A very common task is sending items through the mail. However, you’ve got to make sure you’re formatting the letter correctly so it gets to your desired destination.
Make sure you are writing only on the front of the envelope. The back of the envelope is where it opens to insert the letter.
It is recommended to use a pen or print directly on to the envelope as pencil can be erased. Pencil can be used, but beware.
Envelope / Letter image example
Step 1 – Add the Return Address
The return address is needed in case the letter could not be delivered. It will be sent back to you if the mailing address is incorrect. Add this at the top-left of the envelope Include the following in the return address in this order:
- Your name
- First line of your address – this is the street address or PO box
- Second line of your address – this is the city, state, and zip/postal code
Step 2- Add the mailing address
The mailing address is the location or business you want to send the letter to. Add this in the middle of the envelope. Include the following in the mailing address in this order:
- Name of the contact or business you are mailing (if you do not know the contact, you can use ‘To Whom it May Concern’
- (Optional for business mailings) Attention line – this is if you need to have the letter directed to a specific contact or department. Format with ATTN: or c/o
- First line of the address you are sending to – this is the street address or PO box
- Second line of the address you are sending to – this is the city, state, and zip/postal code
- If you are sending to another country, add the country here. Do not include if the letter is not leaving the country (such as mailing from the USA to the USA).
Step 3 – Stamp / postage
Add the correct stamp (also known as postage) to the top right of the envelope.
- The correct postage is determined by how much your letter weighs. Most standards letters only require one stamp (at the current postage rate)
- Check with the post office if you are concerned about the correct postage
- Do not write over the stamp as it will become invalid.
- See the US Post Office for current rates and postage calculator: https://postcalc.usps.com/