How to Send a Letter

Learning how to send a letter in this modern day is promoting the significance and usefulness of letter writing. In a world where digital communication dominates, traditional letter writing has not lost its significance. Letters remain a powerful means to convey emotions, deliver important information, or maintain professional and personal relationships.

How to Send a Letter

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the simple way to send a letter. Whether it’s a formal business communication, a friendly note, or a job application, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to send different types of letters effectively.

How to send a letter

If you want to send a letter, here’s how to do just that:

Preparing Your Letter

In today’s postal world, you can’t simply fold a letter and seal it. You’ll need to select the right envelope or postcard to send your message. Here are some key considerations:

Durability: Ensure your chosen envelope is strong enough to hold its contents without tearing. A flimsy envelope may not withstand the journey, especially if your letter is heavy.

Size: Match the envelope size to your letter’s size. Foldable letters can go in standard business-sized envelopes, while larger items need bigger envelopes, and smaller notes suit smaller envelopes.

Purpose: Consider why you’re sending the letter. For business correspondence, opt for professional-looking envelopes, while personal letters can have a more casual or decorative style.

Destination: The distance the letter will travel can affect the envelope choice. Longer journeys may require sturdier envelopes to prevent damage.

Cost: Keep in mind that postage costs depend on size, shape, and weight. Standard letter sizes are more cost-effective than larger envelopes, which can be charged package rates.

Shape: Envelopes must be flat to go through automated mail processing machines. Irregularly shaped or lumpy envelopes may cost more.

Enclose the Letter and Seal the Envelope

Once you’ve chosen the right envelope, place your letter inside and seal it using one of these methods:

  1. A) Lick ‘n’ Stick: Moisten the glue on the envelope’s edge with your tongue and press to seal.
  2. B) Lick ‘n’ Stick (alternative): Use a wet sponge or cloth to moisten the glue, then seal the envelope.
  3. C) Self Seal: Align the top and bottom flaps of the envelope, then apply pressure to seal it.
  4. D) Zip Seal: Remove the backing to expose the adhesive, then press the envelope shut.
  5. E) Any Seal: Add a small piece of tape along the edge for extra security.
  6. Address the Envelope – Recipient:

Writing the recipient’s address is crucial. Follow these guidelines:

  • Write the recipient’s name and address in the middle of the front of the envelope.
  • Include their full name or company name, apartment or house number, street name, city, state/province, and zip/postal code on separate lines.

For example:

Recipient Name

House/Flat Number, Street Name

Town/City, State/Province, and Post/Postal/Zip Code

Tips for Address Writing

  • Use clear, dark ink or printed labels to ensure legibility.
  • For international mail, include the full country name in capital letters.
  • Follow country-specific postal code formats and naming conventions.
  • Avoid overly long state names by using 2-character state symbols (e.g., “RI” for Rhode Island in the U.S.).
  • Make the postal worker’s job easier and reduce the risk of delays or losses by providing clear, accurate addresses.

Address the Envelope – Sender

While it’s not always mandatory, it’s a good practice to include a return address on your envelope.

This precaution ensures that if the letter is undeliverable for any reason—such as damage, insufficient postage, or an invalid destination—it will be returned to you instead of being lost in the postal abyss.

Including a return address can save you from the uncertainty of whether your recipient received your letter or if it never reached them.

Where to Place the Return Address

You can add your return address in two common locations:

  1. Top Left Corner (Front): Write your name and address in the same format as the recipient’s address. This aligns with the practice of most countries, including Australia, USPS, and Canada Post.
  2. Top Back of the Envelope: Royal Mail, in the UK, suggests writing “return address” on the back of the envelope, followed by your actual return address. This is a unique practice in the postal world.

Addressing the Envelope – Sender:

The return address serves as a safety net in case the letter cannot be delivered. It’s especially useful when sending important or valuable mail. Always follow the addressing guidelines provided by your country’s postal service for consistency and efficiency.

Choosing the Right Postage

Postage is the key to getting your letter on its way. It might seem a bit tricky, but understanding how much and what type of postage to use is crucial. Here’s what you need to know:

Placement: Stick the postage stamp on the top-right corner of the front of the envelope.

Stamp Types: There are various types of stamps, and choosing the right one can be a bit complex. You can buy stamps at post offices, online through your country’s postal service website, or at retail stores like grocery or drug stores.

Checking Stamp Value: If you have stamps on hand but haven’t used them in a while, check if they cover the current postage cost. Stamp prices may change due to inflation, so it’s essential to stay up to date.

Online Postage: Many countries offer online postage payment options, allowing you to print postage labels at home. This can be more convenient and cost-effective than buying physical stamps. However, you’ll still need to drop the letter off at a mailbox or post office.

Discounts and Offers: Online postage services often provide discounts and offers. For example, offers a free postal scale with new accounts, while PayPal customers with online stores may receive postage discounts.

Stamp Designs: You can choose from standard or decorative stamps to personalize your envelope. The design doesn’t matter as long as it covers the required postage amount.

Specifics by Country

Each country has its own postage options and pricing structures. Here are some examples:

  • UK: In the UK, First Class Stamps cost slightly more but ensure next-day delivery, including Saturdays. They are red. Second Class Stamps are cheaper but take longer, typically 2-3 days, and are blue. Other options include UK Guaranteed, UK Signed, UK Standard, and Parcelforce Worldwide.
  • Canada: Canada offers one type of stamp but allows for quicker delivery through prepaid envelopes or Registered Mail, which provides tracking and proof of delivery.
  • Australia: Australia offers Regular, Priority, and Express postage options, each with different delivery speeds and prices.
  • US: The US offers First-Class™ Mail for letters and small packages, Priority Mail® for faster delivery with tracking, Priority Mail Express® for overnight delivery, and various other options for different mailing needs.

For specific details on postage options and prices in your country, refer to your country’s postal service website.

Paying for Postage

Calculating postage costs may seem daunting, but it’s essential to consider various factors:

  • Destination: International mail naturally costs more than domestic mail due to longer distances.
  • Speed: You can pay extra for quicker service. For example, in the UK, first-class service aims for 1-day delivery compared to second-class, which aims for 3-day delivery, with a slight price difference.
  • Size and Shape: As previously mentioned, non-flat, irregularly shaped, or oversized envelopes cost more. Folding your letter if possible can help save money.
  • Weight: Heavier letters cost more to send than lighter ones.
  • Special Handling and Insurance: For parcels, you can pay for extra care to protect fragile items. For letters, labeling them with “FRAGILE” or “DO NOT BEND” can provide some protection.
  • Delivery Confirmation Receipts: You can pay for proof of delivery, which requires the recipient to sign upon receiving the contents.
  • Tracking: If you want your letter tracked, you can pay for this service, which provides updates on the letter’s location. You’ll receive a tracking/reference number for online tracking.

Most postal services provide online tools to calculate postage costs. For precise rates, refer to your country’s postal service website (Canada, US, Australia, UK).

Mailing heavy or oversized letters:

  • Use an accurate postage scale to weigh and measure your mail, then check rates online through your country’s postal service website. Affix the postage to the upper right-hand corner of your envelope.
  • If you don’t have a postage scale, visit your local post office to have it weighed and determine the required postage.

Mailing the Letter

You have several options for physically mailing your letter:

  • Place it in your mailbox, and raise the red flag to alert the mail carrier.
  • Drop it in a collection box. In the US, look for blue USPS mailboxes using the Mailbox Locate tool. In the UK, use red Royal Mail postboxes or to find nearby options. Canada has Canada Post boxes, and Australia has Australia Post boxes, usually red. Use the respective postal service’s online tools to locate them.
  • Take it to any post office, even if you don’t need to weigh, measure, or buy postage.

Alternatively, you can opt for online mailing services like PostSeal to send your letter from the comfort of your home, avoiding the complexities of envelope selection, postage calculations, and post office visits.

These services streamline the mailing process and allow you to send letters online, saving you time and effort.

Bottom line

Sending a letter involves selecting the right envelope, addressing it properly, affixing the correct postage, and then mailing it through various methods, such as using your mailbox, a collection box, or taking it to a post office.

We hope that this guide has been a great help in showing you how to send a letter the right way.

More Related Content


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here