The type of postcode list you need to make depends on why you're creating the list in the first place. Here are a few examples of why you would need to make a UK postcode list:
- Data collection or data cleansing: when collecting data to mail customers you need to ensure your address list is up to date
- Advertising: selecting a target area for a leafletting, an outdoor advertising marketing campaign or Google Adwords campaign
- e-Commerce: validating delivery addresses entered on a website
In this post, we have selected a few different ways you can assemble your UK postcode list and what purpose each provider is best for.
Best for: e-Commerce address validation
PCA Predict (formerly Postcode Anywhere) - Check it out
PCA uses the PAF database behind its address validation software. This database can update up to 5k times per day. This is because of new property developments, house name changes, demolished entries or a name change in an address. Using software on your site means that you don't have to be responsible keeping up with these changes. All you need is to add a PCA tag to your website.
It also has other features including Fuzzy matching, which can suggest address locations even when typos are entered in the address bar. It also uses quick address look ups to save the user time when entering their details.
Best for: Free UK postcode list exporting
Doogal - Check it out
Doogal has several free postcode lists which can be downloaded in several ways including by postcode area, district, sector, country, region or government administrative area. The data can be downloaded as a CSV, MDB, AccDB or KML for use in Google Earth or other mapping programs.
The list has been created using data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. As a result, it doesn't have data for the Isle of Man, Guernsey or Jersey. As the ONS is only updated every 3 months it's not suitable for anyone needing the most recent data immediately.
Best for: Advertising
TravelTime postcode exporter - Check it out
Yes, we've recommended ourselves, but here us out. We make a tool that allows you to create an area such as 'All locations within 15 minutes drive from my new retail store' and export postcode units, sectors and districts. Learn more about the differences here of these three types of postcode here. Rather than exporting by radius.
Using journey time rather than distance means you can select the mode of transport your customers are most likely to use and create a catchment area. The results will be more personalised than just using a simple radius because it doesn't assume your target audience can travel in straight lines. If you don't need it to be as granular as travel times to each postcode, it also calculates the percentage of the postcode that is covered by your created travel time shape. Using these regions you can target Google Adwords campaigns by postcode district such as NW5.
Best for: Data collection
PAF: The Royal Mail's Postcode Address File Database - Check it out
You can become a direct end user for the official Royal Mail postcode database to ensure your internal data is up to date. The database includes 1.8 million postcodes covering over 29 million addresses including residential and business properties. It's one of the most widely used postcode solutions with 37,000 UK businesses using it.
Datasets can be updated daily, monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually and can be downloaded and used online or in a DVD format.
Check out our post on postcode mapping to get a visualisation of which postcodes you'd like to target. Have we missed your favourite postcode list? Let us know below.