Address Verification

Address Standardization API

By 21 February 2024April 15th, 2024No Comments
marketing automation

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3075 14th Ave. #212, Markham,
ON, L3R 5M1, Canada

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Address Standardization API

Standardize all the addresses present in your mailing list, including the upcoming ones, with a single PostGrid address standardization API, and earn customer trust with correct and on-time mail deliveries.

address data management system

How Does Address Standardization Make a Difference

Before you understand why address standardization matters, you should know what address standardization is and why it is essential.

Address standardization is the process of formatting all addresses in your database according to the format approved by your country’s postal authority. In our case, it’s The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service).

Here’s an example of how standardization works:

Regular address that a prospect enters Standardized Address
post office box 121
Abeeville, Alabbama
PO BOX 121
ABBEVILLE AL 36310-0121
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

You might be wondering about the capitalization and casing. Let me clarify, it’s not one of the format requirements of USPS. Most companies do this to clarify the addresses and make the delivery process easier.

You can also have these addresses in Proper Case format, like

PO Box 121
Abbeville AL 36310-0121
United States of America

It’s equally acceptable.

Please note that address standardization API is only responsible for formatting your addresses correctly. It never guarantees the delivery of your direct mail unless you have validated the address.

However, they should be standardized before you can validate your customers’ location details with USPS’s official database. This way, you can ensure that:

  • The customer information that you have is valid and precise.
  • All the addresses are deliverable.
  • You have removed the wrong and edited the incorrect addresses.
  • The typos and errors present in the valid addresses have been removed.
  • You have a high-quality mailing list, resulting in a low bounce rate and reduced misspending.

How do You Standardize Your Addresses

Now that you know why standardization is so important, you must know how to do it as well.

You have two options: either you do it yourself, manually, or you get an address standardization API and do it automatically.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

In this case, you’d need to follow a few steps:

  • Get the addresses you want to standardize.
  • Check the spelling, typos, and other errors.
  • Edit and correct the abbreviation where needed.

You should know that there’s only one authentic version of the abbreviation as per the USPS. To ensure you enter the correct version, check this USPS library of addresses.

The process may seem simple, but it can eat up tons of working hours and resources before you even realize it. No matter at what stage of business you currently are, your mailing list is bound to have tens of hundreds of addresses in it.

Keeping that in mind, if you decide to standardize all of your customer details manually, your team can miss out on things or create natural human errors. And if it happens, the whole point of standardization will go in vain.

Use an Address Standardization API

Most companies decide to get themselves an address standardization API. The API standardizes all of the addresses present in your database within a minimal time and with higher accuracy.

Furthermore, it also arranges the customer details in standard format at the point of entry. This way, you do not need to go through all of the hundreds or thousands of new addresses entering your system regularly.

The address standardization API does it for you automatically. Hence, it reduces half of the stress on your shoulders.

Without such an API, your tasks can take up a lot of time, money, and, no doubt, resources.

Address Standardization API Details

When you do things manually, you take help from the USPS data directory, but with the advancement in technology and do things automatically and easily, you can choose other options too.

CASS Address Standardization (United States)

Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is a certification program to standardize and verify your addresses. United States Postal Services developed this program in 2007. Any software that’s CASS certified can standardize, validate, and update your mailing list’s outdated addresses as per the official database of USPS. The software can ensure the validity of your customers’ mail delivery details present in your system.

PostGrid is CASS certified, which is why we can standardize your addresses as per USPS guidelines in no time.

Software Evaluation and Recognition Program (Canada)

Similar to CASS, the SERP certification program is developed by the postal services of Canada. This certification aims to let the software validate and standardize the mailing list addresses of companies.

It guarantees correct and on-time delivery of your packages and mail pieces. And you can send any type of direct mail carefreely. For example:

  • Direct Mail Campaigns
  • License Renewals
  • Customer Awards
  • The Donation
  • Discounts and Offers
  • Loyalty Rewards
  • Rebate Offers
  • Financial Details
  • Legal Documents
  • Subscription Renewals
  • Billing Statements
  • The Newsletters
  • Political Messages
  • Compliance Letters, etc.

Why do You Need an Address Standardization API

As I told you earlier, to validate the mailing list details against USPS’s official database, companies need to standardize them. Address standardization API helps you do that quickly and accurately by fixing typos, removing errors, correcting spelling mistakes, improvising the incorrect format, incomplete zip codes, etc.

Once it’s all done, the addresses are then passed to the validation feature to ensure the state, zip code, city, and area mentioned are correct, valid, and deliverable.

Accurate addresses are essential because when you launch a direct mail marketing campaign or send your customers any other important direct mail or notice, it must reach the intended recipient. Otherwise, it may cost you money and reputation.

Let’s say you launched a direct mail campaign without standardizing or validating your mailing list. In this case, your direct mail pieces may or may not reach all of the potential customers. It results in inaccurate analyses of the campaign results, misspending, and lost opportunities – as the prospect might have purchased if they got a chance to see the offer.

The reason for misspending can be lost and returned direct mail pieces, plus the ones you sent to duplicate addresses. Depending on the length of your mailing list, you may have several identical addresses. And continually sending multiple similar mail pieces to a single prospect may annoy them.

Apart from all this, if you send regular direct mail pieces containing confidential information of the prospects, you must consider standardization and validation of your addresses. The loss of crucial information may cost you, and your customers, a lot.

And it’s not only about this one cost, but you can also lose that customer for life, and it’ll result in negative word-of-mouth marketing.

Eventually, because of a single bad address, you’re risking the reputation of your whole company.

Additionally, the incorrect addresses present in your mailing list can also affect the efficiency of doing business which includes, but is not limited to, customer service, direct marketing, mailing recruitment letters, compliance notices, direct mail billing and invoices, and so on.

Next to dropping your profit margin, incorrect addresses may also cost you money, primarily if you deal with a large mailing list — misspending, lost opportunities, and bad reputation are all a part of it.

 

How Can PostGrid Address Standardization API Help You

PostGrid is a CASS and SERP address standardization API. Despite your business type and mailing size, PostGrid can help you fetch and standardize each record of your database seamlessly within minimal time.

To use PostGrid’s API, you’d need to integrate it with your CRM or other systems. Once merged, it fetches your mailing list data within seconds and starts standardizing it upon instructions.

Here's how it works:

  • It corrects all the spelling errors, viz., the state, city, or other location names.
  • Correct the formatting according to USPS, viz., capitalization.
  • Edit and correct the abbreviations as per USPS records.
  • Fixes the zip codes to ZIP+4 characters
  • Recognizes and highlights the information gaps.

Even though standardization can take you a step ahead towards cleaning your data, it alone cannot get your mail pieces delivered to the correct location. That’s why it’s recommended to get a complete PostGrid address standardization, geocoding, parsing, validation, and autocomplete API.

PostGrid Address Standardization: A Practical Example for Better Understanding

Most companies have customer data in different forms. For this example, we're considering:

  • SQL database for type 1
  • CSV file for type 2
  • A simple list of online details for type 3

Now, to get the details of the top 70,000 customers for some business event, you’d need to merge the data of these three different types of databases.

However, to accomplish this task, you may face several difficulties. The first issue that can arise is that all of the databases are in different formats. The second is that if one of the databases is standardizing its addresses, the other may not. Third, the formatting of all three types of databases can be different.

For example, if one of them is defining the full address in a single line, the other might be breaking it down into multiple lines.

Another problem for you can be the existence of the same customers in separate lists. If you’d send the same direct mail to a single prospect multiple times, it can cause two problems. First, it won’t be professional from your end. Second, depending on the number of duplicate customer information, it’ll be a total waste of money and resources.

The wastage of money and resources is not limited to the duplicate addresses only, but the invalid and wrong addresses in your database add to this cost too.

To avoid these things from happening with you, consider data cleaning, standardizing, and geocoding from a single API, like PostGrid.

You can do it in three simple steps:

  • Standardization: The API will parse all of the customer location details present in your different mailing lists and arrange them in a single and consistent format. The format will be in line with the USPS. Eventually, your addresses will be clearer and easier to understand for the next step.
  • Validation: This step will ensure that all the addresses in your system are valid and deliverable. Plus, PostGrid address validation API updates its data regularly as per the USPS’s official database. Hence, you will have a high-quality and error-free mailing list.
  • Deduplication: Gradually, after validation of the customer details, the API will find and remove all the similar address details present in your database. You’ll find unique addresses in the merged database. However, if you deduplicate your addresses before the standardization and verification, then most similar addresses will be missed.

Once you’re done with these three steps, you’ll have a more reliable and high-quality mailing list. With a trustworthy database, it gets easier to track the lifetime value of a customer. You can track their purchase details, improve the buyer journey, and of course, eliminate a tremendous amount of misspending.

Benefits of PostGrid Address Standardization API

By now, you must have a clear idea of what exactly address standardization is and how it works. Let’s talk about how it can help your business.

Low or No-Bounce Rate

With the correct address details of your prospects in your mailing list, you reduce the chances of delivering your mail pieces to the incorrect and invalid addresses tremendously.

This step helps you reduce the number of lost direct mail pieces, returned mails, and the ones that get delivered to the wrong recipients. Thus, you save the efforts, money, and resources you put into creating these mailpieces. Plus, you maintain your brand’s reputation this way.

Reduced Misspending

Whenever you retarget your potential customers, they land on your website or online platform and usually enter their details to get the offer you’re making.
This way, sometimes, you not only let a single prospect’s or customer’s entry more than once but several times indeed. And that’s what we call duplicate address details.

Now, when you finally launch your direct mail marketing campaign or send other offers through this means, you end up sending the mailpiece to a single prospect multiple times.

Depending on how great your retargeting system is, you may have a bunch of such records.

There’s nothing wrong with having such records in your database, but you should always have a system or a way to eliminate them when a large amount of money and resources are at stake.

The address standardization with a few more follow-up steps can help you clear all such customer details. PostGrid API enables you to do it all automatically, ensuring you don’t have to spend hours or weeks just cleaning and formatting your data before launching a direct campaign.

Effective Communication

The most important part of a business’s success is sales. The higher the sales are, the better is your ROI. And the essence of sales is effective customer communication.

If you’re unable to convey your message to the right person at the right time, then you may lose a lot in business. Hence, you must maintain the proper customer record and deliver your mailpieces to the correct recipient on time.

Hence, you must parse, standardize, and clean your database gradually.

No Tedious Manual Work

With the automated PostGrid address standardization API in place, you can forget about putting hours in collecting, fetching, and going through tons of data.

Instead, all you’d need to do is integrate PostGrid with your CRM or other systems, and it’ll fetch all of your customer details within seconds.

You can use the time you thus saved on other prioritized tasks that’ll benefit your business more.

How to Use APIs for Address Standardization and Verification?

Address APIs help you complete, cross-confirm and validate your mailing addresses. They allow you to transform your mailing lists into helpful databases. 

You can use several address API types, like geocoding API, ZIP code API, and more. The primary purpose of these APIs is to let you access high-quality customer address records. But their functions differ.

So how to use address APIs to standardize and verify delivery addresses?

First, review your business type, customer base, and address verification purpose. It helps you create a framework to use the correct APIs to get the necessary data for marketing, data mapping, etc. 

Once you know your goal and customer’s address types, choose your integration type. Some companies integrate PostGrid’s address standardization API into their CRM to cleanse and reformat addresses within their system. Others integrate our solutions into their website or custom apps to manage delivery address accuracy at point-of-entry. 

Website or app integration helps improve user experience (UX) by enabling customers to enter their valid addresses. 

For example, imagine a prospective customer wanting to fill out your website’s contact form. PostGrid address API integrations can enable them to enter a correct and deliverable address within a few keystrokes. 

The same applies when customers want to add their billing and shipping addresses when checking out. Integrating with address correction APIs ensure they complete their transactions faster, reducing cart abandonment ratios. 

It lets you ship orders to the correct addresses without delays. Also, you can prevent mail returns and reshipping, saving money and time. 

More Types of Address Correction APIs You May Need

Address correction is a broad term, from adding missing details to eliminating spacing issues. It helps companies validate their databases and put them to the best use possible!

This process matches improperly formatted and incorrect delivery addresses with the respective country’s database. It is the official Government database with millions and billions of entries for everyone in the country.

The US uses the USPS CASS and NCOA data files to verify addresses. PostGrid’s address verification APIs help you access these databases to cleanse and enrich your client addresses.

Below are a few examples of address APIs you can use:

USPS Address Validation API

USPS serves 163.1 million US addresses. Thus, it has an extensive database, which is helpful to companies for address verification and other reasons. 

This postal organization updates its records monthly to ensure it only has up-to-date and valid information. It is a reliable source to cross-check customer addresses and save money by preventing failed deliveries. 

PostGrid is a CASS-certified vendor, allowing you to dive deep into this authoritative database. You can use our address standardization API to compare your customer addresses with the USPS records. It helps you spot and fix discrepancies before shipping or making business decisions. 

Please note that USPS does not sell its database. But PostGrid’s USPS address validation API enables you to access the Post Office records. It lets you complete all steps in the address verification process, like parsing, reformatting, and correction. Thus, you can store accurate records and improve sales.  

Use it as an address standardization API because it can modify your mailing lists to match the Post Office guidelines. 

For example, if you enter:

123 Main Street, Nevada

The USPS address validation API returns the following:

123 Main ST

Carson City NE  89403

ZIP Code API

The US has 41,692 ZIP codes! It can be puzzling for companies to know whether their ZIP codes are authentic or valid. Hence, they need the ZIP code API to verify accuracy and get more information on specific localities.

PostGrid’s address verification API offers ZIP code verification to let you ship orders to the correct places. It also allows you to use geocoding, conduct location-based marketing, and complete other tasks. 

The ZIP code APIs also add ZIP+4 codes to your addresses. You can run on-demand, individual ZIP code checks, or process complete delivery addresses. 

Address Autocomplete API

Our address autocomplete API allows you to add missing details and apply fuzzy logic to correct errors. 

But how does it work?

This API predicts the correct addresses whenever users start typing them on your website. It shows users a list of suggestions and prompts them to select the accurate one. 

This process reduces the data entry time for you and your customers, improving customer satisfaction. 

PostGrid’s address autocomplete API ensures

  • Customers enter their delivery address in the correct format.
    They do not abandon the checkout page.
  • They can save time and effort when typing.

Thus, it allows you to get more sales, boost visibility, and improve your brand reputation!

International Address Verification API

There are broad differences in national and international address validation. You need many extra features, like country-specific address formatting rules, transliteration, and global databases. 

PostGrid’s international address validation lets you access all the necessary files. It allows you to confirm the global addresses of 245+ countries. Hence, you can expand your business beyond borders. 

An international address verification API helps you confidently ship orders worldwide. Since global shipping is costly, you can guarantee your mailers reach the correct place. 

Geocoding API

  • Geocoding allows you to learn the geographical coordinates of your customers’ locations. Hence, the API lets you get a geocode list with an accuracy score that helps you Identify customer-dense neighborhoods. 
  • Launch local marketing campaigns. 
  • Capture accurate and real-time locations. 

Our rooftop geocoding API enables you to process delivery addresses via your website or CRM. It can return the results in seconds because our scalable address verification solutions can process millions of API requests. There are zero glitches or slowdowns. 

Street Address Validation API

These APIs help you validate your mailing lists up to the premise level. They can add street names and directionals to the customer addresses.

The street address validation API completes your lists for mailing and record-keeping. Unlike Google APIs, it enables you to add, cleanse, and update secondary units, like room, floor, or suite number.

Which Industries Can Use PostGrid’s Address Standardization API

Here’s a list of the industries that will benefit from address standardization API:

eCommerce Stores
Mostly the online shopping stores need to capture and store only correct shipping address details of customers. However, it’s not possible without an address standardization and validation API.

The prospects usually make errors or typing mistakes, leading to failed delayed deliveries of their parcel. Hence an address API, like PostGrid, is way too essential for such companies.

Real Estate
If you display homes on your website and encourage your prospects to visit the places on your listing, you must display only accurate addresses.
Otherwise, they’ll waste a lot of their time just looking for the place in the wrong location.

Such experiences will result in frustrated and annoyed prospects who will never see another property from your website. It’s especially true if you let people display their properties on your website without micromanaging everything.

The automated address standardization API will help you keep and let people enter only correct location details.

Rental Homes
Like the real estate business, if you list rental vacation homes and hotels for prospects — an address standardization API can help.

The primary benefit is that your customers will reach the right location. The hidden advantage is that they can see all of the address listings in the same format. It’ll determine that you are a reputed company.

Financial Institutes
Most financial institutes, including banks, send their customers’ confidential information via direct mail piece. To keep the information you send secure and your company’s integrity intact, you must only ship to the correct addresses.

To ensure that you have only correct addresses present in your database in the right format — an address standardization API with validation and autocomplete features is a must to have.

Address Standardization FAQs

Serving our clients for years, we have gathered some common questions that most business owners want to know about address standardization API. We have answered them below.

How do you standardize an address?
To standardize an address manually, you should fix their casing, capitalization, abbreviations and convert the zip codes into +4 Zip code.

What does it mean when your address is standardized?
When your address has been standardized, it’ll have all the necessary elements of the address in the correct spelling. It’ll contain the abbreviations as mentioned in the USPS database and so the +4 zip code.

How long does it take for a new address to be recognized?
It takes nearly 14 days (two weeks) for a new address to be recognized by the official postal service’s database.

How do I write my address with USPS?

  • Keep your address and the postage stamp on the same side.
  • Always use the longest side of the envelope to write the address details.
  • Use capital letters.
  • Do not use any punctuation marks.
  • Keep one space between city and state
  • Keep two spaces between zip code and state

You can also check the detailed instructions on this page of USPS’s official website.

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