verify contact information at the click of a button.

Our plugins are easy to install, configure, and use. Know your contact information is clean and verified when you choose our data quality solutions. Install Global Verify, Personator, or Business Coder and ensure that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date.

Global Verify

Do you have data in your Dynamics CRM environment that requires validation on the global scale? Then, our Global Verify Solution may fit your needs. Global Verify validates names, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 240 countries.

Here is an example of our service in action: input with a name, email, phone number, and an address into the contact record.


After running our service, the results are as shown:


Scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see more detailed results as returned by the service. Here is an example of our phone and address details.


In addition, our premium Global Email and Global Phone services offer options such as live validation of those inputs. These services come at an additional cost, but will give you results in real-time. To activate, change your configuration from "Express" to "Premium" for each respective service.


The Personator web service will help you enrich your data for records within the United States and Canada. If your contact record is incomplete--say you only have a name and address--Personator will enrich your record by appending contact data such as an email address or phone number. In addition, it can also append demographics as well as census data.

Here is Personator at work:

After the input has been analyzed, here are the results:


Again, if you would like to see the details of the response, please scroll down to the details section of the page.


For a full list of all possible outputs, please visit the wiki page for each service.

Business Coder

Our Business Coder Solution will append firmographic information, such as revenue, number of employees, SIC/NAICS codes, and business phones. Input using various options, such as website, stock ticker, or address details. Choose which information you want to display or hide.


Dynamics CRM Options

In order to allow users to have more control over how our solutions might work in their environment, we have put certain options in the Configuration of each of our solutions.

Limiting Output

Often, you may not require every single service or field that our solutions offer. For example, if you are using our Global Verify Solution but do not require the use of service outside address verification, you can choose not to run those services. 

In the Configuration tab in the solution explorer, you can uncheck the undesired services at the top. Once unchecked, these fields and tabs will be hidden on the form in order to prevent users from being overwhelmed with unnecessary information. 

This is also true for our Personator and Business Coder solutions. In the section titled "Output Options," you can select which columns to output. The output options that are left unchecked will be hidden on the form as well. All of the output options that are left unchecked will not be sent to the web service. In other words, you will not be charged for fields you do not need on your subscription. 

Here we have a contact with all the output fields available.


We disable some of the options that we do not need:


And all the corresponding fields are now gone from the output.


Verify On Save and Hide Button


These two options work hand in hand. The "Verify On Save" option will allow users to fire the desired service, such as Personator, every time a record is saved. The "Hide Button" option will allow users to hide the "Personator" button that is present on the command ribbon when creating or editing a record. This will allow users to customize their use of these services; particularly if they find certain options undesirable.

Overwrite Input

This option will allow users to choose whether or not they would like our services to fill in the out-of-the-box fields in Dynamics CRM. For example, if a user would like to correct the user input for the address using our Personator service, they can leave this option checked in the configuration. In addition, this will allow users to fill in other out of the box fields wherever applicable, such as the longitude and latitude fields when using our Personator or Global Verify solutions. As you can see in the image below, the phone number was added to the Contact as well as the Street Name corrected from "Glenmont" to "Glenmont Dr."


jQuery UI and Auto-Complete Address Entry

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By Ian Elliot, i-Programmer Author

jQuery UI has a little-known feature that makes interactive auto-complete very easy. In this hands-on tutorial we put it together with the cloud-based Global Express Entry address auto-complete service from Melissa to smooth over one of the biggest problems in getting users to sign up.

There are many things that users hate having to do on a website, but they all come down to the same thing - they hate having to do work. Of all of the things you can ask a user to do, typing in their name and address probably qualifies as one that involves most work. How many potential customers give up on a purchase because they find typing in a full address too irksome. Even if they do go through with it, how can you be sure they have done it correctly. Most users aren't expert typists and easily make a mess of their data entry. The cost of trying to ship something to an invalid address is obvious.

The best idea is to provide instant feedback on any data entry field. Don't wait until they have finished the complete form and then nag them about some mistake you could have picked up while the field had the focus. If possible provide autocomplete so that as they type their choice is narrowed down to the point where they can simply click to select a data-perfect validated entry.

This is where jQuery UI's autocomplete widget comes into the picture. It makes adding autocomplete to any field that can accept input. As an example of using it let's make an autocomplete feature for an address - the most work you can ask a user to perform - using a cloud service that is remarkable for its ease of use and comprehensive coverage,

Provided with the bare minimum of an address, Melissa Global Express Entry, will autocomplete and verify an address from anywhere in the world returning a full address in the standard format accepted in the country concerned. Any address can be converted into the "Latin" alphabet and, to aid delivery services, maps showing the latitude and longitude based on Google maps are provided. The onsite demo has examples and lets you experiment freely:


Obviously, not all countries are verified to the same level, but I think you'll be impressed by coverage of over 250 countries with 200 of them at street level or better.


You can see a full list of coverage at: Address Coverage by Country. Currently there are 51 countries at address verification level 2, locality, the lowest level represented, including Antarctica, British Virgin Islands and Western Sahara. A further 77 countries, including Afghanistan, Barbados, Bolivia, China and Ghana are at level 3. The most common classification, 77 countries, is level 4 which applies to Japan, India and many European countries, including Austria, Belgium and Spain. Level 5, which get to individual premises is available for 30 countries, notably USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, France, Germany, Greece and the UK. 

With regard to mapping, this is provided at locality level for Hong Kong, at the equivalent of address level 4 for 33 countries including Australia and most of Europe and at the equivalent of the top level for USA, Canada, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine. 

The cloud service uses a simple REST API and returns XML or JSON. You can also use a desktop version and there are plugins for Excel and other apps. 

Adding Express Entry 

Here we look at adding it to a simple form.

To try this example you will need a key which you can get as part of a free trial. 

First we need to use jQuery to add autocomplete to a form element. 

<link rel="stylesheet" href="//">
<script src="//"></script>

Basically all we are doing here is loading the latest jQuery, jQuery UI and a basic stylesheet. Update to the latest version of any of these in the future and everything should still work. 

We also need a basic form to input some addresses. As with all examples, the simpler the better:

<form onsubmit="return false;">
 <input id="address" type="text" 
 <textarea cols="40" rows="6" id="result" 
 <button id ="clearbutton">Clear</button>

You can see that we have an input text field for the user to start to type the address and a text area ready to display the address. 

The way that the autocomplete widget works is very simple and typical of the way all jQuery UI widgets work. To create the widget all you do is call its constructor function, which always has the name together with an options object which specifies how it looks and behaves.

In the case of the autocomplete widget, all we have to do to add the feature to the address text field  is:


Of course, we have to specify options to make it do what we want. 

The most important option is source which specifies where the autocomplete data comes from. It can be an array of strings or an object containing label value pairs or it can be a URL as a string or a function.  

The array of label value pairs is particularly useful because the label is shown to the user so that they can pick the correct autocomplete, but it is the value that is inserted into the field. This allows you to provide the user with data in one format, but enter it in another. 

The array and strings option is used to provide local autocomplete data the other two are used when the data comes from a server. 

For example:

    source: ["choice1", "choice2","choice3"] 

In this case when the user types a c the list of three possible autocompletes appears.


Notice that autocomplete is doing quite a lot of work for you. You don't have to arrange the data or select what is going to appear when the user types. In addition, if the user selects one of the items it is entered into the field.

Using local data in this way has the advantage of being fast, but in most cases the autocomplete is going to be far more complicated and you are going to need to contact a remote server. The autocomplete widget allows you to specify a URL that it will get a JSON or JSONP response. In this case it doesn't filter the result and so the server needs to use the GET query parameter term to find out what the user is typing. 

In most cases you are going to want to use the final option, which is to provide a function that gets and processes the data. This function has two parameters - a request object with a single term property which stores what the user has types so far, and a response callback which has a single parameter which is the data to suggest to the user as string or an array. 

So for example:

    source: function(request,response){
      get the data from the server passing
      request.term as the expression to be


More on Melissa Express Entry:

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5 Ecommerce Issues You Forgot--And How to Fix Them

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Want to increase conversions, provide customers with a better shopping experience, and cut down on cart abandonment? Check out these five ecommerce issues you probably forgot and how to fix them to solve these problems and more.

1. The Fat Finger Syndrome

Customers are terrible at typing--especially when it comes to filling out incredibly small contact forms on their smartphones. The fat finger syndrome accounts for many name misspellings, incorrect addresses, email bouncebacks, and invalid order submissions. To take the burden off the customer, try implementing a real-time autocomplete solution. By automatically showing verified addresses and emails as the customer types, you'll help alleviate fat finger syndrome and cut down on form abandonment.


2. International Postal Standards Vary

Did you know that in Japan, the last name goes first on shipping labels? And in Canada, the postal codes consist of letters and numbers arranged in a specific way? Those are just two examples of how address standardization can differ from country to country. So, if you're planning to go international, be mindful of varying postal requirements and make sure you have an address verification solution that can verify, standardize, format and transliterate. Solutions like Melissa's Global Address Verification do all of this and more--like adding precise lat/long coordinates to addresses for 40+ countries.


3. Upfront Shipping Matters

Amazon has shown the way towards better conversions, more sales, and cost-effective shipping with upfront shipping costs and delivery dates shown at every step of the order process. Now, you can, too! With Decimal, a comprehensive shipping rates manager and delivery dates predictor, you can provide your customers with calculations for shipping while they shop, without interrupting their purchase. That means more customers hitting Submit Order without delay.


4. Clean Data Affects Everything

Are you sure you're only storing accurate customer data? The data you collect directly on your site, via call-in orders, through internal systems, and mobile all need to match to show accurate customer records in order to better know your customers, increase upsell opportunities, and provide good customer service. By cleaning data before it enters your database and maintaining it after, you can ensure that every customer's name, address, phone, and email are accurate and verified.


5. Fraud Costs More than Lost Sales

Let's look at some stats--every year, businesses lose $3.5 trillion in revenue to financial crimes, and 15.4 million consumers were victims of identity theft in 2016 alone. Don't let fraud and chargeback costs steal your bottom line. Instead, use an ID verification solution like Personator®, which combs through 2.1 billion records to match name-to-address and verify that every customer is exactly who they say they are.


Melissa's Improvements in Dynamics CRM

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Dirty data, in all forms, is bad for business. Here at Melissa, our primary concern is cleansing it from all of your platforms, including Microsoft Dynamics® CRM. Melissa currently offers many solutions for Dynamics CRM in order to combat problems with bad data.


We offer the Personator® solution in order to cleanse and enrich your U.S. and Canadian data. We offer the Global Verify solution to correct and verify your addresses, phone numbers, names, and email addresses on an international level. Soon, we will release the Express Entry® solution in order to prevent bad data from entering your environment. As we strive to offer you the best solutions, Melissa constantly seeks to improve its solutions to better suit your needs.


Coming in a future update, we will offer the following new features to our Express Entry service:

•          Personator Workflows

•          Reverse Lookup for Express Entry

•          Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Personator Workflows

Dynamics CRM is utilized in many different ways in the business world. The creation of contact, account, and lead records is handled through many different environments that may not leverage the standard form. In addition, sometimes users may forget to use our services to cleanse and correct information before saving and storing a record. 

To address these issues, we have created workflows for the Personator solution for the currently supported out-of-box entities. These workflows can be activated to leverage our Personator service on records automatically, such as upon creation of a new record. This will allow users to create records from a different environment, such as a separate portal, to have their information automatically validated through our workflows.


Reverse Lookups for Express Entry

Different users enter address information in different orders. With Dynamics CRM's ability to customize forms, it is apparent that not everyone will start by entering a street address. With our new feature, Reverse Lookups, users can enter information starting from the most general piece of information down to the most specific. For example, now a user, after entering his or her default country, can begin by entering the postal code to determine the city and state of the particular record. After filling out these fields, the user can then enter in the street address and select from a list of addresses only in that particular city, state, and postal code.


Express Entry Integration into Global Verify

Many customers require different methods of verification. In order to address these concerns, we have integrated our Express Entry service into our Global Verify solution. Now, you can utilize the Express Entry service to autocomplete addresses when entering data as well as verify phone and email with the click of a button.

How to Do It All with Melissa

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With Melissa, you can do it all - see for yourself with the brand new Solutions Catalog. This catalog showcases products to transform your people data (names, addresses, emails, phone numbers) into accurate, actionable insight. Our products are in the Cloud or available via easy plugins and APIs. We provide solutions to power Know Your Customer initiatives, improve mail deliverability and response, drive sales, clean and match data, and boost ROI.


Specific solutions include:

·         Cleaning, matching & enriching data
·         Creating a 360 degree profile of every customer
·         Finding more customers like your best ones with lookalike profiling
·         Integrating data from any source, at any time

Other highlights include: global address autocompletion; mobile phone verification; real-time email address ping; a new customer management platform; as well as info on a wealth of data append and mailing list services.


Download the catalog now:


MAILERS Online: On Demand & In the Cloud Presorting

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Say hello to a no-contract, end-to-end mailing solution that's in the cloud and easy to use. MAILERS Online is a one-stop-shop for all your mailing and presort needs, where you can upload your text or Excel® files to our server and let Melissa take it from there. We'll presort your list, based on your selected parameters, to get you the lowest postage rates! MAILERS Online is a flexible, on-demand, software as a service (SaaS).


There is nothing to install and MAILERS Online never requires disks or updates. Use on a list-by-list basis--with no contract or subscription, you're never locked in. Use NCOA to locate customers who've moved; clean and verify address data to reduce undeliverable-as-addressed mail; and append missing data like ZIP® Codes, carrier routes, and suite numbers for stronger targeting and more efficient processing and delivery.


Find out what can MAILERS Online do for you today: