What is Address Correction & Why Businesses Must Invest In It?
Over the years, we have developed solutions and strategies that pursue the target audience to give up their data or information. In fact, we may have gotten so good at it that we are now flooded with it, and although it is a good thing from a marketing point of view, it came with its own challenges.
Bad data is one of the most daunting challenges faced by companies worldwide because of the information overload that we currently have. Perhaps the business section that was particularly affected by the increasing bad data is the companies’ direct or postal mails sent to their customers. Because unlike the digital efforts that use the same or similar database are practically inconsequential as compared to the direct mails because the cost of these efforts does not get directly affected by the number of customers they reach out to.
Unlike the digital efforts that a business undertakes to reach out to the customers, the direct mails come with certain unavoidable expenses, including the stamp as well as the hard materials such as paper and ink. Apart from this, there are also other resources, including personnel who are tasked with sending direct mails to the customers.
Therefore, a considerable investment goes into direct mails sent out from a business or company. If it goes unchecked, bad data could end up costing you valuable time, money, and resources. The bad data in question here is wrong addresses, and unlike email ids, and address is long, has numbers in it, making it susceptible to errors. In fact, these errors in the customers’ postal addresses are not necessarily accidental as some of them may even intentionally give a fake address to avoid the postal mails.
Even though there are so many ways that postal mailing can go wrong, the capital and resource investment businesses still choose to continue using the method because it is a sure-shot way of reaching out to customers. If you manage to get the address right and have it verified, the chances of your message reaching your customer is pretty much confirmed. Furthermore, it adds a personalized touch to your efforts. Sending postcards, in particular, can reciprocate an emotional reaction from the customers. What remains to be done is taking the risk factor out of this effort by getting rid of the bad data or, better yet, substituting it with the right one. This is where address correction comes into the picture. With an advanced CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certified service provider, you can now access USPS’s official postal address database for sending direct mails inside the US.
If your choice’s service provider is a reliable one such as PostGrid, you can even send direct mails outside of the US. The right data or address is quintessential in making a postal mail campaign work in favor of the business, and it is even more crucial if the addresses are used for sending important documents such as bills and invoices. The best way to verify the addresses and correct them is through reliable address correction software like PostGrid.
How Bad Data Can Affect Your Business
Bad data can directly impact your business, and if it goes unchecked, it can potentially drag your revenue down because of the losses it costs your business. Below we discuss the major losses that incur on your business due to bad data.
Material & Packaging Costs
The material and packaging cost tops the list as it is a direct investment for the business. Having bad data on your customer or having their wrong address means that you are sending direct mails to undeliverable addresses. Therefore any material that goes into sending this postal mail is wasted, including paper, envelopes, and more. Regardless of whether you are sending a package, an envelope, or even a postcard, there is a loss incurring there unless the said post reaches its destination.
Time & Labor Cost
Time and labor cost is another element that goes wasted under the influence of bad data. The direct mails sent to your customers take much more time and effort to be put into it, unlike the efforts made through online mediums. There is the need to personalize each postal mail sent to the customer and then have them packed and ready to go. The whole process is time-consuming and laborious. As a result, your business spends its valuable time and labor on it. The more bad data you have, the more time and labor you waste by sending out undeliverable postal mails.
Mailing & Shipping Costs
It goes without saying that the mailing and shipping costs are also key factors to consider when we talk about bad data. When you have the wrong address of your customers, you are essentially sending a mail that never gets delivered, and the cost of mailing or shipping the post is totally on your business. If you have USPS address validation software, you could easily save yourself from wasting money on mailing or shipping a package that may never get delivered.
Cash Flow Issues
The direct loss incurred by mailing to an undeliverable address is not the only issue caused by bad data. The issue caused by bad data could get much worse than mere cash loss when important and time-bound documents such as bills and invoices are not delivered to the customer in time. Not only will this cause a discrepancy in the cash flow but it also can potentially affect your relationship with your customers.
Imagine you are a customer who accesses a particular service from a service provider and that you are billed on a monthly basis. Your bills’ on-time payment is obviously important to you, and not paying them on time may have consequences such as paying a fine. How would you feel if the service provider failed to deliver such an important document to you on time and you are asked to pay the bill and the fine by the service provider? You’d be infuriated or at the very least offended because you were by no means the reason for this predicament.
This is the situation you will be putting your customers through if you do not use an advanced USPS address correction software like PostGrid. A CASS-certified USPS address correction software not only allows you to validate your address database but also makes it possible for you to ensure that the addresses are deliverable by the USPS. They even go so far as to give you the ZIP+4 code of the addresses to ensure the postal mails’ speedy delivery. This is exponentially more important for budding as well as established businesses.
Lost Marketing Opportunities
Direct mails are one of the most common yet effective ways for businesses to reach out to their customers. Perhaps the one aspect of direct mail that is so alluring for businesses that they have been employing the tactic for years and perhaps even decades now is that, unlike the digital marketing efforts, they are a sure-shot way of grabbing the customer’s attention. Contrary to its digital counterpart, the traditional postal mail can not be ignored completely or be left unread in your inbox.
Address Correction Software
An address correction software gives you the easy way out of bad data or inaccurate addresses. For the software to be able to correct a wrong address, it’d first have to verify whether the said address is right or wrong, and that is what an address correction software does for you. It captures, cleans, and corrects the addresses that you feed into the software.
There are more than one ways you can make use of CASS-certified address correction software such as PostGrid. Some software comes as a standalone product. Some can be integrated with your business website using direct mail API. With PostGrid, you can choose either of the two models depending on your unique requirements, whereas some other tools may not provide you with the luxury of choice.
A CASS-certified address correction software goes beyond just correcting the addresses that you’ve provided. They validate whether the address is real and deliverable by USPS. It updates any changes in the address and standardizes the postal addresses in your address database.
Furthermore, the CASS-certified address correction software provides additional data that may be missing from the addresses that you have pushed through it. This process is done for each individual address in the database you provide. The additional data provided by the CASS-certified addresses correction software will also include the ZIP+4 code if that’s missing in the address database that you’ve provided.
Batch Address Verification & Correction
Address verification and address correction are not something new to the postal services. It has been around for some time now. The only difference now is that the address verification and correction have become much more streamlined and accessible to the general public at their convenience. This is possible today because of the advanced mailing address correction software available at our disposal today.
However, validating and correcting an address is not the same when it is done individually and in a batch. The individual address verification and address correction works fine for a limited number of addresses or even if you had a couple of dozens of addresses in your database. But, once we consider a much larger database of tens or hundreds of addresses, you need a more advanced solution like PostGrid.
Many of the CASS-certified address verification/correction software use a copy-paste system for their operation, meaning that you have to copy and paste the addresses you want to validate/correct to the software. This is easy enough as long as you are only looking up addresses of a limited number, let’s say a few dozens of them. And as the number goes up, the entire process starts becoming more and more tiresome, and the repeated process further boosts the chance of a human error. However, as long as the number of addresses in your database is limited, it is still possible to carry them out individually, even if it may take some extra time. But, when we move on to address databases that contain hundreds or even thousands of addresses, it is only natural that you’d need a batch address verification and correction software like PostGrid.
The process of batch address verification & correction is quite simple and almost self-explanatory from the name. Let’s take PostGrid, for example; it is one of the most advanced CASS-certified address correction software that allows you to carry out bulk address verification and corrections. With an advanced tool like PostGrid, you no longer have to copy-paste each and every address in your database. Instead, all you will need to do is convert your address database into a CSV file. Once you have the CSV file, all you need to do is upload the same to PostGrid or any other advanced address correction tool, and then PostGrid will do the rest. It’s really as easy as that. Of course, what happens inside the software is a different story altogether, but as far as the businesses are concerned, that is all there is to address correction. PostGrid being an advanced tool, allows you to use it as standalone software or have it integrated into your website or application using API.
Using the API-supported address correction software is especially useful for businesses who want to automate all their internal processes and also employs advanced applications such as CRMs (Customer relationship management). This way, you can validate each and every address, make necessary corrections or update them before the data can even go into your database. This could save you a lot of time and help you avoid bad data. This at a time when there is an overload of data all over the online community can potentially be quintessential for your business and its online presence.
Why Businesses Should Invest in Address Correction and Validation
The importance of reliable and accurate customer contact data can not be stressed enough at a time when there is an overflooding of data. We live in a time where data and especially contact data is in abundance as far as quantity is concerned but fails to deliver the same tenacity when it comes to quality or accuracy. It does not matter how extensive an address database you have if you can not reach or deliver to these addresses. It is equivalent to having a boat that does not float. It is not merely bad data that is the issue faced by companies all over the world it is also the quality of this data. Since the data being referred to here is addressed, the quality aspect of it takes center stage because addresses need to be complete and standardized to ensure that they are delivered in time to their destination.
As a business, there are many aspects where you need a reliable and accurate customer address. For some, it may be to fulfill their orders, whereas some others may want to use the address for delivering marketing messages to their customers. Then, businesses use the customer’s address to send them important documents like bills and invoices. No matter what use you have of the customer address, you simply can not afford to compromise on its quality if you wish to get positive results for your efforts. However, some priorities are more important than others, and it is only natural that you need to be extra careful when sending out time-bound, important documents like bills. Not being able to deliver important documents such as bills and invoices could potentially affect your relationship with the customers and may escalate in some cases.
Businesses need to make peace with the fact that the data or addresses, in this case, are often incomplete or inaccurate right from the moment they are captured. The addresses you have obtained may be missing important pieces of information when a customer places an order or fills in a contact form. It is also possible that they may have messed up the numbers in their ZIP code or spelled the street address wrong, or maybe they just made a typo. There are practically countless ways the data capturing could go wrong, and businesses need to accept that this human error is unavoidable unless it is countered with a smart solution like PostGrid. With an API-based system, you can avoid the mistakes often encountered during data capture because advanced systems like PostGrid can implement an autofill feature for your forms where your customer just type in just starting their address, and the system automatically suggests their address. This helps you avoid bad data and significantly raises the convenience of the customers to interact with your website or application.
Another viable reason why you must invest in a CASS-certified address correction software is that even if we consider that the data captured is, in fact, accurate does not mean that it will stay that way. The quality of the information you have captured from the customers, even if accurate, can still deteriorate over time. How? Your customer may move to a new address, and there is no real reason that’s prompt them to tell you about his/her change of address. If not that there is also the possibility of his/her ZIP code changing or getting reassigned. The same goes for their street name, they may also get changed over time. Therefore, the onus upon the businesses is to update their customers’ addresses, and for doing that, you need an advanced tool like PostGrid.
Address correction is no more an additional option for businesses, regardless of their size. Your customer database’s quality can affect your business’s various aspects, from time & labor to cash flow to customer relationships. Attention must also be given to the fact that we live in an age where the quantity of data available at our disposal is immense, and it is not necessary that this data is accurate. This further pushes for the need to verify and correct the address database of businesses even if one ignores the monetary benefits of address correction. As a business owner/entrepreneur, you simply can not ignore the fact that it can enhance your customer relationship.
With several advanced USPS address correction software available in the market today, you are presented with a variety of options that you can utilize to streamline your business’s direct mail efforts and ensure its deliverability. You can make use of a CASS-certified mailing address correction software like PostGrid, to verify and correct the address database of your business, and more importantly, you can do it in bulk in a matter of seconds. This saves you precious time and effort, which you can now utilize in the business’s more pressing tasks. As we enter a new decade, it is no longer acceptable for businesses to be careless about their customer address database’s quality. The sooner you integrate a feasible and effective solution like PostGrid, the better it is for your business.