In the U.S., residential addresses follow this format:
[House or building number] [Street name]
[Secondary address information]
Therefore, an example of someone's private home address might look like this:
Ms. Sarah Jane Smith
11 Torchwood Street
New York City, New York
For international addresses, each country you mail to has their own preferred formats and standards for how addresses are written out. In the UK for instance, residential addresses follow this format:
[Building name; not all addresses have this]
[County; not needed]
An example could be:
Mr. Mickey Smith
1 Cardiff Way
There are many different variations in the way addresses can be written, depending on which country you're in, which country you're mailing to, where you got the address information (a business card, a postal authority, an email signature, etc.), how recent the addresses are, and whether they have all the required parts of a complete address. All these factors contribute to potential areas of inaccuracies in address data.
Here's what you can do to verify your address data:
1) Use a USPS® address verification tool
In order to make sure you have the most up-to-date and complete address data, address verification providers partner with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for U.S. addresses. For international deliveries, the USPS partners with regional postal authorities to ensure that addresses adhere to the correct formats for those countries.
A USPS verification tool corrects and formats addresses, and completes any missing address elements. Typically, these solutions are offered for a variety of use cases.
If you want to quickly verify a list of addresses, use a list processing service. An address list processing service flags inaccurate addresses and corrects them, as well as provides a detailed breakdown of your addresses so you can see which addresses are ready to send to and which ones need attention. Typical use cases can include invitation lists for alumni reunions or weddings, or mailing lists for marketing communications.
2) Use an address verification API
An address verification API is a more technical solution compared to a list processing service. These APIs still use datasets from the USPS and other regional postal authorities to ensure the most up-to-date address information; however, these can be integrated into your existing technical environments for real-time address data management.
Address verification APIs are a more powerful and longer-lasting solution that offer automated verification and eliminate inaccuracies associated with data entry and human error.
For use cases where you want to integrate a more end-to-end, comprehensive address verification solution, look to an address verification API. Address verification APIs can be integrated into web forms, CRMs, and internal applications - almost anywhere you collect address data - in order to help capture verified postal addresses. Typical use cases for APIs include businesses who have had issues with maintaining address data quality in the past and are looking for a way to fix incoming address data in a proactive way.
Whether you're mailing out invitations, packages, marketing materials, or tax information, using a USPS verification tool or address verification API helps guarantee your deliveries get sent to the right place.
Ready to learn how Experian Data Quality can help with your address data quality?