Address Based Samples

Address Based Sample (ABS) are samples of Postal Addresses. The ABS sampling frame is built using the USPS Computerized Delivery Sequence File (CDSF), which MSG licenses. The ABS frame contains over 147 million residential addresses covering nearly 100% of all households in the US. The CDS file contains a variety of address types including city, rural, PO boxes, seasonal, vacant and drop points. Additionally, MSG appends geocodes from Census data to increase productivity. The resulting sample frames can be defined at any level of Census or Postal geography from Census Block up to National. Additional household level characteristics can be appended to the selected ABS sample such as name, phone, and age/gender of head of household among others. Targeted ABS combine address types and specific demographic targets to achieve the optimal sampling frame for your project.

MSG will work with you to make sure we completely understand your sample requirements. Sample will be drawn to your specifications, while ensuring representation. You will receive the complete mailing address (in both fielded and standardized formats) as well as all postal-related variables, including carrier route. Each address is geo-coded with Census Block and latitude/longitude coordinates.


Available Enhancements for the CDSF – the MSG Difference

MSG has advanced the CDSF from a basic postal delivery database into a bonafide sampling frame suitable for any complex survey. Since there is no one-to-one correspondence between USPS and Census geographies, it is not possible to append many of the ancillary data items to the raw CDSF addresses that are available through government and commercial sources. However, by geo-coding each address to a unique Census block, MSG has bridged this divide and opened the flood gates. All of this valuable household and individual level data can now be appended. This is only one of many enhancements we have made to distinguish ourselves from the basic list suppliers – those that can simply offer raw extracts from the CDSF. about our full list of enhancements.

Detailed Geodemographic Information

By mapping each address to Census localities and accessing several public and commercial databases, MSG can append a host of geographic and household attributes to each address. Starting from the ZIP+4 level, we can roll up to higher levels of aggregation, including all Census geographic domains (Block, Block Group, Tract, County, MSA, and State); marketing domains (Media Markets and DMAs); as well as custom areas (retail trading areas and specific geographies based on distance or radius).

Contact Information Retrieval

Relying on multiple database sources, MSG makes it possible to append name, telephone number and/or email address to individual CDSF addresses where possible. On average more than 90% of our sample addresses can be name-matched, 50%-60% can be linked to a landline and cellular telephone number, and 30%-40% can be linked to an email address. Obviously, match rates can vary and depend on several factors including which address types are ultimately selected.

Undeliverable Address Resolutions

The CDSF does not contain address records that are void of delivery information, commonly referred to as simplified addresses. While the number of simplified addresses continues to decrease as they go through the on-going 911 address conversion, there are still just over 100,000 simplified addresses in the US. MSG can resolve the majority of the remaining simplified addresses and append all available ancillary data to the resulting addressed households. Additionally, MSG has an agreement in place to receive data on addresses identified by the USPS as No-Stat. Addresses on the No-Stat file include long-term vacant units and new/planned housing units, as well as delivery points within gated communities. Addresses contained on the No-Stat file are deemed inactive by the USPS and cannot be mailed to. However, the No-Stat file can be used in conjunction with the CDSF for determining universe estimates and is helpful in situations that require enumeration.

Identification of Areas with Potential Coverage Problem

There are delivery points that are reachable only via P.O. Boxes. Also, in certain areas there are newly constructed dwellings that are currently not registered with the Postal Service. In such cases the physical location of the corresponding households may be unknown and not included in the CDSF. Given the significant cost of on-site enumeration that can become necessary for such areas, MSG has developed procedures for predicting the quality of the CDSF coverage based on specific characteristics of area segments obtained from commercial and public databases.

Frame Multiplicity Reduction

There are residential delivery points in the CDSF that are reachable only through a P.O. Box. Known as "Only Way to Get Mail" (OWGM) P.O Boxes, there are over 1.4 million of these delivery points with 60% of them non-vacant. Aside from these, there are an additional 14 million traditional P.O. Boxes that are not the only means of delivery. In all likelihood, these delivery points correspond to households that are represented in the CDSF multiple times; once as a residential address and one or more times via traditional P.O. Boxes. By eliminating traditional P.O. Boxes and those that are the only means of delivery but vacant, it is possible to remove virtually all duplicate listings from the CDSF. Before selection of samples, MSG can provide the counts of these and all other delivery types in the geography of interest so that one can determine the exact composition of the sampling frame for their survey.

Selection of Samples Based on Complex Designs

In addition to the above enhancements, MSG’s team of in-house sampling statisticians and methodologists can assist in the designing and selection of samples based on complex sampling plans. We offer sampling design consultation to clients with a wide range of market and survey research needs. Proper selection of such samples often require advanced procedures to accommodate multi-stage sampling in conjunction with selection methods of proportional probabilities to various size measures.

Virtual Platform for Address Based Sampling

In order to accommodate our clients’ sampling needs on a 24/7 basis, MSG is the only company that offers virtual sampling – both for RDD and ABS – through our secure client-server architecture. Virtual ABS makes it possible to select probability-based sample addresses from our enhanced address frame. Several selection parameters are available including various levels of geography and individual address attributes. As with custom orders, Virtual ABS clients have access to our advanced process for name, telephone number and auxiliary variable retrieval that result in the highest match rates possible.

Address based sampleing can be purchased by contacting one of our account representatives or through our online real-time application Virtual GENESYS.