How to Write on an Envelope

It seems like a simple task, but how to write on an envelope can prove to be confusing. Is addressing a business letter the same as addressing a letter to a friend? Are there shortcuts to writing your return address, or do you have to write it on every envelope you address? Is there a comma at some point when writing the address? These are just some of the many questions that come to mind when you realize you need to address an envelope. Although it may be confusing, writing on an envelope is a lot simpler than it seems!

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girl putting mail in mailbox

Inside the Envelope

Whether you are sending out your annual Christmas cards, or you are writing a letter to someone’s business, it is important to write on the envelope correctly. Before you are ready to address an envelope, you start with the contents of the envelope. Make sure you are using the appropriate stationery depending on who you are sending to. For example, don’t use paper with a floral print when sending something to a business.

The prices of stationery can vary depending on what is being printed on it, and if you are getting it personalized. If you are looking for something very simple it can cost as little as $20. Some stationery with a lot of design or made out of nicer material can cost up to $50.

Along with using the correct stationery, it is important to use the correct ink. Only hand write letters when appropriate. When addressing the envelope, write in black ink. If you are worried about making a mistake, remember that you can always get another envelope. It is important to use black ink, especially if you are trying to look professional. To learn more about what to include in a letter, you can reference our simple tips for letters.

How to Write Sender’s Address on an Envelope

Once you have decided that you are going to send something in the mail, you need to address it. So, what comes first? Make sure that the sender’s name and address are in the center of the envelope.This information is also normally aligned to the left. When writing the address there is also no need to write “To” before putting the address. It is self-explanatory that the centered address is who is receiving the mail. The following are steps you should take when you start writing.

  1. Write out the name of the recipient.
  2. Underneath the name, write out the street address.
  3. On the third line there should be the city, state, and zip code. The city and state should be separated by a comma.

Addressing multiple envelopes can be a tiring task, but don’t get lazy with how you write the address! Avoid abbreviations when addressing the envelope. Make sure to spell out “street” or “lane” instead of writing “st” and “ln”. This not only looks more professional, but it also make the address clearer for whoever is delivering the envelope.

How to Write Return Address on an Envelope

Now that you know how to write the sender’s address on an envelope, writing the return address should be easy. The return address is written in the same way that the sender’s address is. The only difference is where it is located. Instead of being in the center of the envelope, the return address is placed in the upper lefthand corner of the envelope.

  1. Write name of person sending out the envelope.
  2. Put street address of the person sending out the envelope.
  3. Write City, state, and zip code separated by a comma.

If you don’t want to always write out your address, you can buy a personalized rubber stamp or personalized address labels as a shortcut. Personalized rubber stamps are around $50, while address labels are $10 for a roll. Pick whichever fits your budget, and it will end up saving you lots of time and energy.

How to Write Mr. and Mrs. on an Envelope

Who knew that writing the recipient’s name and title could cause so many questions? Typically, when writing a couple’s names on an envelope, the man’s name comes first. However, it still can go either way. When writing their name, feel free to put either recipient first. The titles, such as Mrs. and Mr., should be followed by their first and last names.

How to Address a Professional Envelope

Addressing a professional envelope sounds like it would be much more complex than a regular envelope. However, there are only a few differences.

  1. Put the name of the recipient.
  2. Write honorifics for with their name.
  3. Write their individual title and what their functional title if need.
  4. Put the department they are in.
  5. Write the name of their company.
  6. Put the address 1 and if applicable the address 2. This means that you put the address, street name, and the building number.
  7. Put the city and zip code, with the zip+4 if you know it. The zip+4 is simply the second part of the entire 9 digit zip code.
  8. The city and zip code should be separated by a comma.

Postage Stamps

Postage may seem like a small detail, but it is a small detail that goes a long way. Make sure that your stamp is neatly placed in the top right corner of the envelope. If you place it and it is crooked, the envelope may look less professional. Stamps also can be fun! If you are sending a birthday card or a Christmas card, you can personalize festive postage stamps.


personalized stamp

How to Seal an Envelope

Along with addressing an envelope and placing your postage, you also have to seal an envelope before sending it out. There are many ways to go about this. Some people do it the old-fashioned way and lick the envelope itself. However, if you would rather not have a bad taste in your mouth, you can buy envelopes that seal themselves. Many envelopes that are sold today have an adhesive on them that is covered by paper. You pull off that paper and you have a sticky edge that can easily close!

Other sealing techniques involve using a decorative sticker to seal the envelope. This also requires little work and no weird taste in your mouth. It is perfect for holidays or birthdays to add a little something to your envelope. These tips allow you to conquer normal and business envelopes. However, not all envelopes follow these rules. If you are planning a wedding you may want to look at how to address wedding invitations. If you are on vacation or trying to address a postcard those guidelines may also be different.