It’s very rare to use letters nowadays. The internet has taken over. With the rise of cellphones, social media, and instant messaging, people don’t rely on letters as much as they did before.
That’s why a lot of people don’t know how to send a letter or how to address an envelope. If you’re reading this, chances are you need to send a letter after all.
In this article, we’re going to guide you through the steps to address an envelope.
How to Address an Envelope
These steps are easy to follow and clear. You’ll need a pen, a stamp, an envelope, and of course your completed letter.
A quick tip: make sure you write in pen so that the writing doesn’t get erased. Also, make sure that the writing is intelligible and neat.
Put the Stamp on the Envelope
Place the stamp in the upper right-hand corner of your envelope. Don’t write over the stamp nor put the stamp on top of any writing.
If you don’t have a postage stamp or don’t know what type of stamp you should use, you could take your envelope to a postage office. The postage office will handle it from there.
If you’re going to mail a standard 1-pound, I recommend that you use a service like Forever Stamps. These aren’t affected by future stamp price changes and thus will be very handy to use all the time. If you plan on frequently sending letters, you should stack up on forever stamps.
You can identify the price of your stamps by using a stamp calculator. If you’re mailing a regular envelope, you’ll need one standard stamp.
Write Down Your Address
When you’re writing address details, you want to make sure your handwriting is very clear. Write your name in the top-left corner and your address below it.
First, write your house number, then your street name or number. Below your house number, jot down your city and state.
After your house number, put a comma followed by your state’s initials. If you don’t know the initials, you can write the full name on the next line.
If you live in an apartment complex, write your apartment number first, followed by the building’s number.
After you’re done with this, you’ll proceed as follows for both cases.
On the last line of your address, below the city and state, write your postal code. This is also known as the zip code.
In case the letter or envelope couldn’t be delivered for any reason, the post office will know where to send back the envelope. That’s what makes the sender’s address details important.
Write Down the Recipient’s Address
The recipient address details are written in the middle of the envelope. First, write the name of the recipient. Below the name, write the house number and the street number. You could spell out ‘street’ or just write it as ‘st’.
On the next line, write the city and the state. As we mentioned, you could write the state’s initials or the whole name if you want to. Because you have a lot of space, you can write the zip code beside the state’s initials.
The zip code is 4 digits. Every code has an additional 4 digits at the end. You could find this number by looking it up using your address. You don’t necessarily have to write these additional 4 digits, but they make the code more precise.
It’s not very important to include these extra 4 digits in the sender’s address. When it comes to the recipient’s address, the 4 digits could decrease the risk of confusion or mixing up the houses together.
Send the Letter
Once you write all the details, seal the envelope correctly. You could head to the nearest post office to mail your envelope. If you don’t want to go through the trouble, you can use your mailbox.
Put the envelope inside the mailbox and raise the red flag up to alert the mailman that there’s an envelope that needs to be mailed.
If you’re going to send the envelope overseas, follow the same steps, and add the country at the end. Preferably, write the country’s name on a separate line, the last one.
Just because you’re sending the envelope internationally, doesn’t mean that you should add more stamps to the envelope. USPS could assist you and provide a lot of information regarding international shipping.
Sending a Letter to Someone in a Company
There are some abbreviations that you should use when sending a letter to someone within a company. After writing the company’s name instead of the recipient’s name, write ATTN on the second line.
ATTN is written in all capital letters and stands for attention. Follow it by the person’s title and their name. After that, write the company’s address.
In order to reduce the chance of the mail getting lost in all the company’s mail, there are two phrases you could write.
You can write “Do not open in the mailroom” in all capital letters on the face of the envelope.
Another solution would be to write “Exclusive for (name of the person you’re sending the mail to and their title)”.
Sending envelopes and letters is easier than you might think. All you need are stamps, an envelope, and your completed letter!
Remember to make sure that both addresses are written correctly and accurately. If mail delivery was unable to deliver your letter, that’s how it will return back to you.
A neat-looking envelope would also leave a pleasant impression on the recipient.
It could be a good idea to send your penpal a postcard sometime. Now that you know how to address an envelope, you could try sending someone a letter.