Mapline – The One-Stop Software for No-Nonsense ZIP Code Mapping
Why You Should be Using a ZIP Code Boundary Map in Your Business
How Important is ZIP code mapping? You may think that ZIP codes are just some random 5-digit numbers. Wrong! In fact, ZIP codes are so important that it affects not only our locations but even businesses as well. How? The truth is, organizations big or small depend largely on a US ZIP code boundary map for different reasons.
Top reasons are:
- Location analysis
- Performance management
- Disaster planning
- Delivery route enhancement
- Economic development
To get the answers as to how a ZIP code affects a business, first, we may want to get a clear background about US ZIP codes.
The Road That Leads To ZIP Code Mapping
Zip codes were first used in 1963. The word “ZIP” came from “Zone Improvement Plan.” They were introduced to enhance mail delivery. By using ZIP codes, mails travel faster or “zipping along” more conveniently. Currently, there are 41,683 ZIP codes in the US.
Each of the 5 numbers represent something. The first digit represents one of the 10 general geographic areas of the US from 0 to 9. The areas are organized from the Eastern part to the Western part of the US.
Allocations of the first digit of a ZIP code are as follows:
- 0 for CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, Fishers Island in NY, PR, RI, VT, VI,
- 1 for DE, the rest of NY, PA
- 2 for DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV
- 3 for AL, FL, GA, MS, TN
- 4 for IN, KY, MI, OH
- 5 for IA, MN, MT, ND, SD, WI
- 6 for IL, KS, MO, NE
- 7 for AR, LA, OK, TX
- 8 for AZ, CO, ID, NM, NV, UT, WY
- 9 for AK, AS, CA, GU, HI, MH, FM, MP, OR, PW, WA
Meanwhile, the second and third digits represent the regional areas. Finally, the last two digits represent specific post offices or postal zones.
ZIP Code Types
ZIP Codes are divided into 4 types:
- Military – for US military
- PO Box – for PO Boxes only, not for any other type of delivery
- Standard – for all other ZIP Codes
- Unique – these are specialized ZIP codes that are assigned to buildings, businesses, government agencies, and universities that receive high volumes of mail
Indeed, ZIP codes came a long way from then to now. When we dig deeper about how ZIP codes zipped along our lives, we may conclude that they shape our lives one way or another. Snail mail may have taken a back seat to give way to modern technology. However, modern technology opened a lot of avenues where ZIP Code mapping became an essential part in different analyses. The 5-digit ZIP codes are way more than just random numbers after all. And they are useful more than ever!
Some Popular Uses of ZIP Code Mapping Today
Delivery services like DHL, FedEx, USPS, and United Parcel Service, all require ZIP Codes for optimal internal routing of package deliveries.
For many research and planning purposes, ZIP code mapping is often used. Statistics about health, economy, population, housing, education, food, and even buying behaviors, use ZIP code boundaries for their analyses.
Zip code boundaries were often used in direct mail marketing campaigns. They are also used by insurance companies and banking institutions to analyze risk factors. They also come in handy for people who are looking for real estate properties.
Now that we have established some areas using ZIP code mapping, let’s now turn our attention to reasons why you SHOULD be mapping ZIP codes.
Zipping Along Mapline’s ZIP Code Mapping Software
As the frontliner in ZIP code mapping, Mapline provides hundreds of territory boundaries that are available to use. In just a few clicks, users can just overlay territory boundaries to their maps. Available territories include US 5-digit and 3-digit zip codes.
Different industries are into mapping zip codes with Mapline because not only can they create a map of US ZIP Codes in less than a minute. Mapline also provides a handful of advanced analytical tools for ZIP Code boundaries and data analysis.
Here are some ways where Mapline can be further help in ZIP Code mapping.
1. Site Analysis
ZIP Code mapping has often been a vital tool for many businesses – from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. It is used primarily for site analysis. Location is the heart of any business so before putting up a physical store, a business primarily wants to analyze the target location in different angles. The top concern is if the location is accessible to people from all walks of life – by foot, by bus, by public transportation, etc. Mapline’s ZIP Code mapping software allows you to create a ZIP code boundary map and visualize the most lucrative sites for your business.
A ZIP Code boundary map is also used in real estate. Properties lucrative to sales are often those that are near schools, hospitals, public parks, malls, and many more. With Mapline, you can also add multiple layers of data – population, hospitals, schools, malls – you name it! Then, simply filter your data based on your customized analysis.
A real estate agent would want to make a ZIP Code boundary map to present to a family of four. He can present which houses are up for sale that are near schools or hospitals.
2. Marketing/Promotional Strategies
A huge part of marketing strategy is promotion of products or services. Companies should think of promotion strategies that need to satisfy local demands. So instead of promoting products that cater to general consumers, a business should be thinking more on basing their promotions to cater to the most popular market group. Consumer data plotted on a ZIP code boundary map reveals patterns and trends that may be specific to that ZIP Code area alone. Mapline can help you capture the buying patterns of different market groups through data filters and segmentation.
3. Planning for Expansion and Business Growth
One great way on how Mapline’s ZIP Code Mapping Software assists in planning for expansion and business growth is through heat mapping. Because of its gradient colors, it takes your focus to specific areas where your business may thrive. On the other hand, it also points out areas to avoid, as well as areas with opportunities. The good thing about heat mapping ZIP codes is that the visualization is so powerful that it will significantly change the way you look at your data.
Heat mapping ZIP Code territories are also used to spot competition. Especially for start-ups, they would want to make sure that they are the only one, if not with minimal competition, that provides unique services in a target location. By being the first business in that area, the business enjoys the lion’s share of the market. As the first one of its kind, the business will forever be known as “the original ” especially when more businesses that offer the same services will come after. An established brand loyalty will be its top benefit. And we all know what comes after… an established name that can expand its branches to other ZIP Code areas.
Heat maps are also used to study the crime rate by ZIP Code area. When thinking about expansion and business growth, crime rate statistics is an important factor. Needless to say, risks spell all over the place if there is a high rate of crimes in the area. The statistics is also used when considering delivery services in those areas.
4. Improve Delivery Routes
We mentioned earlier on how a ZIP code boundary map is being used by delivery companies and courier services. But ZIP Codes can also be used for optimized routing. Users of Mapline’s advanced route planning software reap a lot of benefits including:
- Save time
- Cut expenses
- Planned work schedules
- Exceptional customer service
- Equalize loads for drivers
- Maximum efficiency
- Build service/stop times
Ready to Get ZIP Code Mapping a Try?
Start by following these 10 easy steps:
- Create a Mapline account and login.
- Click the orange “Add New Items” button.
- Select “New Map” on the drop down arrow.
- Give your map a name and click “OK.”
- Click the “Add” button from the left sidebar.
- Select the “Territories” option.
- Click “From Mapline’s Repository.”
- From the “Territories” select “U.S. ZIP Codes.” Use the search bar for quicker results.
- Select how you want your boundaries to be colored in “Fill Color” (Random Colors, Uniform Color, Dynamic heat map colors, or Custom colors from spreadsheet).
- Click “OK.”
Explore Other Features of Mapline’s ZIP Code Mapping Software
Complete your Mapline experience with ZIP Code mapping with these features:
- Color-Code Territories
- Heat Map Territories
- Territory Reports
- Share Reports
- Embed a Map
- Territory Labels
- Create Charts
- Group Pins with Segments
- Generate Dot Density Maps
Sign up now with Mapline’s ZIP Code mapping software and explore more advantages of ZIP Code mapping that provides valuable insights for your business.