Full Address Validation Leads to Better Business Data

January 31, 2023
Address validation checks a mailing address against a database. Using validated addresses can eliminate duplicates, reduce shipping costs, and more.

Certain surprises are fun. Finding out the person in front of you at Starbucks paid for your coffee? Java-tastic! Finding out you've been shipping products to addresses that don't exist? That's a postal catastrophe.

Luckily, many shipping snafus can be prevented by using address validation software.

Address validation (or verification) is the process of checking a mailing address against an authoritative address database. If the address matches an address in the known database, it is marked “valid”—meaning it's real. If an address doesn't match, it's marked "invalid."**

Just because an address didn't validate doesn't mean it's not real.

Reasons an Address Might Be Marked Invalid

  • Imaginary address: Despite what Universal Studios wants you to believe, Hogwarts does not actually exist and Dumbledore isn't receiving your requests to enroll. Fake, hypothetical, no longer existing, or not yet existing addresses will not validate.
  • Address not registered: Some addresses won't be registered with address authorities like the USPS or utility companies yet because they're for brand-new buildings. If an address isn't in the system, it's invalid because there isn't an address to match.

In addition, millions of addresses exist in the US where the USPS doesn't deliver. You won't find these addresses in the USPS database.

If you have customers at those addresses, you need an address validation provider, like Smarty, that references the USPS database but also utilizes other authoritative private and public sources.

Download the 4 Steps to Unlocking Latent Revenue and Driving ROI with Your Address Data ebook

Choosing an Address Validation Provider

Many providers get lumped into the "address validation" category but don't fully validate or might not even offer validation.

For example, while UPS offers “street level” validation, they usually won't indicate apartment, building, or house number errors.

Another commonly considered service, Google Maps won't tell you if an address is missing an apartment number. It also won't tell you that you entered a house number that doesn't exist. The mapping tool simply provides the best guess with any entered address.

Here at Smarty, we validate every part of the address and indicate if an address is in an apartment building. Such information allows you to pinpoint addresses that might be missing components—suite or floor numbers, for example—before you're struggling with lost and returned mail, missed appointments, angry customers, and more.

Business Benefits of Address Validation

In addition to avoiding shipping issues and cranky customers, you may benefit in other ways from validating your address data.

Eliminate Duplicates The phrase “double trouble” did not originate in data management, but it might as well have. Duplicate addresses make it difficult to segment your data accurately, and can cause you to double your administrative work and expenses by sending multiple bills to the same location. And what if you have 20 versions of the same address? It happens.

Reduce Shipping Errors and Potential Fraud When it comes to accurate delivery, the third time is NOT the charm. Using address validation helps you get your deliveries right on the first try, so you're not out the cost of the item or paying a return fee to get your product back.

On another note, shipping products, bills, account information, or other mail with personally identifiable information to the wrong address could expose your customers to fraud.

Data Appending Your address validation provider may offer appended data and extra features. Data appending involves adding new information to your database that can improve your marketing campaigns, customer segmentation, and long-term planning.

Smarty, for example, focuses primarily on address validation and geocodes, both US and international. But in addition to the standardized and validated address, you'll receive over 45 data points for each address. These can include:

  • RDI (residential/commercial)
  • Climate statistics
  • Observes DST (or not)
  • Congressional district

Why does this extra info matter?

If you know who your customer is, what they care about, and where they live, you can craft a more efficient marketing campaign and increase ROI. That's just one example of many.

Want to know more about how to increase revenue with accurate address data? Download our free ebook, 4 Steps to Unlocking Latent Revenue and Driving ROI with Your Address Data.

Download the free ebook today Download the 4 Steps to Unlocking Latent Revenue and Driving ROI with Your Address Data ebook

Subscribe to our blog!
Learn more about RSS feeds here.
Subscribe Now
Read our recent posts
Understanding the Key Players in Data Governance: Roles and Responsibilities
Arrow Icon
Successful data governance requires more than just rules and policies. It requires a dedicated team of professionals with clear roles and responsibilities to effectively manage and protect the data. We recently published “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”, an ebook that you can download right now. In it you’ll find information on data governance and other important factors in the address data game. The following is an excerpt on the section about the different roles and responsibilities involved in data governance.
Data Quality: The Foundation of Successful Data Management
Arrow Icon
We recently published an ebook titled “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”. The following is a sampling of the chapter on data quality. The Value of Data Quality Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations, providing crucial insights that can drive decision-making and innovation. However, the value of data is only as good as its quality. Poor quality data can lead to costly mistakes, misinformed decisions, and reputational damage. That's why it's essential to ensure your organization's data fits its intended purpose.
The Importance of a Data Governance Framework
Arrow Icon
We're thrilled to share a sneak peek of one of the sections in our latest ebook, "Data Governance: An Executive's Survival Guide. " This guide is a must-have for anyone with a database, and we have packed it with an abundance of critical points and examples that will enlighten and entertain you. But wait, there's more! If you want to delve deeper into the world of data governance, you can download the full ebook for free. Trust us, it's chock-full of information that will make you the talk of the town (or at least the talk of your office).

The leader in location data intelligence

Ready to get started?