Find Out How To Address a Letter Correctly
One of the most important aspects of sending physical mail is knowing how to address a letter. Some of the common letter-addressing questions people have are:
- What is the proper letter address format?
- Do I have to put a return address on a letter?
- What is the proper way to address a business letter?
- Where does my address go on a letter?
- How many stamps do I need for my letter and where to place them?
If you’re looking for answers to these and many other questions, you’ve found the right article. Subscribe to DoNotPay to learn how to address your envelope the right way and find out how to mail letters from the comfort of your home!
Why Is It Important To Address a Letter Properly?
Post offices have strict rules when it comes to letter address formats. If you don’t address your mail the right way, you will probably have to purchase another envelope and write everything again. Addressing your mail correctly is also important because it prevents your letter from getting lost.
If you’re mailing your resume or a cover letter, the envelope will be the first thing your potential employee sees. That’s why it’s crucial that you learn how to address a letter to a business. Should you make a mistake addressing your letter, you risk leaving a bad impression, which can ruin your chances of landing the job.
A Guide to Addressing a Letter Envelope
The first step to addressing the letter is turning the envelope so that its flap (back) faces down—you should write on the front of the envelope. After that, you should:
- Write the return address in the top-left corner like this:
- First line: Title (optional) and name
- Second line: House or apartment number and street name
- Third line: City, state, and ZIP code
- Place stamps in the top-right corner
- Write the recipient’s address in the center of the envelope
Addressing a letter to a business won’t be the same as addressing mail to your friend or family member. The following table shows what recipient info you should include, depending on whether the letter is informal, formal, or addressed to an individual in a company:
|Where To Write||Addressing an Informal Letter||Addressing a Formal Letter||Addressing a Letter to a Company|
|First Line||John Doe||Mr. John Doe||Company name|
|Second Line||Street address||c/o Mr. John Doe + job title|
|Third Line||City, state, and ZIP code||Street address|
|Fourth Line||-||City, state, and ZIP code|
Letter Formatting From A to Z
Now that you know how to address the envelope, you should also learn how to format the letters (especially the formal ones).
You should start your letter by writing your info—such as your name, address, phone number, and email address—and the date of writing the letter. Under the date, you should include the recipient’s info. If you want, you can place all of these details in the header of the letter. This part isn’t obligatory when you’re writing an informal letter. When sending letters to friends and family members, people usually write only the date.
After the header info, your formal letter should include:
- A greeting—some of the appropriate formal greetings are:
- Dear Sir or Madam
- To Whom It May Concern
- Dear Mr./Ms. + last name
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Introduction—you should use the first paragraph to explain why you’re writing the letter
- Body of the letter—provide more details, but use short sentences and divide your letter into logical paragraphs
- Conclusion—make sure to thank the recipient and politely let him or her know that you expect an answer
- Closing—you can end the letter with one of these formal closings:
- Kind regards
- Yours truly
- Yours sincerely
- Signature—type your signature below the closing, but leave enough space for the handwritten signature
Informal letters don’t need to follow this format. You have the freedom to structure them however you see fit.
Does Mailing Letters Seem Like a Lot of Work? Discover Why People Still Use Snail Mail
Even though sending physical mail is bothersome, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive, snail mail is still relevant for various reasons:
- Documents that require signatures and return receipts—such as court papers, business contracts, and similar—can be sent only by mail
- Not everyone is tech-savvy enough to know how to scan documents and figure out how to send a PDF file. That’s why most people prefer relying on snail mail
- Some universities and other institutions accept applications sent by mail only
- People who wish to cancel a certain service—e.g., LA Fitness membership—can do it by mailing the cancellation form
- Exchanging personal letters with loved ones is more personal and meaningful than sending emails
Snail Mail Doesn’t Have To Be Time-Consuming! Rely on DoNotPay
Are you sick of wasting ages in front of the post office and worrying about whether you addressed the letter correctly? You should rely on DoNotPay and let us handle most of the mail-related issues for you.
Our easy-to-use app enables you to send your mail without visiting the post office. Your only task is to write your letter, upload it to our app, and answer some questions—DoNotPay will take care of everything else.
We will print your letter, choose the right envelope, address it properly, and send it to the recipient right away. These are the steps you should follow to mail your letter in under five minutes:
- Access your DoNotPay account
- Open our Send Mail product
- Enter the required info
- Upload your letter
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