When a piece of mail that your business or organization sends out doesn’t reach its intended recipient because the address was inaccurate or incomplete, it can cost you. A reliable way to avoid this scenario is by using USPS address verification and correction software.

How address verification and correction software works

To check whether your database of addresses is accurate, address verification and correction software quickly compares the addresses you have in your system against the USPS database to confirm whether they match. If they don’t match the software will indicate any errors which you can then correct. Typical errors that will be flagged are misspelled street names, ZIP codes and state abbreviations.

Common reasons why address errors occur

In 2018, the USPS reported that almost 6 billion pieces of mail were returned to their sender due to an inaccurate or incomplete address1. Here are some of the reasons why this happens:

  • When the client fills out the form, they misspell their name, street name, Zip Code, or state short form; and/or they forgot to input their apartment number.
  • When the employee in the company’s call centre fills out the form, they misspell the client’s name, street name, Zip Code, state short form; and/or neglect to input the client’s apartment number.
  • The client’s mailing address changed, and your company wasn’t notified (e.g., in 2020 nearly 36 million address changes occurred in the US2).
  • The client’s address no longer exists.

An incorrect address can cause negative impacts

When the address on a piece of mail you’re sending out is inaccurate or incomplete, that piece of mail will be returned to you. This result can cause a variety of negative impacts for your business or organization.

  • Additional costs: when mail is returned you have to spend time figuring out why, correct the problem, and re-send it. This costs you additional time and money.
  • Customer disappointment: customers are counting on your organization to correspond with or deliver items to them in a timely fashion. When delays occur, your brand’s reliability is questioned.
  • Legal action: If your organization mails out notices that are time sensitive, such as recall notices, health care results, legal documents, etc., and their arrival is delayed due to an incorrect or incomplete address, you could face legal action.
  • Missed opportunities: if your organization uses the mail to market products or services, and that mail is reaching only a portion of your target audience, you could be losing out on potential sales.
  • Missed payments: If you pay a supplier via the mail and that payment doesn’t reach them due to an incorrect or incomplete address, you could be risking service interruptions and damage to your credit rating.

Benefits of address verification and correction software

  • Eliminate human error: automatically revises any addresses that have been entered you’re your database incorrectly by customers or employees.
  • Saves you money: mail is delivered to the right address the first time, cutting down on costly returned mail, saving you administrative time and money.
  • Improves customer satisfaction: helps ensure fast, on-time delivery reinforcing your service promise which encourages brand loyalty.
  • Compliance: time sensitive communications will arrive at your customer’s address within the time frame stipulated.
  • Potential for more marketing success: your marketing materials will reach a greater percentage of leads increasing the chances of converting more sales.
  • Maintain good credit: payments sent through the mail will arrive at your suppliers on time.

How to get address verification and correction software

There are a number of companies that sell address verification and correction software. You can review them by conducting a Google search.

If you use an online service for sending out your mail, most come with mail verification and correction software built into their platform. For example, if you use Switch, it automatically checks and validates the mailing addresses in your database against the USPS database.

Address verification software is a smart business move

Avoid the issues that can arise from your mail not arriving where it should. Invest in address verification and correction software and your mailing list will be accurate, the incidences of returned mail will dramatically drop, you’ll enjoy efficiency gains, customer satisfaction will improve, and your brand reputation will be enhanced.

 

Footnotes

1 https://www.serviceobjects.com/blog/benefits-of-accurate-addresses/

2 https://facts.usps.com/total-address-changes/