Addressing and labelling envelopes seems as if it should be a simple task. So simple that it is often just assumed that everyone knows how to do it. However, mistakes made when labelling and addressing envelopes can cause delays in delivery time. Envelopes labelled improperly can also reflect poorly on businesses and individuals. There are a few simple steps to labelling an envelope, and following them will assure a properly addressed envelope and efficient transit time.
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Lay your mailing envelope out in front of you. The longest part of the envelope should be running left to right, not top to bottom. The top left corner is for the return address label, which is where the label with the originating address is placed. The return address label is generally smaller than the address label, although that is not a requirement. The purpose of the return address is so mail can be returned to its originating address in case it is undeliverable for any reason.
The mailing address is the label that will direct the mail to its destination. The address label should be placed in the lower centre of the envelope, running parallel to the longest edge.
The upper right corner of the envelope is where the correct postage will be placed. The postage required for your envelope is determined by the size and weight of the envelope and can be determined by a business postage scale or by a postman.
Tips and warnings
- If you do not have pre-printed labels, handwritten labels are acceptable but do not look as professional.
- If labels are not available at all, hand-address the envelope, putting the addresses directly on the envelope where the labels would be placed.
- If you need to hand-address your labels, never use cursive and always print.
- When addressing labels, do not use commas or periods.
- Never place a label or handwritten return address on the rear flap of the envelope. This is often done when handwriting personal envelopes, but is not recommended by the postal service.
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