Today’s fast-paced world may sure be digitally driven. But, it simply cannot beat the traditional modes of communication that have enabled us in so many ways for decades.
While it’s easy to send an email and just get the task over with, what this virtual channel often fails to convey are the emotions and creative approach that a simple letter does.
With postboxes available at an arm’s reach today, gone are the days when people had to wait for months to send their letters.
Lucky for you, the entire process of mailing them is incredibly easy and trouble-free.
So, all you have to do is brainstorm the contents of your letter, because we are going to teach you just how easy it is to mail a letter.
How to Mail a Letter?
You need to follow three simple steps to mail a letter:
First, get your letter ready to mail by mentioning all the correct information.
Second, find the right postage
Third, place it in the collection box so that it reaches the recipient.
Step 1 – Prepare Your Letter
Preparing a letter involves enclosing it in a suitable envelope, securing its edges to avoid wear and tear, and addressing it accurately.
1. Choose An Envelope
Choosing the right envelope for your letter is a crucial step. It should be sturdy enough because of its lighter construction, it might get damaged or torn off during the transit phase.
You can take the following factors into account while deciding which envelop you should pick:
- Weight of the letter – The envelope you choose to enclose your letter in must be heavier than its content so that it can be transported easily. In case you’ve used a heavy cardstock, or you’re adding extra contents such as pictures, then use a thick envelope that will handle the weight of the material.
- Size of the envelope – The dimensions of your chosen envelope must be appropriate enough to perfectly fit the contents inside. As a rule of thumb, letters of the standard 8½-by-11-inch size can be typically folded in thirds and enclosed in business-size envelopes. You can also use a smaller envelope if you have drafted the letter on a notecard.
- The intent of the letter – A personal letter being sent to a loved one can be enclosed in a decorative, colorful envelope to add a personalized touch to it. However, for letters that serve a professional purpose, such as cover letters, you must pick a business-size envelope.
- The geographical location of the letter – If you want to mail your letter overseas, it’s always best to use a sturdier envelope that will guarantee the safety of its contents. This is because, with a long distance to cover, it’s highly likely that could get damaged on its way.
2. Seal The Envelope
Once you’ve picked an appropriate envelope for your letter, place the letter inside it. Next, seal the edges of the envelope with glue, and press tightly to shut it.
A quick way to ensure that the edges are secured is to lick its edges to moisten the glue before shutting it.
Alternatively, you can also dampen a sponge using a little water to soften the envelope glue in case you don’t wish to lick it.
3. Address The Envelope
It’s important to fill out all the relevant details of the person you are mailing the letter to. Write the complete address of the recipient on the middle front of the envelope.
These details must include their name, house or apartment number, street name, city, state, or postal code. You can mention the nine- or eleven-digit zip code, or the two-letter postal code too.
It’s highly recommended that your writing is comprehensive, and upper-case letters are written using dark ink.
In case you’re mailing a letter to a recipient who lives outside your country, then always remember to include the destination country’s name in capital letters. In order to make it more legible, you can segregate the address in different lines.
33 SPYKAR PLAZA
2001 ROSEWOOD COURT APT 7
4. Mention The Return Address
Mention your full name and address in the top-left corner of the envelope. It’s always better to write these details on the top front of the envelope and not on the back for ease of postal handling.
If need be, using a printed return-address label also works. This will ensure that the letter safely reaches you in case it doesn’t make it to the recipient.
Step 2 – Get The Correct Postage
A stamp or postage indicates the money paid to the postal agency for the delivery of your letter. Below, we have listed all the things you need to do before placing it in the collection box.
1. Paste a First Class Stamp
If your letter has standard dimensions, is addressed to a U.S. address, and weighs less than an ounce, stick one first-class stamp on the top-right corner. These stamps are readily available for purchase, either online at USPS.com or offline at your nearest post office. In fact, you can even get them from several retail stores.
While some stamps are standard-looking, others have special designs. You can also ask for a commemorative or decorative stamp from a post office if you need one.
Bear in mind that stamp prices rise periodically, so in case you have old postage stamps, visit USPS.com to ensure that they are still eligible to cover the entire cost of first-class postage. If not, then you might have to use more than one stamp.
2. Get Extra Postage for Heavy-Weight Letters
Heavy or oversized letters or the ones being sent overseas require additional postage to reach the recipient. You can check out USPS.com, which reflects all the current postage rates.
If you happen to have an accurate postage scale already, you can measure and weigh your letter to determine what amount you’ll have to pay. If you’re certain, then record these measurements and confirm with the rates on USPS.com.
Next, affix the relevant postage on the top-right corner of the envelope. However, in the absence of a scale, carry your letter to a post office. The clerk will get it weighed for you and help you calculate the exact postage you’ll need.
Step 3 – Mail The Letter To The Recipient
Once you have found the correct postage according to the weight and delivery location of your letter, it’s time to head to the collection box or the post office.
1. Put the Letter in the Blue Collection Box
If you’re a resident of the United States, you must have noticed blue-colored USPS mailboxes in your city or suburb. Once you reach there, open the box, place your letter inside the slot, and then close it.
Your letter will be collected by a postal worker, who will initiate the sorting-and-delivery process. You can check the time when your letter will get picked through the notice placed on the blue collection box. If you have missed the pick-up slot of that day, your letter will be picked up on the next business day.
2. Place the Letter in Your Mailbox
This step is applicable to someone who has a mailbox on or near their home. Once you place your letter inside, inform your mail carrier of its presence by positioning the red flag outwards.
You can do this by simply pulling the flag out, and this way, the carrier will be able to determine that there’s a letter that needs to be taken.
3. Take Your Letter to the Post Office
If you are yet to purchase postage, you can visit a post office and leave your letter with one of their clerks, who will mail it on your behalf. You can follow this step even if you don’t need to buy postage.
If you’re unaware of the exact location of your nearest post office, visit www.USPS.com for more information.
That’s All, Folks!
So, we covered all the steps you need to follow when you want to mail a letter to someone.
Letters do a great job at making a statement or reminding someone that you’re thinking about them.
As long as you address your letter correctly and send it to the right recipient, you’re good to go!
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