Melissa Data now verifies "off the beaten track" addresses

US data quality specialists Melissa Data has launched a new addition to its address management services – allowing the verification of addresses that are not on the US Postal Service database. The company said more than 5m addresses in the United States are “off the beaten track” and therefore likely to receive their mail via Post Office boxes – but may be serviced by delivery companies other than USPS.

The new DeliveryPlus option within Melissa Data’s cloud-based address verification services will mean these actual street addresses are not labelled “bad”, particularly for example when online purchases are being made.

However, although it will then be up to mailers to find out which delivery company will serve the address, the new service should still help to save on returned shipping fees.

Greg Brown, director of marketing at California-based Melissa Data, told Post&Parcel that there had been a lot of questions from customers about addresses that could not be verified using the USPS National Address file, particularly for rural addresses.

“We’ve seen that a lot, especially from larger ecommerce companies,” he said. “If consumers go to the shopping cart and it’s only pinging the USPS database, it comes back as a bad address – but they can get deliveries sent there.”


Brown said the new service was developed using various information sources, including property deeds, which were then cross-referenced to ensure validity.

Along with mailing companies, Melissa Data said the new service would also help companies that use address verification when deciding whether to provide services like credit or mobile phone coverage to customers.

He said once an address is verified as an actual valid household or business, the next step for mailers would be to find out which delivery firm services that location. “They’ll be able to ping their carriers as to whether they deliver to that address, and the carriers know based on their available routes,” he said.

Melissa Data, which has around 5,000 clients, provides the new DeliveryPlus service alongside services that include real-time or batch address verification including CASS certification, with options that can add missing apartment numbers or zip codes, or find alternatives that closely match addresses found to be invalid.

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