How to address your UK mail correctly

Why is it important to use correct addresses?

It is important to address mail and goods correctly to ensure they get delivered to the correct address first time. Mail which is not addressed correctly may take longer to process or be returned to the sender, which delays delivery and often upsets your customers.

Who specifies what address format is best?

Royal Mail is the UK's postal authority and requires a certain standard of address formatting to ensure their processing of mail is efficient.

How should an address be formatted?

Some examples of various addresses in their correct format are as follows:

Business address with dependent locality
Information Example
Addressee's name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation Allies Computing Ltd
Building Name Manor Farm Barns
Name of thoroughfare (street) Fox Road
Dependent Locality (large villages) Framingham Pigot
Post Town (printed in capitals) NORWICH
Postcode (printed in capitals) NR14 7PZ

Note: a county is not part of a postally correct address.

Other elements which can be added to this format are:

  • Department
  • Sub-Building Name
  • PO Box Number
  • Double Dependent Locality (small village)
  • Dependent Street (a business park or cul-de-sac)
PO Box address (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee's name Mr A N Address
Company/Organisation ADD Ltd
Department IT Department
PO Box Number PO Box 789
Post Town (printed in capitals) LONDON
Postcode (printed in capitals) W5 5YZ
Address with no street (made up address to show correct formatting)
Information Example
Addressee's name Mr A N Address
Premise Manor Farm
Post Town (printed in capitals) COUNTRYLAND
Postcode (printed in capitals) XY14 2LG
Address with house number and street
Information Example
Addressee's name Prime Minister
House number with thoroughfare (street) 10 Downing Street
Post Town (printed in capitals) LONDON
Postcode (printed in capitals) SW1A 2AA

Who will benefit from formatting addresses correctly?

Any business who collects customer address data over the phone, online, in the post, or who performs direct mailings, can benefit from addressing their mail correctly. Individuals sending personal post and packages will also benefit.

What are the benefits of using addressing tools?

For businesses:

  • Improves your record keeping so that customers address details are kept accurate and up-to-date
  • Consistent format and ready for any mail shots you send out - nobody likes to receive badly addressed mail
  • Speeds up address collection, saving you time
  • Website purchase processes are easier and shorter, increasing online sales and conversion rates
  • Increases the number of goods that get delivered first time
  • Reduces the number of undelivered/returned items and associated costs and time
  • A professional image of your company is presented to your customers

For individuals:

  • You can be confident that you have prepared your mail as best you can ready for Royal Mail processing to help it get to the correct place, first time. This means you won't have to pay to send it out again.

Products to help you address your mail correctly

Explore our products and try them out for free:

Lists of address data tailored to your specific requirements
See our address data extracts and tell us what you need →

Postcode and address finders for your website, app or computer
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Software to clean and correct the addresses in your database
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