What is a ZIP Code?

Enquire now

A ZIP Code is the postal code system used in the United States by its Postal Service (USPS). ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan and was chosen since it implies that mail will be delivered more efficiently by ‘zipping along’ if senders use the code when addressing items to mail.

How is a ZIP Code formatted?

Although it is the equivalent of the UK postcode system, ZIP Codes are formatted in a different way - consisting of five numbers. More recently ZIP Codes were further refined to include a hyphen and four additional digits to give a more specific location.

Why are ZIP Codes important?

ZIP Codes are crucial for accurate and full address data; therefore, it is important to validate them (using an address capture tool or regular bulk cleansing) for syntax and against key reference data. By ensuring the accuracy of your address data, you can:

  • Save time and money by reducing the number of inaccurate mailings you send out
  • Build brand perception and customer trust by providing a seamless experience with fewer errors
  • Create a more accurate view of your customer’s location – driving more useful and actionable insights

How can we help with your address data?

Experian Address Capture

Our address validation solutions ensure your customer addresses are entered quickly and accurately. Learn how you can start capturing accurate addresses in our guide.