Address Lookup: Different Use Cases, Benefits, and Services
It is common for businesses to mail orders to their customers almost every day. They also print and send important documents from time to time. Thus, having a correct database with updated mailing addresses is a must.
Marketers put in a lot of effort, time, and money in conducting marketing campaigns. They need to ensure that all marketing items reach the right people for their plans to be successful. Again, they need a valid database.
A lot of companies print and mail items without cross-checking the addresses. There is no guarantee that they will get delivered. These things led to lost mail and failed deliveries.
Some addresses have a few mistakes, whereas others are incorrect. There are several issues related to entering addresses, like typos and spelling errors.
You need a tool called address lookup that can confirm the accuracy of your addresses. This way, you can mail only to the correct addresses and save a lot on reshipping.
Address lookup is also known as address validation or verification. It means verifying address accuracy by comparing it with an authoritative database.
Our address lookup service can validate your mailing lists in minutes.
What is Address Lookup?
Address lookup helps companies double-check addresses against the USPS database. It is a technical procedure wherein you look for invalid addresses and then correct them.
Every industry needs an address lookup tool. Banks use address lookup to maintain accurate customer records.
Restaurants use it to deliver orders to the correct addresses. Also, publishers use it to print and mail magazines. Hence, address lookup has a wide range of use cases.
You can use a web service, API, or software for address lookups. There are several stages involved in the entire process, which we will discuss in this blog.
We will also talk about their benefits, features, and other use cases.
Let’s dig in!
Address Lookup Use Cases
Businesses are now moving at a faster pace than before. They are dealing with a more diverse target audience spread across the world.
Though this has opened doors to global trade, there are several hiccups along the way. Lost packages and returned mail demotivate companies to expand their business.
But, an address validation service API can help you get past these problems. It enables companies to verify all local, national, and international addresses.
There is more than one use of a US address lookup tool. Find the different use cases below for your reference:
Populating Address Fields
The address lookup technology allows your customers to enter their correct shipping addresses. Not only that, but they can also enter their addresses on your web forms and surveys.
Most customers skip filling out forms because it takes a lot of time. But, using address lookup services, you can offer them a way to complete the task in the least amount of time.
Confirming Delivery Areas
Some parts of the US are undeliverable. The USPS does not deliver any mail to these places. Hence, it makes sense to confirm the area’s deliverability before confirming orders.
This way, you can avoid canceling orders after confirmations.
If possible, you can use other courier services to deliver to these areas. Address lookups enable you to identify undeliverable zones and make the right decision.
You need accurate and complete addresses for completing orders. Address lookups make it possible for your company.
Verify addresses before mailing to avoid reshipping. It also helps you avoid returned and misplaced orders.
If you wish to conduct a direct mail campaign, the first thing you need is a mailing list. Mailing lists account for 40% of your campaign success.
An accurate mailing list can help marketers reach their target ROI. You can also improve your brand image and retain customers.
Companies can verify their mailing lists through address lookups and conduct successful campaigns. Accurate addresses also enable you to carry out account-based marketing campaigns.
You can also use a free international address checker to send mail globally.
Reduce call center times by capturing accurate mailing addresses. Mailing to the correct addresses enables you to deliver orders on time. Hence, your customers won’t need to call you up to ask about them.
Billing statements and invoices contain confidential information. It is essential to mail such documents with complete security and accuracy.
An address lookup tool makes sure that you mail only to the right people.
How Does Address Lookup Work?
It is hard to verify addresses with billions of mailing addresses around the world. The task can take weeks or even months.
Manual address correction involves calling up customers to confirm addresses. It may be easy for a few local and national records, but businesses deal with more than that.
Some companies need to verify hundreds and thousands of mailing addresses every month. Moreover, some need to mail to international locations. There is a plethora of global address alignments and guidelines. In such cases, manual data entry and verification are impossible.
These companies can use address lookup to simplify their tasks. It makes local, national, and international address lookup a breeze.
Address lookup tools centralize multiple languages, data sources, and address formats. They also consider mapping, geospatial data, and the concerned postal authority guidelines. Thus, businesses can access validated and correct addresses at any moment.
Now, let us see what a standardized and validated address looks like:
52 NE CAMPERS ST.
PASADENA CA 91117
Apart from the name, all addresses must have two lines.
The first line is also called the delivery address line. It should have the apartment or suite number along with the street address.
The second line contains the city name, state abbreviation, and ZIP code.
The address standardization API can convert unformatted and unstandardized addresses into standardized ones.
For example, a user mistakenly entered
“Kevin Anderson, 59 NE Louis Ave, Pasadena, CA 91117.”
As you can see, the apartment number and street name are both wrong. The API or software can correct the street address using the ZIP code. Furthermore, they can also confirm the apartment number through the user’s IP address.
Technically, online address validation consists of two API requests.
- The Find request narrows down your address search by pulling out a list of suggestions. It is like typing something in Google’s search box. The search engine shows you a list of address suggestions based on what you enter.
- The Retrieve request helps you get standardized and verified addresses.
- A complete address search consists of a series of Find and Retrieve requests. All addresses pass through the Find request that returns an address ID for each of them.
- After that, these IDs pass through the Retrieve request to obtain formatted addresses.
Some examples of API calls include:
- Finding addresses by entering the geo-coordinates of the location.
- Double-check mailing addresses for precision.
- Using text-based search to find places.
Benefits of Address Lookup
1. Reduce the Checkout Time
A lot of customers abandon their shopping carts because of lengthy checkout processes. You can increase conversions by reducing the number of abandoned carts.
It can happen only when you simplify your checkout process. Make the experience as convenient as possible for your customers.
Incorporating an address lookup API on your website helps customers enter their addresses. As they start typing, the API shows them a list of suggestions. They can pick one and get done with it.
2. Maintain an Updated Database
Having an updated and high-quality database is crucial for any business. But, there are several reasons why most companies are not able to access such data. The causes include outdated data, misspellings, typos, and other errors.
Address lookup helps companies update their database frequently. This way, they can print and mail without incurring any losses.
3. Prevent Bad Data From Entering Your System
The easiest way to maintain a correct database is to block out incorrect data. You can help users enter the correct and valid addresses by incorporating address lookup.
Help your sales team enter correct customer details while they are on call. Address lookups allow staff members to type addresses faster and reduce call times.
4. Eradicate Human Error
No matter how trained, your staff members are still humans. They may make some misspellings or typos while writing addresses.
The postal workers process your mail items using their sorting equipment. The machine can read your addresses only when written in the correct format. Even a single capitalization or spacing error can lead to failed deliveries. Address lookups help you avoid this scenario.
5. Increase Marketing ROI
Marketers can get a positive ROI by reducing the number of returned mail items. Address lookup services like PostGrid can help you send your mail pieces to the right people. It assures higher responses and conversions, leading to increased ROI.
6. Avail Postal Discounts
You can avail of several postal discounts by presorting your mail items and adding ZIP+4 codes. These things are possible only when you verify your addresses. PostGrid is CASS-certified and can help you validate addresses and get such discounts.
7. Improve Customer Satisfaction
Integrating an address lookup API into your website improves its user experience. Customers can shop conveniently and enter addresses faster. Also, they can get their orders on time. Hence, address lookup enables companies to improve customer satisfaction.
You can print and mail postcards to your loyal customers. Send onboarding letters to new customers. These efforts are an assurance of long-term customer relationships.
8. Identify Fake Orders
Sometimes, users shop using fake profiles and addresses for reasons unknown. Companies receive a lot of fake orders with imaginary mailing addresses. If you run an address check, you can identify such fake addresses and stop yourself from shipping them.
This way, you can save a lot of effort, time, and money. You can also focus better on your genuine orders.
Types of Address Lookup
Real-Time Address Verification/ Point-of-Entry Validation
Real-time address verification means validating addresses at the point of entry. It is also called point-of-entry validation.
It is an excellent way to go about address lookups. Companies can prevent wrong addresses from entering their mailing lists using this method. It also helps customers enter accurate addresses on your website.
You can use address lookup services to check for various things like:
- Spelling mistakes
- Incorrect words. For example, typing words like “road” and “avenue” instead of “street” and vice versa.
- Missing spaces
- Swapped letters
- Phonetic variations. For example, entering “Greymouth” instead of “Greymouth.”
- Extra words
- Wrong abbreviations
- Duplicate addresses
Checking for such things in addresses is fuzzy matching. The fuzzy logic helps you fix minor errors that lead to failed deliveries.
Some companies use an address verification tool to standardize addresses. Standardization refers to the process of formatting addresses in the prescribed address format.
In the US, companies use the USPS address format. Other countries use the address format as prescribed by their postal organization.
Post-entry validation gives way in two different ways. The first way is bulk address validation. Instead of validating individual addresses, businesses can process their complete mailing lists.
The second way is allowing users to enter their mailing addresses by themselves. A suggestions list appears on the screen, and they can select the correct address from it.
As the name goes, partial verification verifies only parts of an address. For example, the user enters a ZIP code, after which the tool fills in the city and state automatically. Users need to enter the remaining address by themselves.
Partial verification depends on the tool you are using. Some need you to enter the apartment number and street name. The rest of the details are filled in automatically.
Though handy, partial address verification is not advisable. In this case, only part of the address is sure to be correct. There is no guarantee about the remaining parts.
Type-ahead address verification is the most efficient of all the other methods. It suggests possible addresses to users within a few keystrokes.
All they have to do is start typing in the address box. After entering a few alphabets or words, a list appears. They can select their address from that list. The whole process takes about 10-15 seconds.
Drop-down address verification is another popular address lookup type. There is a drop-down menu for entering your ZIP code, state, city, and street address.
All fields are separate from one another. As the user clicks on a specific address field, the menu appears.
Address Lookup Deployment Options
There are two ways in which you can avail the United States Postal Services address search, and they are:
1. On-Premise Address Lookup API
Using the API allows you to avail real-time and point-of-entry address verification. You can integrate PostGrid’s address lookup API into your CRM. So, you can verify every address right at the moment they are being entered into your system.
You can also integrate our RESTful API into your website or application. It can help your customers enter and verify their addresses during checkout.
Our API is scalable. It can expand and accommodate any number of API requests. Thus, you can verify millions of addresses at the same time.
The integration process is easy and quick. You don’t need any technical expertise to integrate and get started.
2. Address Lookup Software
The software makes it easy to verify addresses in bulk. It is easy to use and available for you at all times.
PostGrid’s address validation software has all the features that the API provides. It can standardize and validate your addresses in minutes.
You can use the software to build segmented mailing lists for your direct mail campaigns. So, you can focus on your target audience and increase conversions.
Different Services Offered by an Address Lookup Tool
Geocoding is the process of assigning latitudinal and longitudinal data points to addresses. It takes text-based mailing addresses and turns them into geographic coordinates.
PostGrid’s address checker API uses rooftop geocoding to ensure address accuracy.
Geocoding considers the users’ IP addresses which helps offer type-ahead address predictions.
NCOALink is a USPS product that keeps records of all address changes in the country. It includes 160 million permanent records of address changes.
NCOALink maintains the database of all individuals and companies that file change-of-address requests.
The 2019 US Census data shows that around 31 million people moved to a different address during the year. It is advisable to cross-check your database against the NCOALink files.
Delivery Point Validation (DPV)
Delivery Point Validation (DPV) makes sure that your addresses are deliverable. With deliverable, we mean that you can deliver your mail items to the exact suite or apartment.
A US address lookup service like PostGrid can assign DPV codes to every address.
Some address verification tools like Google’s Maps API do not consider secondary units. Suites, floors, apartments are all secondary units.
The USPS introduced a product named SuiteLink for improving mail deliverability. It allows you to add your secondary (suite) details to your addresses. You can access these records to improve the accuracy of your database.
But, this product can only be for commercial addresses. So, B2B companies can benefit the most out of it.
Residential Delivery Indicator (RDI)
Private courier companies charge a higher rate to ship to residential addresses. They also charge higher if you mislabel your mail items. For example, business addresses need the company name on the second line. If you forget to mention the company name, the courier service provider can charge an additional fee to correct it.
The RDI is a USPS tool that helps you identify which addresses in your mailing list are commercial. So, you can consider your shipping options wisely.
The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is a certification program for address verification service providers. PostGrid’s address validation API is CASS-certified.
Being CASS-certified indicates that your address validation services are up-to-date and correct. Thus, every address validated by PostGrid is USPS-verified.
International Address Lookup
International address lookup is crucial for companies dealing with international customers. It allows them to connect with customers beyond borders and expand their business.
International shipping is expensive. Using address lookup, you can mail to the correct addresses and save reshipping costs.
Bulk Address Validation
Often, you are needed to mail in large volumes. Hence, you need bulk address validation capabilities. An address verification API allows you to verify addresses during and post entry.
Why Is PostGrid’s Address Lookup API the Best?
- Security: PostGrid is compliant with HIPAA, PIPEDA, SOC-2, and many other data privacy laws. Hence, your data is always safe and confidential.
- Authenticity: As PostGrid is CASS-certified, the API uses the USPS database and returns only correct addresses.
- Affordability: PostGrid offers competitive pricing. It is the most affordable address lookup API you can find. There are no minimum monthly charges or commitments involved.
- Speed: Our API and software take milliseconds to verify an address, making the process very fast.
- Technical Assistance: PostGrid’s technical assistance team is available for you 24 x 7. You can reach out through our toll-free number at any time.
- International Addresses: Our services are not restricted to the US only. You can use PostGrid for any address around the globe. Type-ahead, post-entry, bulk data validation, and all other options are available.
Also Read: What is Address Autocomplete
Address lookups help you spend less money on lost mail and increase efficiency. It enables companies to have an updated database at all times. This database helps them expand their marketing activities and serve their customers better.
Use PostGrid’s bulk and real-time address validation solutions. Increase profits, save time and connect with more people all at the same time.