If you add the right amount of postage, you can send nearly anything in the mail! The USPS has reported delivering objects ranging from loose potatoes and disembodied mannequin limbs to a whole tree stump! As much fun as mailing these odd items may be, the majority of the mail delivered in the United States arrives in a sealed envelope.
If someone could figure out how to address a vegetable, surely you can figure out how to correctly address an envelope! The truth is, people often make mistakes that render their mail undeliverable. Envelope labeling is a subtle art, and some methods are a lot more effective than others.
Are you seeking tips and tricks that will ensure that your next piece of mail gets exactly where it needs to go? We've gathered ten of our favorites to help you become a master of the post office! Keep reading to learn the best ways to ensure that your mail reaches its final destination in style!
1. The Need-To-Haves
To get your envelope ready for domestic letter delivery, you need to include three important things: the delivery address, your return address, and correct postage. Ideally, all three will be on the same side of the envelope. This helps streamline the process, especially when post offices use automated sorting processes.
The delivery address is the address of the intended recipient. The return address is your personal address or the address where you'd like the letter returned if it is undeliverable. In 2022, the correct postage for a first-class envelope is 58 cents.
2. Make It Artsy
As long as you include all of the 'need-to-haves' above, you can be as creative and as artistic as you'd like! Many modern letter-writers have taken to creating "mail art." They incorporate the addresses and even the postage into an image or illustration intended to delight the recipient - and every postal worker along the way!
Envelopes are excellent canvases for hand-lettering, calligraphy, or zen doodles. As long as the address is legible, it will reach its destination without an issue!
3. Use Postage Labels
If you find yourself needing to send out a lot of mail - for example, if you're sending invitations or promoting a fundraiser - hand lettering might not be the best use of your time. The easiest method for bulk mail is to get your addresses printed on custom labels so all you need to do is peel and stick!
You can get postage labels for both your return address and unique delivery addresses and save yourself double the work.
4. Try a Return Address Stamp
If you find yourself addressing envelopes often, but not necessarily in bulk, you may choose to invest in a return address stamp.
Many such stamps are self-inking. You can apply the stamp directly to your envelope. This prevents you from having to write out your return address by hand if you're planning on remaining at a single address for a while.
Likewise, you can choose to have return address labels printed in advance so that every time you need to mail an envelope, all you need to do is peel one off and affix it! Both options streamline the process.
5. Sending to a PO Box
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is formatting their delivery addresses incorrectly. This is especially true when sending an envelope to a PO box. While postal workers are clever and may be able to figure out what you meant, you shouldn't count on that!
If you are including a PO box number, it should be on its own line below the name of the recipient.
6. Sending to an Apartment
Do you know how to include an apartment number when addressing an envelope? First, see if it will fit at the beginning of the street address line. If not, write it above the street address line and below the name of the recipient.
7. Sending to an International Address
When sending mail to international addresses, look up the correct format for your specific destination country. This can vary a lot! If you're confused or unsure, an employee at your local postal service center will be happy to answer any questions you have about specific formatting requirements.
8. Size Doesn't (Usually) Matter
Whether you're stuffing an itsy-bitsy diamond high-cut envelope or a massive broad pocket envelope, the same rules apply. The only difference is that larger or heavier envelopes may need more postage to reach their destination. You can use a kitchen scale or postage scale, or bring the envelope to your local postal service center.
9. Neat Addresses Look More Professional
If you are planning to hand-label your envelope, you will want to write the address as neatly as possible. One of the biggest struggles is making sure the destination address doesn't end up slanted and sloppy. This looks unprofessional and can be harder for postal machines to read and interpret.
One trick is to use a ruler and a pencil to lightly trace lines onto your envelope. Write out the address using a pen, and make sure that the ink is completely dry. Then, you can use a rubber eraser to erase the pencil lines.
10. Skip the Punctuation
It may seem counterintuitive, but the USPS prefers that you don't include any punctuation on your envelope. This includes periods in between state abbreviations or after honorifics such as Mr. and Mrs. Keep it simple and your letter will get where it needs to be!
Envelope Labeling Is Not a Dying Art!
The hard-working postal workers who interact with your mail have seen it all, and they've become good at making sense out of all sorts of chicken scratch! Even so, learning the ins and outs of proper envelope labeling is one way to make everyone's life a little bit easier! They'll be able to quickly and efficiently sort your mail, and you'll be confident that your letter will get to its destination!
If you still need a little bit of help, FAS Postal Servies in Allen, TX is here to ensure that your envelope labels are immaculate! They are pros at printing labeled addresses for business or pleasure. Take a look at their range of high-quality printing services, including custom envelope labels!