Last updated on May 26th, 2023 at 02:52 pm
In an ideal world, the addresses in your database would always be correct. In reality, however, many of them aren’t. Information gets mistyped by your customers or team members, fraudulent addresses get submitted, people change jobs, and in the US alone, there are over 3 million moves per year. According to a 2015 study by the Data Quality Index, up to 40% of marketing leads have bad or incomplete data.
Address validation products are cloud-based applications that put the power of the world’s postal systems right in your contact data applications. They link directly to continually up to date postal address information to ensure that your addresses are correct, true, and up to date. They have been game-converting for patron-dealing with businesses, and this article will discover what they do and how they do it.
What does address validation do?
Address validation applications take contact mailing addresses used in your business, such as leads, prospects, or customers. In real-time, these products then validate, correct and append these addresses to provide deliverability and compliance with postal standards. For example:
- Using up-to-date postal data, such as interfacing with the United States Postal Service or Canada Post, to validate an address as accurate and deliverable.
- Correcting many common spelling and syntax errors – such as changing “Santa Barbara” to the correct “Santa Barbara” or adding a missing comma – to make a mistyped address accurate.
- Appending missing data such as ZIP or ZIP+4 codes in the US, or Canadian postal codes.
- Formatting addresses in the correct format required by postal or delivery services.
How do address validation tools work?
Perhaps the most important feature of modern address validation applications is that they put contact data quality on autopilot, by processing address data as it is entered or used in business applications.
Address validation is generally implemented using API interfaces that connect with the most popular business automation platforms, such as CRM, marketing and order processing applications. This gives you near real-time validation of addresses at the point of data entry, for all of your contact data touch points. In addition, batch processing options are also available for cleaning and updating existing address databases.
How are these tools used?
There are many mission-critical business applications for address validation. Some of the more common ones include:
Ensuring deliverability and billing accuracy.
Missed shipments and invoices deliver a excessive charge for businesses – not simplest in phrases of time, expenses, and misplaced merchandise, however additionally in phrases of purchaser pleasure and reputational harm. Address validation ensures that shipping and billing addresses are correct, true and updated.
More accurate marketing and direct mailing.
A key rationale for the growth of address validation has been reducing the waste that results from mailing to incorrect, duplicate or fraudulent addresses. For nearly every business client nowadays, preventing these unwanted mailings – along with the human costs of managing bad contact data – has become an important cost and competitive factor.
Address validation can ensure that your business is meeting address-based requirements, such as compliance with lending regulations or other geographically-based legislation.
Fraudsters often provide bogus addresses, particularly for online transactions. Address validation can flag addresses that don’t exist or don’t correspond to other information such as a customer’s IP address.
For most applications, this is one of the key benefits of address validation – it much more than pays for itself. Aside from the issues mentioned above, regularly validating addresses and maintaining accurate address databases leads to reduced cart abandonment, fewer customer complaints, more accurate business intelligence, and better ROI with customers and prospects.
Sample use cases for address validation
There are a extensive variety of use cases for address validation, depending on the nature of ways touch information is used. Here are only some examples:
- Validating addresses at the point of data entry, to ensure accurate address capture
- Cleaning existing contact databases prior to a marketing campaign, to mitigate changes since addresses were captured
- Combining address validation with address autocomplete on the shopping cart or data entry forms, to reduce the possibility of customer errors
- Suggesting more accurate addresses, including ZIP+4 codes, at the time of customer data entry to facilitate postage savings
- Creating address barcodes to help identify duplicate addresses that may have been entered in different formats
- Determining whether an address is a private mailbox (PMB) associated with a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA)
- Flagging addresses in regions with stricter data privacy regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
A more subtle but important point is that address validation capabilities are often an entry point to a wealth of business intelligence based on accurate contact data. As a result, these capabilities are often bundled as part of more advanced contact data quality products, such as demographics, geolocation, lead validation, and more.
Did you know?
Here are a few a laugh information approximately address validation that you might not have been aware about:
Address formats are global.
In the United States, addresses generally have street numbers, street names, and street types – such as 140 Smith Street. By comparison, address formats in the Czech Republic often require the name followed by the number, such as Smith 140. Good address validation tools have the capability to ensure that addresses conform to each country’s postal standards.
Language support is important.
In countries such as Canada, which is bilingual in English and French, a good address validation tool will detect the incoming language of an address and returns the validated address in the same language and proper postal format for Canada Post. Likewise, for many languages, correct addresses require support for things like accents, diacritical marks and special characters.
Address validation is key to obtaining value-added information.
In the US, for example, address validation applications can also provide critical USPS data associated with an address, such as Delivery Point Validation (DPV) to ensure address deliverability, Residential Delivery Indicator (RDI) to flag residential versus business addresses for greater postal discounts, and Delivery Barcode Digits to create barcodes that can lower your postage costs and help flag duplicate addresses.
Years ago, businesses simply accepted a certain percentage of bad address data, because detecting these issues in real-time was expensive and impractical. Today, however, cloud-based address validation tools combined with continually updated postal data have completely changed the game. Nowadays contact data quality is an important competitive factor for most businesses, and is increasingly a necessity in a world of growing compliance regulations.
In the future, these tools are continuing to build out their global coverage and levels of location accuracy, making business contact data a more valuable asset than ever. It’s an exciting time to be in this field, and even more and better capabilities are yet to come.Spread the love