The Little Yellow Label That Serves Such A Big Purpose


You know that little yellow label you see on pieces of mail that have been returned to the original sender? It’s called a NIXIE label and it’s adhered by the United States Postal Service when mail is unable to be delivered.

There are many reasons as to why mail cannot be delivered to the desired sender. Businesses and individuals can move and not have their mail forwarded from their prior address, the address could have not been properly written on the envelope or perhaps the business is now defunct; so many scenarios can occur. While getting returned mail may be frustrating, the NIXIE label can provide important details as to what happened.

The image below identifies the different parts of the NIXIE label:

Fun Facts About the NIXIE Label:

  1. The term NIXIE is derived from the English slang term nix, derived from the German word nichts,which means “nothing.”
  2. In the 20thcentury, a NIXIE clerk was a postal employee who tried to figure out what to do with undeliverable items, which were not just poorly addressed mail, but ranged from torn-open envelopes of photographs, even to lost and found wallets dropped into a mailbox.
  3. The yellow label used for direct mail has even influenced e-mail with the term NIXIE list, used for undeliverable e-mails.

In addition to the NIXIE label, National Change of Address (NCOA) Update, offered by Redi-Mail, is an excellent data cleansing tool that compares your mailing list to more than 160 million address changes. With 14% of USA residents moving annually, without updates, one seventh of your customer or prospect files or more could be useless. The NCOA update data cleansing tool compares and adds the latest addresses to your mailing lists with minimal investment.

With our own in-house mailing facility, you can be sure that Redi-Mail has the most accurate mailing lists available.

For more information on NCOA, click here. To learn more about NIXIE labels, contact us by e-mail here.