Top 5 lessons from Eircode Launch

Posted by Pat Donnelly | Jul 15, 2015

As Eircode is now two days old it is time to reflect on Eircode Launch day and look at the top 5 lessons to be learned from the launch.

Lesson #1 Irish people are very attached to their address

Personally I blame the GAA.  They've engendered a fierce rivalry among the people of Ireland based solely on County borders, have they no shame?  Seriously though, a lot of people found out their Postal Address for the first time, and were very confused and/or angry.  I think Shannon Airport is a good example.  Before Eircode launched Shannon Airport was in Co. Clare, after Eircode launched Shannon Airport was...still in Co. Clare.  The last line in the An Post Postal Address is Limerick, which is more of a routing instruction than an address.  The Eircode project is about informing the public of their Eircode, and asking them to use it without changing their address, just add it as the last line.  Unless Eircode hired Conor McGregor it was never going to attempt to tell people how to write their address.

Lesson #2 Twitter is a great knee-jerk response indicator

The reaction on Twitter mirrored exactly the issues we expected at launch.  The great benefit of Twitter is reporting how people perceived issues, who they blamed, what they thought Eircode was all about, etc.  The delivery of Eircode is currently ahead of public understanding, this will have to change quickly to ensure adoption.

Lesson #3 Everyone could have designed a better postcode

Clusters, hierarchy, county based, grid based, only use numbers, etc. etc.  We've heard all the arguments before, and yes we really did look at all of the alternatives during the design phase.  We'll have to agree to disagree, because we're very confident that alternative suggestions would never have made it to launch, or would never have worked.

Lesson #4 Postcodes are sexy

One million successful Eircode lookups on DAY ONE!  That's iPhone launch type figures!  We're pretty certain that low levels of interest on day one would have been jumped on by the anti-Eircode brigade as evidence of failure, so excuse us if we count this as success.  A 5 minute spell around the 9pm news was the busiest.  And everything worked seamlessly, no problems with the site being slow or unresponsive.  Hats off to our infrastructure team for careful planning.  The usage breakdown by Country matches the expected diaspora interest.

Lesson #5 Irish Address Validation is difficult

So we've established that Irish people want to use the address that they've always used, even if it differs from how anyone else in the same property writes it, regardless of whether it exists in any "official" address database.  And we know they will take umbrage if you try to tell them they are wrong.  So how are you expected to provide an Address Capture/Address Validation solution in Ireland?  Experience.  We didn't learn anything new from Eircode Launch, we've been supplying address capture solutions for years to Irish businesses that mitigate the reported issues.  As far as Autoaddres is concerned none of the "my address is wrong in Eircode" issues raised are wrong, the customer is always right.

Providing Address Validation in Ireland is more difficult than most countries and requires a massive investment to ensure the solution will work for Ireland.  Fortunately for Irish businesses we've made that investment, because we know that anything less than the worlds most advanced address validation solution simply won't work in Ireland.

Contact Us to get Eircode Enabled.  Your customers are too important to be used to Beta test other solutions.  Trust the Eircode experts.

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