Everybody sends a mail to a business partner or a friend in another city. Whether it is a thank you message or a legal document, you must address the letter right before sending it out. This guarantees it gets to the right recipient as fast as possible.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to address a letter envelope before sending it out with particular reference to different scenarios and other essential details. Carefully read through.
Table of contents
Why Should You Address A Letter Envelope?
Here are just a few reasons why it is essential to know how to write an envelope:
1. To guarantee fast delivery
The package will be delivered quickly without stress if you input the correct details correctly on the letter envelope.
2. It makes it easier for the letter to reach challenging destinations
Some addresses, like military or international destinations, are not as easy to uncover. Writing clear and accurate information on your letter envelope will make it easier to not only reach the right recipient.
3. It communicates professionalism
When your receiver receives your letter or package, they will first notice the envelope. A proper envelope demonstrates your professionalism while sending business information or a package through the mail. This is especially critical when mailing business letters.
How To Address A Letter Envelope Before Sending An Email
Addressing a letter envelope isn’t nerve-racking, but an essential thing to do correctly each time you want to send a mail out. If you fail to do it correctly, you risk delaying or losing the letter entirely.
Here’s an outline of how to address a letter envelope before sending an email.
1. Write the recipient’s address
The receiver’s address should be clearly and boldly written in the middle of the envelope. The first line should be at the center, while other details in the address can come below.
Lastly, keep the address three to four lines long, and write it boldly and correctly with dark ink.
Here is how the receiver’s address is structured:
CITY, STATE ZIP CODE
Here’s a typical example:
MR. TOM PERRY
1111 MAIN STREET
BOSTON, MA 02134
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2. Write the sender’s address
If you are the sender, you need to include your address, known as the sender’s address. This will help the mailing company understand where to send the letter back to in case where it can’t be delivered to the recipient.
The sender’s address should be boldly written at the top left corner of the front of the envelope. You can also choose to write it on the back flap.
The sender’s address should be structured just like the recipient’s:
CITY, STATE ZIP CODE
Here’s a typical example:
MS. JOYCE WILLIAMS
2222 MANN STREET
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19019
3. Adding the stamp
Lastly, stamp the front of the envelope in the top right corner. A Forever stamp will do for most basic letters, but for unusually shaped or heavier shipments, you may require a different type or more than one. For further information, visit the USPS website or contact your local post office.
Tips For Addressing Envelopes
While adhering to the guideline on how to address a letter envelope may guarantee your letter reaches its destination, here are a few tips that will help ensure your letter is addressed correctly.
1. Use capital letters
When addressing your envelope, ensure it is written in all caps. This makes it easy for the machines to read and will also reduce the chances of possible errors.
2. Use a sans serif font
If you’re typing out your letter’s addresses, use a font that doesn’t have any serifs or ornate scrolls. Helvetica, for example, is simple to read for machines (and people). If you’re hand-addressing the envelope, make sure you print the address properly rather than writing it in cursive.
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3. Use the correct abbreviations
If you try to spell out every word in an address completely, you may wind up with an awkward-looking, difficult-to-read envelope. The good news is that many elements of the address can be shortened. You need to ensure that you do it right so that the post office machines can read it.
Here are the correct abbreviations for some of the most common street suffixes:
- Street: ST
- Circle: CIR
- Boulevard: BLVD
- Drive: DR
- Avenue: AVE
- Court: CT
- Place: PL
- Junction: JCT
- Way: WAY
- Lane: LN
- Loop: LOOP
In addition, there are also abbreviations for compass points, also called directionals, found in many addresses:
- East: E
- South: S
- Northwest: NW
- West: W
- North: N
- Southeast: SE
If you use the above abbreviations, the address on the letter will go from 2262 EAST LAKESIDE BOULEVARD to 2262 E LAKESIDE BLVD.
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4. Include apartment and suite numbers
If the letter s addressed to someone that resides in an apartment or works in a suite of a commercial building, ensure you include the apartment and suite numbers. Failure to do so will prevent the letter from reaching the rightful hand.
Add the information at the end of the primary address line or as another line underneath it to accomplish this.
For example, you could write the same address in either of these two ways:
3333 N MAIN ST
CLEVELAND, OH 51073
3333 N MAIN ST APT 202
CLEVELAND, OH 51073
Here are some official abbreviations for these secondary unit destinations that you can use as well:
- Building: BLDG
- Floor: FL
- Room: RM
- Apartment: APT
- Unit: UNIT
- Suite: STE
- Department: DPT
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5. Add a ZIP+4
You can add a more precise ZIP+4 code so that the letter will be distinctively addressed. ZIP+4 codes are the regular ZIP code followed by a dash and four more digits, like 90210-0803.
If you wish to find out what the correct ZIP+4 is for your letter, VISIT USPS website.
6. Remove extra punctuation
Remove periods, quotation marks, ampersands, and other forms of punctuation from your letter’s shipping process. In general, the only punctuation required is a comma after the location and periods following the prefixes of your recipients.
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How To Address Professional Envelopes
If you are mailing a letter to a professional, here are some rules you need to adhere:
1. Use proper prefixes
Always add the necessary prefixes for the recipient’s name when addressing a professional or formal letter. Unless otherwise instructed, put “Ms.” before a woman’s name and “Mr.” before a man’s.
If the recipient has an M.D. or Ph.D., use “Dr.” rather than Ms. or Mr. The same holds for any other unique identifier, such as a military rank. Make sure to do the same for your name on the return address.
2. Address the letter envelope to the company and then the individual
If you’re sending a letter to someone’s workplace, write the company’s name on top and the individual’s name on the line below it, followed by the acronym for “attention.”
It should look like this:
FOREMOST TECHNOLOGY COMPANY
ATTN: BROOKE FRASIER
3333 W 70 AVE
DALLAS, TX 75001
How To Address A Letter Envelope For Military Addresses
If you send a letter to a military base, the general structure of the address will be the same as it normally is, except for the city and state.
Instead of a city, you’ll address your letter envelope to one of these military locations:
- Diplomatic Post Office: DPO
- Fleet Post Office: FPO
- Air/Army Post Office: APO
Afterward, replace the state with one of these designations:
- Armed Forces Europe (also includes the Middle East, Africa, and Canada): AE
- Armed Forces America: AA
- Armed Forces Pacific: AP
You’ll give the military unit’s ZIP code as usual, plus a ZIP+4 to ensure timely delivery. Make a note of any proper name prefixes and ranks.
Here is an instance of what the address will look like on your envelope:
FPO AP 96543-1234
SGM LEVI HILL
UNIT 40321 BOX 455
APO AE 090111
How To Address A Letter Envelope To For International Addresses
If you send mail to a foreign address, you need to check the address prerequisites for the letter’s destination.
Typically, the format remains the same, with just a slight adjustment in the country’s name at the address’s end.
Here’s what an address for an international envelope looks like:
MS. ANNA THOMPSON
1234 SWIM STREET
LONDON WIP 6HQ
Because this is the most significant information USPS requires to sort your mail, the country’s name must be printed in capital letters on its line at the conclusion of the address.
Here are some tips for sending a letter envelope internationally:
1. Consider adding a return address
Because of the security risks that sometimes accompany international mail, the USPS recommends including a return address on your out-of-country letters. It is required if you are mailing something with a customs form or as part of a bulk shipment.
When including your return address, make it a separate line at the bottom of your address.
2. Check the postage requirements of the country
If your letter is heavy than one ounce or oddly shaped, the country you are mailing to may demand additional postage. Therefore, check the requirements before sending the letter to ensure it gets to the receiver.
3. Double-check your mailing address
Lastly, don’t be in a hurry to send the letter envelope; ensure the international address is correct. While USPS may find it easy to check local addresses, they don’t have it easy to check international addresses. To guarantee your letter gets to the correct destination, you can reach out to the recipient to confirm the address.
How Many Stamps Should I Use On An Envelope?
The easiest way to find out how many stamps to use on an envelope is by confirming from a post office. While there’s that, here are some general tips that should guide you:
For Domestic Standard Envelopes
One Forever stamp will suffice when sending a standard-size envelope within the United States. (You can use forever stamps regardless of how much stamp costs fluctuate in the future.)
If you need to mail an envelope weighing more than one ounce, you’ll need to use more stamps. You can accomplish this by purchasing extra Forever stamps, but you may end up overpaying. To circumvent this, go to the post office and request additional ounce or two-ounce authorizations.
For Domestic Irregularly Shaped Envelopes
Square-shaped envelopes are frequently unable to be processed in the same manner as conventional envelopes, so take them to the post office to see if you need to purchase unique stamps known as non-machinable stamps.
For International Mails
If you’re sending a letter envelope internationally, you’ll need a Global Forever stamp (or potentially more than one if your envelope is big). If you’re mailing an envelope to a U.S. military address, you only need a regular Forever stamp, even if the destination is overseas.
FAQs On How To Address A Letter Envelope
Titles should be mentioned when addressing formal and informal writing to professionals like judges, engineers doctors, members of the clergy, or military officers.
Addressing a letter envelope isn’t difficult, all you need to do is, input the recipient’s address and the sender’s (your) address correctly.
While it is not mandatory, using all caps to address your letter will allow the scanners to read it more precisely. This reduces errors and speeds up the delivery of your mail.
If you are sending a letter to a military base, the general structure of the address will be the same as it is normally, except for the city and state.
You need to know how to address an envelope whether you’re sending a thank you note, a legal letter, a Christmas card, or a love letter. After you’ve completed your letter and are ready to send it, address and postage your envelope to guarantee it arrives to its destination.
- indeed.com – How To Address and Fill Out an Envelope With Templates and Examples
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- zippia.com – HOW TO LABEL AN ENVELOPE (WITH EXAMPLES)