How to Address an Envelope

Introduction: How to Address an Envelope

Although email, text message, and phone calls have become more prominently used, addressing an envelope is still a vital skill. To ensure mail arrives to the recipient in a timely manner, or can be sent back if necessary, an envelope needs to be addressed properly.


An envelope large enough to fit what is being sent

Step 1: Return Address

The first step in addressing the envelope is to ensure it is free of writing and is large enough to fit what is being sent. In the upper left corner is where the return address should be, the return address is not a requirement on all types of mail. However, not including a return address prevents the item from being returned if it is undeliverable. The return address should include the name of the person or company the letter is being sent from on one line, the full address of where the letter is being sent from on the line underneath, then finally the city, state, and zip code on the next line down.

Step 2: Recipient's Address

The recipient’s address will be in the same format as the return address. This is what will be in the middle of the envelope and will starting with the recipient’s full name, company name (if applicable), followed by their street address, city, state, and zip code on the next line down.

Step 3: The Stamp

The final step in addressing an envelope is to add the stamp or postage in the upper right corner.

Step 4: Send the Mail

Correctly formatting an envelope can help ensure it will arrive at the recipient as quickly and efficiently as possible. Whether you're doing business through the postal service or mailing someone a love letter, you need to know the proper way to address the envelope.

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