Direct mail is a vital channel for local authorities to communicate with residents. Many people do not have internet or email addresses and without direct mail outs, would not receive important information about changes to services which impacts their lives.
With the cost of a second class stamp at 68p, the cost of sending information to wrong or inaccurate addresses quickly adds up.
The Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG), created and used by all local authorities in England and Wales; and the AddressBase products available to the public sector, contains within it accurate and timely addresses. Local authorities have statutory responsibility to create street names and number properties. As such, the information already available to you within your authority is authoritatively sourced and verified and has a rich range of data available over and above a regular postcode. LLPG Custodians ensure that postcode data is included within their LLPGs through a regularly data matching and verification process.
Having a bit of knowledge about the detail held within this rich source of information could save your authority significant time and money.
The content within the gazetteer has all the rich information required for a range of service needs.
Specifically with mailing, the critical fields to be aware of are:
- logical status - in very straightforward terms this means whether the property is built and habitable. For mailing purposes, a logical status code of 1 is the code to look for. This means the property is built and is “live”
- BLPU state code - BLPU means “Basic Land and Property Unit” and is another important field to be aware of. For the purposes of mail outs, looking for “In Use” is the category to look for. The other state codes include for example “under construction” which would be of no value for a direct mail out.
- Classification - This tells us what the use of the building is. Want to target just residential occupiers? Look for the RD Classification. Only interested in shops or retail premises? This code allows you to pull out specific property types.
Using these codes together reduces the risk of letters being sent to addresses which don’t exist in the real world yet i.e. haven’t been built, or that have been demolished.
In addition, your Custodian can help you understand the data fields further. Custodians can refer to a much more detailed set of guidance contained with the Data Entry Conventions (section 13) on how to use the LLPG to construct a postal address.