Good Address In, Bad Address Out?
There are a number of reasons you should consider having your mailing addresses checked before they reach your customer contact database. Don’t assume that once your addresses are accurate and conform to Canada Post standards that those same addresses won’t change sometime later on. On average month over month Canada Post’s address database changes by 1-2%. Once you start compounding those changes over the year out of 100 addresses that were entered perfectly at the beginning of the year, over 10 of them might be invalid by the end of the year.
It doesn’t mean validating addresses at time of entry is meaningless. The most important reason for using an address management routine at the time the address is being captured is that you have opportunity to request clarification if the address isn’t found to conform to Canada Posts records. Just take cities for example. With names like Guelph (pronounced Gwelf), Etobicoke (pronounced “Etobicoh”) and The Pas (pronounced “The Pah”), there is a pretty good chance that someone taking the address vocally will make an error. And if your addresses are being captured offshore you can only begin to imagine how slim the chance the city will be captured correctly.
Luckily a number of the changes Canada Post address validation makes are simply corrections to their own database such as taking an apostrophe out of WALKER’S LINE or writing the long (or short) form of a street name such as HWY 64 from HIGHWAY 64. If nothing else is wrong with an address, these simple changes will easily be caught when you run a good address validation and correction software. If there are other things wrong with the address, even if they seem subtle to the human eye, they may prevent the software from being able to make an otherwise easy change.
The best address management strategies involve ensuring address additions and changes completely conform to Canada Post address verification standards going in AND involves a continuous regular batch update process on addresses already stored in your database. The best address management software can provide you with the means of doing both.