Address Management in Germany

What you ought to know about maintaining your German addresses

Here you find useful information on maintenance, updating, cleansing and enrichment of German customer addresses.

Data Quality Solutions in Germany

The 9 postcode-zones in GermanyGeographical and postal classification

Germany is divided politically into 16 federal states, 301 rural districts and 114 urban districts.

The country is also divided into 9 postcode zones, each of which has respectively 7 to 10 million inhabitants. These postcode zones equate to 99 postal regions which have been allocated 8,300 postal codes. This classification is often used for relevant marketing decisions (e.g. selection of a target group according to postal code region or response analysis).

Street Directories

Deutsche Post’s street directory (Deutsche Post’s original postcode data) has in total over 1.2 million street names available, with all 39,000 postcodes.

You also have access to information about local authorities, districts, government districts and federal states with the official community identification number from the Federal Office for Statistics. As the data is collected, addresses are validated and then entered into your system. The addresses may also be linked to further information.

Data ProtectionData Protection

According to the German Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG), the principle of obligation to obtain consent (opt-in) is valid for the usage of personal data for advertising purposes. However, the BDSG allows for many exceptions with regards to written advertising (direct mail). The following are allowed:

a) The transparent exchange of data = naming the source of the mailing list on the top of the sales letter, if the exchange of personal data in the form of lists (e.g. mailing list of ‘direct mail clients’) for advertising purposes takes place.

i.e. The company which is advertising must name the source of the mailing list and the name of the mailing company from whom they bought the mailing list.

b) The so-called transparent usage of personal data = the advertising of cold mailings stating the name of those responsible (list owners). Hence, this regulation allows not only for recommendations and insert advertising, but also for the classical list broking activities.

The advertising company is allowed to rent out external mailing lists (including extensive selections on marketing information), if the data processing is done by a service provider, e.g. in a lettershop or a data processing service centre. Companies have access only to the addresses, if the receiver of the mailing piece responds.

The possibilities of advertising by phone, fax and email without the explicit consent of the receiver is severely restricted.

Postal Services

Postal Services - Deutsche Post DHLDeutsche Post DHL with its office in Bonn is with over 436,000 employees (of which 150,000 are in Germany) the biggest logistical and postal company in the world. In Germany, Deutsche Post is the market leader among the postal service providers.

Marketing Association

The interests of the dialogue marketing sector are represented by the Deutsche Dialogmarketing Verband (DDV, German Dialogue Marketing Association). It´s the biggest national dialogue marketing association in Europe. Its members are advertisers and service providers, i.e. agencies, address publisher, call centre, telemedia service providers, and direct mail companies. In 2011, the association had approx. 750 members.

The service providers’ solutions and services undergo a quality test (Dialogmarketing-TÜV) and if successful, receive an official DDV seal (QuLS) indicating a high level of quality and service. Businesses use this seal as an important criteria in estimating the seriousness and professionalism of a dialogue marketing provider. Deutsche Post Adress is a member of the DDV and has the QuLS seal.

Analysis / Test your German addresses

A test to check the quality of your customer addresses is available and highly recommended! The accuracy of the addresses is checked to see if the addresses are deliverable and up to date. A detailed report is supplied, which allows for strategic recommendations for the optimisation of the quality of the data.

Check your addresses

Quick Info Germany

  • Inhabitants: 82 million
    (world ranking 15 of 193)
  • Households: 39.2 million
  • Companies: 4.6 million
  • Cities > 100,000 inhabit.: 80
    (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart …) 
  • GDP per capita: $ 40,875
    (world ranking 16)
  • Human Development Index:
    world ranking 10
  • Mailing Volume: median
    (75 per head/year)
  • Mail Order Affinity: very high
    (72% of the pop., Europe: 52%)

Any questions?Questions on addresses in Germany?