Articles

 

How Can I Make My List SmartyStreets-Friendly?

Question

I'm compiling a list of addresses to have it processed by SmartyStreets' list processing tool. What can I do to make the address validation as smooth as possible?

Answer

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will make everything work better:

Recognizable Column Headers

To make it really easy on you (and us) use column names that are clear and obvious.

These are very good: street, street2, city, state, zipcode

These are less than very good and won't work: c001-s-street, c001-s-street2, c001-s-city, c001-s-state

Correct Formatting

If you are exporting or saving from a spreadsheet application like Excel, you likely won't have any issues. However, if you are generating your own .csv file from custom code it's not uncommon to have formatting problems. The thing to remember is to be sure that records that don't have information in a particular field are not forgotten. For example, consider the following fields taken from a sample .csv file:

Sequence,First Name,Last Name,Firm Name,Address1,Address2,City,State,ZIPCode

Its very likely that not all of your records will have information for each and every field. If a record is missing information in a field you still need to account for its not having one. Like this:

1,SHERRIE,SMITH,,11804 Nicholas Dr,,Fredericksburg,VA,22407-7365

You'll notice that not only didn't this record not have a Firm Name but also was missing Address2 information. You can see that it was accounted for by entering commas in lieu of the Firm Name and Address2. Another common formatting issue looks like this:

"51,John,Blake,JOHN'S TIRES,132 Jefferson St,,Ft Wayne,IN,46802-0001"

Did you catch the problem? There are double-quotes encapsulating the entire string telling our service that it is all one field. Make sure the quotes are removed. The tricky part is that looking at this in a spreadsheet will likely NOT reveal that there are quotes present. Try opening it in a text editor.

Keep these tips in mind when creating your file and you'll do fine. Remember, we're here if you need any help at all so feel free to ask. Just remember, that we may direct you back to this page for some reading if it's obvious that you didn't read it.