What Is USPS Address Lookup, and How Does It Increase Mailing Efficiency?
Don’t you agree with the fact that We see new businesses coming up every day?
We know, you do!
Well to your surprise, there were nearly 1.26 million new business applications only in the first three months of 2022. Currently, the US has 32.5 million small businesses—covering a vast part of the economy.
Demo of USPS Address Lookup using PostGrid Address Verification API
Though this growth is good for the country, businesses might find it harder to compete in the market. Luckily, there are some solid strategies to help them establish their goals:
- Get creative
- Prioritize customer satisfaction
- Use the USPS address lookup to analyze and utilize data properly
Data is the biggest asset for every company, and you can maximize its usage using mailing address lookup! It helps you filter out outdated, incorrect customer details and replace them with precise information. Thus, you can facilitate your operations and reach your audience more systematically.
The USPS address lookup tool allows you to reduce postage expenses, deliver orders on time, and save resources. Also, there are several ways to use it according to your requirements and goals.
This blog discusses how businesses can perform more efficiently by employing address lookup USPS to manage their databases. Furthermore, we will talk about its use cases, benefits, types, and more. Let’s get to it!
What is USPS Address Lookup?
Address lookup refers to finding and verifying mailing address lists using an authoritative database. It allows mail senders to ensure that their items reach the correct destinations without problems.
The USPS offers a mailing address lookup service for individuals and companies, and they can use most of the tools for free. Businesses can save tons of time and money on reshipping by using this solution. Also, they don’t need to call up their customers every time they need to cross-confirm a delivery address before mailing.
The primary motive of using the USPS address lookup is to get a list of deliverable addresses for mailing purposes. You can define a valid address as one that follows the postal guidelines of standardization and formatting. Also, it has all the crucial elements, like the street address, city name, state abbreviation, and ZIP+4 code.
Reasons to Use a Mailing Address Lookup Service
Several companies have been sending mail pieces to customers without validating addresses for a long time. Hence, they might ask why there is a need to incorporate USPS address lookup by home into their existing system.
So, here’s the answer:
Claim Discounted Commercial Rates
Every efficient business would want to cut unnecessary expenses and increase ROI. Fortunately, they can save a massive chunk by validating their mailing lists with the USPS address lookup tool before shipping orders. The USPS has made it mandatory to confirm the accuracy of their ZIP codes to claim First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail (Commercial) prices.
These are discounted rates for businesses that frequently ship marketing, transactional, and other items. They are less expensive and facilitate huge postal savings, making it a must to use USPS address lookup by name.
But, you need to check your ZIP code accuracy within specific timeframes, depending on the type of discounts you are looking for
- Presorted mail: You can get mailing discounts on presorted items if you verify your 5-digit ZIP codes within a year of shipping through the USPS address lookup tool. Some ZIP codes change over time, and you cannot rely on your old databases every time. Also, remember to presort your mailpieces according to the Post Office regulations to avail of the advantages of sending presorted mail.
- Automation: The mailing address lookup service can help you verify complete addresses in your mailing list within 95 days of shipping. It is the prime requirement for availing of discounted rates for sending barcoded mail items.
- Carrier route: Verifying your carrier route information is another way to claim commercial prices. But, ensure to validate the details within 90 days of mailing.
Smoothen the Mail Sorting Process
The automated mail sorting machines handle almost all activities related to mailpiece processing. This equipment redirects the mailpieces, cancels stamps, applies postmarks, and adds the 17- or 19-digit coding numbers. Using the USPS address lookup facilitates the entire procedure and guarantees that your mail reaches the right hands.
The item is sent to the reject pile if the delivery address on your mailpiece is unreadable or you fail to affix the correct postage. There are many more reasons for the same:
- You didn’t use USPS address lookup to validate your lists
- Your handwriting is illegible
- Some essential details are missing, etc.
Then, the postal workers manually review the items in the reject pile. It is time-consuming, prone to manual mistakes, and could slow the delivery processes. Hence, try using a mailing address lookup API solution like PostGrid to ship your orders without wasting time and money. PostGrid’s address verification API helps you access the USPS database and validate every address on your list in no time.
Update Data Regularly
All marketing experts, business leaders, and decision-makers advise updating your databases now and then. But why? The reason is that people keep moving from one location to another often, and you need to keep tabs on their new addresses. Again, an efficient mailing address lookup tool can help you get there!
Let us look at the statistics.
- Forty million Americans move every year
- One out of six families shifts to a new address annually
You cannot determine which of these people are your existing or prospective customers without using the Post Office’s mailing address lookup service. Perhaps, you rented or purchased a mailing list recently. But, it does not guarantee that it consists of updated records. Thus, you should always ask if your agency has used a USPS address lookup tool to compile and cleanse the list.
Also, inquire about the list’s National Deliverability Index (NDI). It tells you how many addresses in the mailing list are deliverable, allowing you to calculate your ROI in advance.
Stay Ahead of Competition
Like data, time is also a significant asset for businesses. Luckily, the USPS address search service allows you to update your databases at the right time—helping you stay ahead of your competition.
Furthermore, it lets you make prompt decisions, like switching to different mailing options, clubbing orders, etc., to increase efficiency.
What Are the Different Options to Employ USPS Address Lookup?
Your customers might not know the significance of providing you with their correct addresses. Often, they expect the company to process their orders precisely, even after offering incomplete information with misspellings, typos, etc.
Instead of instructing customers every time and manually calling them up to confirm their data, you can use the Post Office address lookup. It refrains you from bothering customers and reduces the number of return mailpieces.
The best part about the USPS ZIP code finder is that you can enter as many details as you want. For instance, suppose you only have the customer’s street name and building number. It is impossible to send an item to such incomplete addresses. But, address lookup can return a valid, complete address by only using these details. Isn’t it convenient?
You can get the entire list of all house numbers on a specific street by entering the name and ZIP code. Or, you may get a list of street names using a 5-digit ZIP code. Similarly, you can also avail of different sets of address data by entering whatever information you possess.
The results you get from using the USPS address lookup service are deliverable, valid, and precise. Also, you can distinguish between rural, PO box, and metropolitan addresses to collect more customer data and plan your marketing strategies accordingly.
Moreover, this USPS ZIP code lookup by address solution helps you separate residential addresses from commercial ones. And it gives you additional footnotes if an address is vacant, under construction, etc.
Below, we have mentioned the most popular ways to use this service:
Process Your Mailing Lists Through a CASS-Certified Software Application
PostGrid’s address validation API and software are CASS-certified*. Thus, you can use it to cross-confirm whether your lists follow postal guidelines. If not, PostGrid automatically makes the necessary modifications.
*CASS stands for Coding Accuracy Support System. It is a certification program by the USPS to review the performance of address verification vendors. Also, it ensures that these vendors use the USPS authoritative database for completing address validation.
Address List Correction Service
The Post Office offers another way to use their mailing address lookup solution. You may submit printed copies of your mailing lists to the USPS, and the workers can mark the corrections for you. However, you can only get this service via your Address Management System Office.
Also, you need to pay a fee based on the number of addresses you want to verify. Though this US postal address lookup solution seems simple, it is time-consuming, costly, and requires manual effort on your end.
The NCOA (National Change of Address) data file helps you know which of your customers changed their addresses in the past five years. Typically, customers need to submit an address change request, and the Post Office makes the necessary changes shortly.
Thus, the NCOALink service allows you to update your database considering these changes to keep you from shipping orders to old customers’ addresses. A licensed mailing address lookup vendor like PostGrid can process your lists using special software and return cleansed data within seconds.
The primary benefit of using NCOALink as part of USPS address lookup is that you can calculate the service fee and cleanse your lists before mailing. Also, it includes the Move Update requirement (checking lists within 95 days of mailing to determine if a customer moved recently to claim lower prices).
Address Information System (AIS) Viewer
It is an interactive application allowing you to retrieve, review, and print current ZIP codes for all the states whenever needed. You can use this address data to modify your lists accordingly with precise and updated information.
However, the AIS viewer is not the most effective method for using the mailing address lookup tool because it only offers data on the US ZIP codes. You may still need to use other solutions for the remaining aspects of your delivery addresses.
Post Office ZIP Code Lookup
As said earlier, you can use the USPS service to look up 9-digit ZIP code data by entering the street address, city name, state, etc. However, knowing the correct ZIP codes does not guarantee that the corresponding addresses belong to specific people or businesses.
Hence, you would still lack behind and get mail returns because the postal carrier couldn’t find the intended recipients at the destinations.
At PostGrid, we get several inquiries about the ZIP code service because most businesses assume it is an excellent alternative to using the USPS address lookup. However, PostGrid’s address verification services help them validate their complete mailing lists without the need to combine different tools or spend extra.
Here’s what our customers say:
“We were tired of using our old databases and getting hundreds of returned mail. It led to a lot of wastage, and our costs kept rising daily. But, PostGrid helped us understand how to work with our data efficiently and get access to clean and correct lists. Their customer support is also on point and replies instantly.”
- Vice President (Engineering)
More Aspects of Address Lookup USPS That You Should Know
Businesses need to verify several more elements to ensure mailing accuracy. Here are some examples:
Sometimes, it is essential to know if the delivery address is residential. It helps you make informed decisions and improve deliverability. You may use RDITM with CASS-certified USPS address lookup software on any platform to separate residential and business addresses. There are also other advantages of using this product, like
- Analyzing parcel shipping patterns
- Proving rate-shopping services to customers to lower mailing rates
- Enhancing customer relationships by depicting efficient shipping practices
Businesses can get an ANKLink license to determine which customers on the list have moved. Please note that it does not help you access their new addresses. You still need mailing address lookup solutions from an NCOALink Full Service Provider licensee.
ANKLink allows you to reduce UAA (Undeliverable as Addressed) mailpieces, decreasing production, preparation, and shipping costs.
This USPS address lookup product allows you to collect additional business addressing data by adding secondary or suite information to commercial address lists. You may use SuiteLink for sending Standard Mail, First-Class Mail, and Periodicals.
Now, why do you need to add secondary address details to your lists?
For starters, there were 139.69 million housing units in 2019, and the numbers are ever-growing. Also, all your mailing address lookup efforts can go to waste if you haven’t included minor details, like the floor, apartment number, or suite number.
The LACSLink product provides a secure data file of all city-style addresses. Typically, it allows you to convert rural-style addresses into this format to help you employ better mailing methods. You can also use this USPS address lookup service to find the renumbered and renamed city-style addresses.
Delivery Point Validation (DPV)
This US postal service address lookup solution is another method to help you verify whether your addresses are deliverable. The Delivery Point Validation (DPV) tool assigns specific codes to addresses that depict the status of each of them.
USPS-Prescribed Address Format You Must Use
The USPS has clear guidelines for businesses and individuals to follow while sending mail. If you don’t follow these rules, the postal workers cannot deliver your items on time. The worst-case scenario is that they send your items back, leading to tons of waste.
Also, don’t forget that the USPS loses nearly 4.38 million packages annually. And one of the main reasons for lost mail items is not using mailing address lookup. Hence, we have listed the postal guidelines and formatting styles below to help you learn how to address your mailpieces correctly:
Residential Address Format
[Apartment number and street address]
[City, state, and ZIP code]
It is one of the shortest address formats available. But, you still need a USPS address lookup API like PostGrid to manage residential addresses. The reason is that you deal with hundreds of thousands of such address lists, and it is hard to update such bulk lists.
Here’s an example:
445 18th ST NW
WASHINGTON DC 20006 5304
Address Format With Secondary Address Information
Most of your mailing addresses look like the one we mentioned above. However, you need to change this format a little for adding secondary address units (if available). It is when you need a helpful address lookup USPS service to avoid mailing inaccuracies.
Below is an example of an address consisting of secondary units:
EMILIA BRONTE [Name]
5 MINETTA ST [Street address]
STE 770 FL 6 [Secondary unit information]
NEW YORK CITY NYC 10012 1277 [City, state, and ZIP code]
The service to look up ZIP codes by address can help you add missing details to your lists. Also, ensure that you use the correct secondary unit designators to maintain your list quality.
|Secondary Units||Postal Abbreviation|
Commercial Address Format
There is one additional line in business addresses to add the company name. It helps the carrier identify the office building or apartment effortlessly. PostGrid’s mailing address lookup USPS can help you find and include business names in your lists, speeding up deliveries.
JANE GELLER [Name of the concerned person]
HIGHLAND ASSOCIATES [Company name]
94 GIRARD ST [Apartment number and street address]
ROCHESTER NY 14610 1704 [City, state, and ZIP code]
The Post Office Box Address Format
You replace the street address with the box number in a Post Office address. There are millions of PO box addresses across the country, and you can validate them using the USPS address lookup. Here’s the format you can use:
SOPHIE SMITH [Name]
PO BOX 173 [PO box number]
DULUTH MN 55810 1847 [City, state, and ZIP code]
The USPS has several more address formats for rural routes, highway contracts, and military addresses. Using PostGrid’s address lookup USPS API enables you to identify the address type and cross-check its accuracy.
Below are some basic guidelines that you can follow:
- Write your mailing addresses in all caps to avoid misinterpretation
- Only use the state abbreviations and not names. Use the USPS address lookup tool if you don’t know the correct abbreviations
- Leave a single space between the city name and state abbreviation
- Leave two spaces between the state abbreviation and ZIP code
- It is advisable to use ZIP codes+4 codes to improve deliverability rates
- Avoid using punctuation marks and write using legible handwriting. Try printing your delivery addresses instead of writing them down
- If you write addresses manually, use a dark-colored pen on a light background
- Insert the correct directionals using USPS address lookup by home
- Add generic titles like ‘Resident,’ ‘Occupant,’ or ‘Postal Customer’ if you don’t know who resides at a specific address
Benefits of Using Address Lookup USPS
This section is for you if you are still not convinced to use USPS mailing address lookup services. It emphasizes how your business can benefit from them directly:
Get Access to High-Quality Data
You don’t need a database having outdated customer information or missing details. Thus, it is high time you replace it with top-notch quality data that can allow you to know your customers in-depth and make informed decisions.
For example, imagine you want to know how many of your existing customers reside in Nebraska for operational purposes. You will fail to get an accurate report if you don’t use the USPS address lookup tool to analyze your customer data. Having outdated addresses can pull you down and hamper your sales more significantly than you realize.
You can save money by reducing the quality of your items or using cheap packaging materials. But, it can damage your brand reputation and highlight your business in a negative light. Hence, the crucial question businesses ask is- how to cut costs while maintaining quality?
The answer is to use the postal service address lookup to prevent reshipping expenses. This tool allows you to mail precisely the first time, keeping you from spending if the USPS returns your item.
Furthermore, you can avoid delivery delays, lost mail, and misplacements that help you save money in the long run.
Reduce Checkout Time
Helping customers type their address details on your website quickly and reducing the checkout time are other advantages of the mailing address lookup.
Integrating PostGrid’s address lookup USPS API into your website lets your customers enter their addresses within seconds. The API detects the address within a few keystrokes and auto-fills everything instantly.
Improve Customer Experience
You can process your orders quickly and deliver items within the specified shipping time by employing the address lookup Post Office. This quick procedure improves customer satisfaction because they can rely on your business to get products on time.
It gives you the edge over your competitors as customers like ordering from a company offering a short delivery period. Also, fast checkout times increase your website’s user experience (UX), boosting customer satisfaction even more.
Generate New Addresses
You may need new, custom mailing lists for marketing purposes. The fastest way to get lists is by renting or purchasing them through an agency. However, these agencies might not use the USPS address lookup tool to verify the lists. Hence, they aren’t reliable for long-term and bulk usage.
Also, the USPS mailing address lookup gives you more details about your existing and potential customers, like their phone numbers.
Save Time and Effort
It can take several weeks to cleanse a database manually. Also, it is not worth wasting that much time because there could be many manual mistakes. Your staff might not possess the necessary skills and information to update a list of old and invalid addresses. Thus, your best bet is to use PostGrid’s USPS address lookup service to save company resources and increase effectiveness.
One of our clients spent months cleaning their old mailing lists using in-house efforts. They would call their customers and ask them to provide their current address information, wasting too much time. Also, they noticed that it was affecting their overall productivity.
So, they switched to using PostGrid’s free address lookup USPS. Initially, they only employed our API to validate a few delivery addresses. Today, they use the monthly business plan that checks up to 10,000 addresses, costing only $0.01 per extra lookup. Hence, they could mail their items more quickly and efficiently, resulting in an ROI of nearly 20%.
Use Cases of an Address Lookup USPS Service
Almost every industry needs an address lookup for various reasons. We have categorized these reasons, enabling you to learn how businesses use this tool practically:
Filling Address Fields
It is the most common use case of USPS address lookup. Businesses cannot afford to compile customer data daily instead of focusing on other crucial areas. Also, they cannot rely on customers to provide the correct information for shipping.
Banks ask their customers to fill out application forms to open their accounts. They enter the same data in their CRM, which they need to manage for the next ten to twenty years or even more. Also, they print these addresses on checkbooks and mail crucial documents using the same data.
Incorporating the mailing address lookup tool into their system makes customer data verification a breeze for organizations. Furthermore, it lets them follow many federal and state laws regarding mailing documents to customers.
Many rural areas and counties in the country are undeliverable by the USPS. It means postal workers cannot travel to these locations to deliver mail. The people residing or working at such places use a PO box or employ other carriers like FedEx.
The USPS lookup ZIP code by address tool helps you confirm deliverable areas before mailing, helping you reduce mail returns.
Advertising and Promotions
You cannot reach out to your target audiences unless you know where they reside. And the USPS address lookup service can help you compile lists of your prospects for advertising purposes. So, the next time you want to promote a discount offer or conduct QR code marketing, you have enough data to go ahead.
Fulfilling orders is another crucial use case of address lookup USPS. It helps you accept orders on your website or application and verify customer data promptly. Therefore, you would never face delivery delays or get calls from customers inquiring about their packages.
For example, restaurants can use address lookup to confirm and complete delivery orders. Also, eCommerce businesses that claim to provide same-day deliveries for urgent orders can benefit from it.
An efficient mailing address lookup solution allows you to serve your customers better. You can immediately solve complaints, provide order information, process mailing receipts, etc., with the help of this tool.
Let’s take the example of home insurance agents. They cannot tell whether a customer can get a policy for their house without checking their address details. All agents must determine whether the locality is safe before proceeding with the paperwork.
Recently, we had a short discussion with the Operations Manager of a vast healthcare chain. Here’s what their query was: “We need to process thousands of patient bills every month. Plus, we also require an effective address verification service to send medical records, diagnostic reports, etc. But, we cannot confirm the number of address lookups we need each month. Do you have a flexible plan to meet this need?”
PostGrid understands that all business requirements are different, and sometimes they cannot commit to a specific pricing plan. Thus, our sales representative informed the client that they could switch to other membership types at any time. We are happy to change their mailing limits according to their needs. Also, they can start with monthly plans and then upgrade to yearly ones if they need.
Types of USPS Address Lookup Solutions
Companies may use any USPS ZIP code by address lookup tool based on your requirements. Some of the most commonly used types are
Real-Time Address Lookup
It refers to point-of-entry verification that allows you to validate addresses instantly. You can integrate PostGrid’s USPS address lookup API into your application, CRM, or website to start with real-time checking.
Here’s a use case to help you understand its works in-depth:
Imagine your sales representatives want to cold calls this week on an old lead list. If they close a deal, they need to enter the customer’s address in the system for speedy delivery. But what if they cannot do so because there was a network problem and they couldn’t hear half the details?
In such situations, the mailing address lookup service comes to its rescue. It helps them auto-fill the entire address immediately. Thus, you don’t risk losing customers because of such minor problems.
Batch Address Lookup USPS
Often, you would need to update your existing mailing lists. Therefore, you need bulk address verification solutions for post-entry lookups. It enables you to add missing information to your lists, confirm your address accuracy, and make the necessary changes in one go.
Luckily, PostGrid does not have minimum or maximum USPS address lookup limits. So, you can verify any number of addresses simultaneously.
Some people refer to mailing address lookup as fuzzy matching. It is because the fuzzy logic helps them to solve the following problems in their mailing lists:
- Typing errors
- Spacing issues (extra or missing spaces)
- Capitalization problems
- Incorrect 5-digit and ZIP+4 codes
- Missing address elements
- Swapped words or address lines
- Incorrect state abbreviations
- Incorrect secondary unit designators and directionals
PostGrid’s mailing address lookup API allows you to check for all these issues and return only valid lists which are ready to mail.
Partial Address Lookup
You don’t always need to verify the full delivery address. The partial address lookup USPS tool lets you validate a few elements of your lists. For example, you can use it to add missing city names or ZIP+4 codes to your lists.
The good news is that you don’t need to determine which elements need verification. PostGrid’s address validation service can do the job on your behalf and make the required edits.
Type-Ahead and Drop-Down Address Lookup USPS Services
These USPS address lookup by name tools are similar to point-of-entry verification. Type-ahead address verification is helpful for users to auto-fill addresses while typing. The tool shows them their complete addresses when users start to enter their apartment numbers or street names. All users need to do is accept the suggestion and move ahead.
Similarly, drop-down verification provides a list of suggestions for every address element.
For example, you can select from among all the states or get a list of street names by typing a ZIP code. Here’s an example from the USPS address lookup page:
How Does PostGrid’s USPS Address Lookup API Help You Increase Mailing Accuracy?
We offer several more features that facilitate mailing address lookup for companies of all sizes and shapes, like
- Geocoding: You can get the geographical coordinates of any address using geocoding. PostGrid uses rooftop geocoding to capture your customers’ accurate addresses for mailing. It also allows you to map your database, helping you make specific decisions.
- International address lookup: PostGrid also provides international address verification for 245+ countries. Hence, you may expand your business beyond borders and mail items anywhere in the world. Our address validation API standardizes your lists according to the destination country’s guidelines.
- Multiple deployment options: You can integrate our API into your CRM or website for on-site, real-time address lookup USPS. Or you may install the software on your device and verify addresses whenever needed. Either way, PostGrid helps you perform all types of lookups to guarantee a 99.99% deliverability ratio.
- 24 x 7 customer support: Our customers need not worry about the USPS address lookup API integration because our team is always ready to help. Furthermore, you don’t need technical expertise to employ our services and can get started within minutes.
- Data security: PostGrid complies with HIPAA, PIPEDA, SOC-2, and other data privacy laws in the US. Our mailing address lookup solutions are in-built to keep your data secure and confidential. You can also restrict access to a few users and change the permission settings according to your preferences.
- Analytics and reports: Companies can access their analytics by logging into their PostGrid account and navigating their dashboard. It lets them check their mailing limits, save contacts, and build new lists. You can use these reports to plan your future activities and manage budgets more systematically.
Businesses are constantly looking for best practices to operate efficiently and increase revenue, irrespective of their field. Using the USPS address lookup tool is one such method, enabling companies to transform the way they work.
It is an all-in-one way to manage their address data, ship accurately, and improve customer experience. Also, it helps boost their brand image and increase visibility, increasing customer acquisition and retention.
You can gather better customer reviews and enhance publicity by mailing orders on time and providing stellar customer support. PostGrid’s mailing address lookup service assists you in achieving these goals at affordable costs.
Also, it is CASS-certified, ensuring that USPS can deliver your items quickly and effortlessly. We also use other products discussed in this blog, like NCOA, SuiteLink, DPV codes, etc., to enhance your data quality.
Do you want to verify your lists using PostGrid’s effective address lookup USPS solutions? Talk to a representative to get started today!