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The Etiquette of Addressing Envelopes

The matter of addressing envelopes may not be high on your list of things you absolutely must know, but being in the business that we are, it matters to us. 

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way of addressing an envelope. In business communication, this is good information to know.

So, let’s see how it’s done.

Addressing Envelopes – The Right Way

Email has certainly taken the requirement for sending paper mail to an all-time low, but if we’re sending out mail then we may as well get it right.

Type, don’t write

If possible, rather type the address on the envelope rather than writing it by hand. This gives it a more professional finish and prevents it from getting lost due to illegible handwriting.

Use Caps

It’s recommended to use capital letters throughout. Again, this makes it easy to read and prevents confusion between ambiguous letters such as the upper case I (for Indigo) and lower case l (for Lemur), or the number 1. 

Remove all punctuation

There is no requirement for commas between the name and the address lines, and no need for full stops. 

The only variation to this will occur when making use of a title such as Mr. or Mrs. 

Return address

Your return address should be written in the top left of the envelope beneath your full name,

Adressee position

The recipient’s name will appear at the centre of the envelope. It is good manners to use their full name and designation, for example, Reverend John Smith.

Aligned to the left below the name will be the full address of the recipient, including apartment or house number, city, province and postcode. International mail will require the country name.

If you are sending the letter to a company then the business name will appear first, followed by ATTN: <full name>. This will ensure that the letter is not opened by the post room and gets to its desired recipient.


Whether your envelope is being franked or you are sticking a postage stamp on it, this will appear on the top right-hand corner. 

So there you have it – the proper way to address an envelope, proudly brought to you by the pendants at Mailmech.

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