What are Postcodes in the UK and internationally?

A UK postcode (also known in various countries as post code, postal code or zip code) is an alpha-numeric code which sits at the end of a postal address for the purpose of sorting mail.

How does a Postcode work?

The first part of a postcode - the "outcode" - identifies the postal district, i.e. SW is South West London. The second part - the "incode" - depicts the delivery points within that postal district that the local Royal Mail Delivery Office serves. There are about 15 delivery points per postcode.

Why are Postcodes important?

A postcode helps you find a full address. With a full and accurate address, you can send post to the correct location, helping you to:

  • Save time and money by reducing inaccurate mailings
  • Improve customer satisfaction by communicating with them quickly.
  • Build brand perception by removing embarrassing errors.
  • In terms of Data Quality, postcodes can help by ensuring fast and accurate capture of both UK and international addresses through Address Capture Tools.

How can Postcode validation help you?

Discover how the Norfolk Council use address capture, driven by Postcodes, to drive savings by cleaning and formatting their historical data.

Explore the case study