Addresses are supposed to be a unique way to find a person and the USPS must have validated and standardized addresses to ensure delivery. Therefore, it may be helpful for companies that send mail to use postal verification software. However, most business owners don’t realize that there is a difference between validation (verifying) and standardization, though most programs will offer both.
Standardization just means that the address is changed to adhere to the standards of the USPS. That means everything must be spelled out, abbreviated correctly or include a ZIP+4. While most people do not include the last four digits after the ZIP code, it makes it much easier for the post office to determine where it will go. Likewise, companies aren’t required to use it, but it will make it easier for your mail to get to its recipient.
Address validation means that the address provided to you is compared against the official database of the post office. If both of them match, they are valid. If they aren’t completely the same, the postal verification software will correct it (which is standardization), ensure it’s verified, and provide you with the valid address. You can then update your database to match, so there is no confusion in the future.
Why They’re Needed
USPS postal verification software should contain both standardization and validation options. Standardized addresses won’t guarantee deliverability or validity. Validation cannot work properly without standardization because everything has to be corrected before it can be verified.
Therefore, you can ensure that all your mailings are perfect and ready to go. This is a huge deal because humans can easily make mistakes, such as forgetting a letter, not capitalizing a word or not including the right abbreviation (such as Ave., HVN, or other options).
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