Address Hygiene

DEFINITION of 'Address Hygiene'

The precision and purity of postal addresses on a mailing list. Address hygiene has a direct correlation with delivery effectiveness of a mail-out, and thus on the efficacy of a direct marketing campaign. Good address hygiene will result in a small proportion of non-delivered mail, while poor address hygiene will result in a relatively high proportion of rejected mail due to non-delivery. Address hygiene is often much better on mailing lists for solicited items, such as newspapers or magazine subscriptions, than it is on lists used by direct marketers for unsolicited promotional mail.

BREAKING DOWN 'Address Hygiene'

There are a number of software programs that provide address hygiene services. These programs have features such as validation and correction of street addresses, standardization of street prefixes and suffixes, and identification and flagging of undeliverable addresses. Some programs also update addresses by matching them to the USPS National Change of Address database.