What is address formatting?
Address formatting is essential to ensuring your mail and parcels get to its premise without delay. Incorrect formatted addresses, whether local or international, can cause issues like slower processing, getting lost or being sent to the wrong address, or even being returned back to the original sender which upsets recipients and customers.
On the other hand, the more correctly formatted your address fields are, the faster and more reliable your mail and parcels will be delivered.

What address format is the best?

If you are in the UK, then formatting your address fields to Royal Mail’s standards will be required. Below are examples of how a UK address should be displayed and formatted for postage and mailing.

Standard residential address with house or building number and street

Information Example
Addressee / Contact Name Ian McSheerman
House Number & Street (Thoroughfare) 20 Prince Street
Post Town London
Postcode SW4 0SB

Standard residential address for apartment or flat

Information Example
Addressee / Contact Name Ian McSheerman
Apartment / Flat Number Flat 16
Building Name (Premise) Hector House
Street (Thoroughfare) Old Bethnal Green Road
Area Bethnal Green
Post Town London
Postcode E2 0SB

PO Box address

Information Example
Addressee / Contact Name Ian McSheerman
Company / Organisation Melissa Data
Department (Not Necessary) IT Department
PO Box Number PO Box 522
Post Town LONDON
Postcode E1 5AA

Standard business address (example 1)

Information Example
Addressee / Contact Name Ian McSheerman
Premise (If Applicable) Victoria House
Floor / Level (If Applicable) Level 2
Street (Thoroughfare) 1 Southampton Row
Area (If Applicable) -
Post Town LONDON
Postcode WC1B 4JB

Standard business address (example 2)

Information Example
Addressee / Contact Name Ian McSheerman
Premise (If Applicable -
Floor / Level (If Applicable) Floor 37
Street (Thoroughfare) 1 Canada Square
Area Canary Wharf
Post Town LONDON
Postcode E14 5AA

International address formatting

If you want to post international, the country’s local formatting rules must be taken into consideration to ensure confident delivery. There are more than 100 different address formats worldwide that differ drastically from one another. Some address elements are required for certain countries while other address elements must be omitted from others – not to mention differing placement of address details.

You can try our Address Lookup tool here which will automatically deliver a formatted and verified postal address after entering the first few strokes.

Try Address Autocompletion

Begin by typing an address into the search bar and Global Express Entry will suggest a complete, verified postal address.

Find out more about What is Address Autocomplete?

The benefits of formatting addresses correctly

Maintaining properly standardised and formatted global address data has numerous advantages for providers, establishing the basis for downstream processes like change-of-address checking (NCOA), credit and identity checks, duplicate management, and the enrichment of socio-demographic characteristics.

  • Potential postage-optimised shipments.
  • Route coding capabilities become possible.
  • Establishing a basis for (professioinal) master data management.
  • Direct marketing campaigns return higher response rates if they reach the intended customer.
  • Timely and confident deliveries the first time around, which saves costs on redeliveries.
Global Address Standardization

Melissa – The Address Experts

As the leader in address verification, Melissa combines decades of experience with unmatched technology and global support to offer solutions that quickly and accurately verify addresses in real-time, at the point of entry. Melissa is a single-source vendor for address management, data hygiene and pre-sorting solutions, empowering businesses all over the world to effectively manage their data quality.

250+ Countries & Territories
1,000,555,787+ Addresses Verified
35+ Years
10,000+ Customers Worldwide