How To Label a Mailing Envelope

There are different sizes of mailing envelopes, but they all require similar labeling procedures. Labeling can be done by hand or with printed address labels.

  1. If you are going to write the label by hand, you will locate a point beginning approximately halfway along the width of the envelope and about 1/3 of the way from the top of the envelope. This is your starting point for writing the to-address.
  2. Using a pen with blue or black ink, begin with the name of the person or business your envelope will be delivered to, this is your first line. You may want to include a formal designation, such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr.
  3. If there is a second line to the person or business, write that directly below the first line. This could be a business name after a personal name, the name of a second person in the home, or an "in care of" line.
  4. The post office box or street address is written directly under the name. Use the correct abbreviations for street types. Sometimes an address will be more than one line long, such as if it includes an apartment or suite number.
  5. The last line will include the city, state and zip code. This line is directly under the street address. Zip codes are five digits long, but may have an extra four digits after a hyphen.

The address should appear in this format:

Mary Smith
123 Main St.
Your Town, MO 12345

Now you need to write your return address in the upper left corner of the envelope. It is your choice whether to include your name or business. Your street address or post office box will be in one line, and your city, state, and zip code will be in the bottom line. Keep this to a smaller size so that it does not overwhelm the to-address.

You may want to use mailing labels instead, especially if your addresses are on the computer or if you have many addresses to send envelopes to.

To set the mailing labels up to print from your computer printer, first locate the size of the labels on the package. This number will correspond to a standard layout in your labeling software. Once you have the label size entered, you will be able to type or import the address. Follow the same format shown above.

After the labels have printed, peel one off and affix the label at a point approximately halfway across the width of the envelope and halfway down from the top of the envelope.

Affix the return address label in the upper left corner unless it is already printed on the envelope or is not being used.


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