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How to Address an Envelope

How to Address an Envelope

How to address an envelope has become a kind of dilemma for most of us from the email age. We still need to write letters and mail them, especially business correspondence. This write-up will cover information related to the etiquette of letter writing.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Aug 16, 2018
Most of us are out of touch with the old and sweet art of letter writing. The art of writing a letter is not yet lost as we still write them when sending an email, but addressing an envelope etiquette has become an art. We frantically rack our brains searching for the answer related to addressing an envelope?
Case #1: Etiquette to be Followed
Writing an envelope is not a very difficult task, once you know the basic etiquette to be followed. Let's go through the basic principles that one should follow before mailing a letter.
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY
BEE SIMPLE CO. LTD
MARSH ROAD
MARYLAND-87934.

JOHN BROWN,
MY LADY PVT. LTD
PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470
  • The flap of the envelope should be facing away from you. Affix the stamp in the upper right hand corner of the plain side.
  • Write the return address on the upper left hand side corner. This includes first and last name, house number, street name, city, and P.O Box number on the next line. Basically, you have to write your mailing address.
  • Now, exactly in the middle of the envelope begin writing the delivery address. Write down the name of the person or company you want to address your letter to. The delivery address has to be parallel to the longest side of the mailpiece.
  • Below the name, begin a new line and write the P.O. box number, street name, or number.
  • You can use standard street abbreviations as well as state abbreviations.
  • Capital letters are preferable when writing delivery and return addresses.
  • The next lines that follow should contain the name of city and state. Do not forget to write the zip code.
  • You letter is ready to be mailed!
Case #2: Apartment Number
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY,
1411 MAIN ST. #1A
YOUR TOWN,
NY - 01234

JOHN BROWN,
REGAL HOTEL,
SUITE #G17
UT - 765470.
  • Follow the first three points mentioned in Case #1
  • After writing the name of the recipient, write down the street number on the next line.
  • In case of apartments, you can include the apartment number on the same line after the street name. Make sure you abbreviate the apartment number using (Apt.) or the pound sign (#) before writing the number.
  • A short apartment number or suite number should be written as Apt. # or Suite #'.
  • If you find the number is too long then write it down on the line above. Basically you are writing the address in a descending order, that is, name of person, to department or apartment, company, street, city, state, and then country.
  • Thus, start with a long apartment number and end with the name of the receiver.
Case #3: Attention
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY,
1411 MAIN ST. #1A
YOUR TOWN,
NY - 01234

ATTN: JOHN BROWN,
MY LADY PVT.LTD,
7654 PENNY ST. #G17
UT - 765470.
  • Follow the first two points mentioned in Case # 1
  • Write the name of the receiver, in the middle of the envelope preceding with the following word, 'ATTN '. You letter will now be addressed as ATTN SO and SO.
  • On the next line, write the address containing the street name, P.O. Box number, city, state, zip code.
  • You are ready to mail your To the Attention (ATTN ) envelope.
Case #4: In Care of
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY,
BEE SIMPLE CO.LTD,
MARSH ROAD,
MARYLAND-87934

JOHN BROWN,
C/O MR. THOMAS JUNE
MY LADY PVT.LTD
PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470.
  • Follow the first two points mentioned in Case #1
  • After writing the name of the receiver followed by a comma, write c/o 'SO and SO', who will be receiving the mail.
  • On the next line write down the street name, P.O. Box number, city, state, and zip code.
  • Your in care of letter is ready to be mailed.
Case #5: Married Couple
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY, FANCY APT #65,
123, MARSH ROAD,
MARYLAND-87934

MR. JACK and MRS. JILL HILL
GRACE VILLA
PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470.
The envelope writing etiquette when writing a letter to a married couple states that you should address their names in any one of the following manner.
  • Informal address: Jack and Jill Hill
  • Uses her husband's name socially: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hill
  • She prefers Ms: Mr. Jack Hill and Ms. Jill Hill
  • She uses maiden name: Mr. Jack Hill and Mrs. Jane Holt
  • Woman who outranks her husband in professional and educational degree: Dr. Jane Holt and Mr. Jack Hill
Case #6: PO Box Number
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY, FANCY APT #65,
123, MARSH ROAD,
MARYLAND-87934

MR. JACK HILL
PO BOX 505
PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470.
  • Follow the first three points mentioned in Case # 1
  • Mention the P.O. Box number after the name of the recipient.
  • On the next lines mention the city, state, and zip code.
  • You are ready to mail an envelope with a P.O Box number
Case #7: Entire Family
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY, FANCY APT #65,
123, MARSH ROAD,
MARYLAND-87934

THE HILL FAMILY
PO BOX 505
PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470.
When addressing an envelope to a family, you can write the recipient's name as follows:
  • The Hill Family
  • The Hills
Either of the two can be used when addressing an envelope to a family. In case of multiple last names, you can address them as:
  • The Hill and Brown Family
  • The Hill/Brown Family
Case #8: Business
Stamp

ANNE McKENZY, BEE SIMPLE LTD
MARSH ROAD
MARYLAND-87934.

MR. JOHN BROWN
PURCHASE DEPT
MY LADY PVT LTD
6223 ATWOOD ST
DISTRICT HEIGHTS MD 20747
When addressing a business envelope, it is important to take care that you follow the right format for delivery address.

Here is the format for writing the correct delivery address.
  • Name or attention line:
  • Company:
  • Delivery address:
  • City, state, ZIP Code:
According to USPS (United States Postal Service), the guidelines for addressing a business envelope include:
  • Ensure that the address and the postage are on the same side of the mailpiece.
  • The delivery address should be in capital letters with no punctuation.
  • Ensure that the address is readable. A 10-point simple font is the best for addressing a business envelope. You should write the address on a white paper or light paper with black ink.
  • Keep one space between city and state, and two spaces between state and ZIP Code.
  • The delivery address needs to be left justified.
  • If you cannot fit the apartment number and suite in a line, then put it above the delivery address instead of putting it a line below.
Case #9: Widow
Stamp

JOHN BROWN, BEE SIMPLE LTD
MARSH ROAD
MARYLAND-87934.

MRS. JACK HILL
GRACE VILLA
123, PENNY STREET
MARYLAND- 765470.
When addressing an envelope to a widow, it is more appropriate to address her as Mrs. Jack Hill rather than Mrs. Jill Hill. You may even address her as Mrs. J. Hill using just initial of her late husband's name. You may even address young widows with as Ms. Jack Hill.
For military mail, apart from the full name, it is necessary to show the grade, PSC number, unit number, or ship name. The city name has to be replaced with with "APO" or "FPO", and state with "AA","AE", or "AP". Use special Zip Code when addressing military mails. These are few instructions on how to write an envelope.
Be clear with your handwriting and do not smudge the ink. Make sure you put the appropriate stamp amount that is required. Do not write vague addresses and make no mistakes with the numbers. Try writing a letter to your loved ones for a change. It will give you immense satisfaction and the recipient joy while reading.
Note: Make sure to place the stamp on the top right corner of the envelope.