How to address your UK mail correctly

Knowledge Base How to address your UK mail correctly

Data Quality

Labelling your mail and parcels correctly will help reduce returns

Why is it important to use correct addresses?

It is important to address mail and goods correctly to ensure they get delivered to the correct address first time. Mail which is not addressed correctly may take longer to process or be returned to the sender, which delays delivery and often upsets your customers.

Who specifies what address format is best?

Royal Mail is the UK’s postal authority and requires a certain standard of address formatting to ensure their processing of mail is efficient.

How should an address be formatted?

Some examples of various addresses in their correct format are as follows:

Business address with building number and street
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation Allies Computing Ltd
Building number with thoroughfare (street) 92 St. Faiths Lane
Post Town (printed in capitals) NORWICH
Postcode (printed in capitals) NR1 1NE

Note: a county is not part of a postally correct address.

Other elements which can be added to this format are:

  • Department
  • Sub-Building Name
  • Building Name
  • Dependent Street (a business park or cul-de-sac)
  • Double Dependent Locality (small village)
  • Dependent Locality (large village)
  • PO Box Number
PO Box address (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation ADD Ltd
Department IT Department
PO Box Number PO Box 789
Post Town (printed in capitals) LONDON
Postcode (printed in capitals) W5 5YZ
Address with no street (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mr A N Address
Premise Church Farm
Post Town (printed in capitals) COUNTRYLAND
Postcode (printed in capitals) XY14 2LG
Address with dependent locality (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee’s name Mrs A D Dress
House number with thoroughfare (street) 1 Flower Pot Crescent
Dependent Locality Furtherton
Post Town (printed in capitals) SHELBURY
Postcode (printed in capitals) SH1 1NE

Who will benefit from formatting addresses correctly?

Any business who collects customer address data over the phone, online, in the post, or who performs direct mailings, can benefit from addressing their mail correctly. Individuals sending personal post and packages will also benefit.

What are the benefits of using addressing tools?

For businesses

  • Improves your record keeping so that customers address details are kept accurate and up-to-date
  • Consistent format and ready for any mail shots you send out - nobody likes to receive badly addressed mail
  • Speeds up address collection, saving you time
  • Website purchase processes are easier and shorter, increasing online sales and conversion rates
  • Increases the number of goods that get delivered first time
  • Reduces the number of undelivered/returned items and associated costs and time
  • A professional image of your company is presented to your customers

For individuals

You can be confident that you have prepared your mail as best you can ready for Royal Mail processing to help it get to the correct place, first time. This means you won’t have to pay to send it out again.

Postcoder address lookup and validation

Postcoder address lookup API by Allies provides the fastest, most reliable way to capture accurate addresses.

Postcoder enables people to use their postcode to lookup and fill in their address. Postcode lookup is up to 80% faster than typing an address manually. Automatic address verification provides addresses that are 100% up to date and postally correct.

Find out more about Postcoder >

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