Suppose you look at the address labels affixed to the package you received in your mailbox. You'll notice that your address has now transformed into a nine-digit number with an added 4-digit extension called your ZIP+4 code.
One of the most valuable uses of ZIP+4 codes is it reduces the number of times your mail is handled and decreases the chance of a delivery error.
What Are ZIP+4 Codes, And Why Do We Have Them?
We break down a nine-digit zip code and see what these different numeric values mean for an address:
The first five digits: The beginning of a Zip Code, the five digits traditionally refer to the specific delivery area of the country of a given address.
The final four digits: ZIP+4 codes, include four different numbers that identify the postal carrier's geographical segment within a zip code delivery area. It's important to remember that the ZIP+4 codes are only appended to the original 5-digit USPS Zip Code after the address has been validated and standardized.
The additional four digits are essential because they help to ensure the quickest and most accurate mailing process possible. While only the first five digits of a zip code are required to send mail, you'll find that your customers will benefit from expedited delivery time stemming from the specific geographical information translated by a ZIP+4 code. AddressZen’s ZIP + 4 address lookup solution verifies US addresses to their USPS 9-digit ZIP code. When performing address verification with a ZIP + 4, the user can pinpoint an address down to a few block radius.
What ZIP+4 Means For Your Business
If you usually use a 5-digit zip code solely, you'll miss out on the numerous benefits enjoyed by businesses who leverage a ZIP+4 system, including:
1. Faster Deliveries
As noted above, the additional specified information offered by a ZIP+4 code means faster delivery for your customers. The extra information supplied traditionally reduced processing time at mailing centers, which means that a package arrives to the consumer quicker.
2. Delivery Accuracy
Whenever postal carriers have access to more information, the likelihood of a package or piece of mail landing in the proper mailbox significantly increases. The correct ZIP+4 decreases the number of times a piece of mail is handled. It means that misdelivery or error is reduced substantially as a result.
3. Access To Current Information
Since ZIP+4 codes are based on delivery routes, this information can change as frequently as once every two months. Fortunately, this is where an address validation API will come in handy and allow you to stay on top of updated and accurate user data.
4. Decreased Costs
Any time mail gets sent to the wrong address, your business may take on the costs associated with:
• Initial shipment costs
• Product replacement
Implementing a ZIP+4 code system into your business's method of labeling and processing packages will serve as a preventative measure that safeguards your business against lost revenue associated with incorrectly delivered mail.
5. Increased Customer Satisfaction
In today's digital-forward society, online purchases have become a part of most people’s everyday routines. Customers expect a seamless shopping experience and the expectation for fast and accurate delivery is at an all-time high. With ZIP+4 codes, your customers will enjoy more immediate delivery with a reduced chance of undelivered mail.
If you have a business, include the ZIP+4 codes in your 5-digit zip codes. It will make your life much easier, more efficient, and cost-effective.