No matter how current your mailing list is, you’re bound to get at least a few mailpieces returned by the U.S. Post Office at some time as undeliverable and unforwardable. These tips can help you understand what happened.


Q: What’s that yellow sticker on my returned mail? 

A: They call it a “nixie” label (derived from the slang word “nix,” meaning “nothing”). It shows why the USPS has returned that mailpiece to you.


Q: How can I read the nixie label? 

A: Click here for a diagram of what all those codes mean.


Q: Do I have to have return address on my mailpiece? 

A: Yes. Click2Mail prints a postage permit indicia (the square in the upper right corner of the address area) on your mailpieces instead of a glued-on stamp, and the USPS requires all such mail to display a return address.


Q: Why is it important to use a “mailable” return address?

A: So the USPS will know where to return your undeliverable mail. Otherwise, it would go to a Mail Recovery Center (formerly known as the Dead Letter Office), and you would never know that that mail was not delivered. Thus, you would have no opportunity to update your mailing list and reduce postage waste.


Q: What else can I do to assess the effectiveness of my mail delivery?

A: You can “seed” your mailing — something that all direct mailers should do. Seeding means to add your own name, or those of trusted friends and/or associates, to your mailing list.


Q: What can I learn from seeding?

You can:

Track delivery times

Track quality

Look for areas to improve

Evaluate visibility

Increase protection for rented mailing lists


Click2Mail is proud of its excellent, long-standing relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, and we’re always happy to share our “insider” knowledge with our customers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our mail specialists for expert advice.