Direct Mail Marketing

US Address Examples, Guidelines, and Alternative Verification Solutions

November 17, 2020
Inkit Team

If you have ever sent mail, you’ve probably wondered how to write an address right. Although it may seem easy, many still make mistakes filling out contact details and suffer from the related consequences such as undelivered mail or late delivery. Knowing the simple rules of how to write an address and what postal address format to use, you can avoid mailing issues and enjoy accurate delivery.

If you run a business, apart from watching the postal address format, it’s also important to use address verification. It improves the overall quality of street address information and increases the accuracy of large volume mailings. The risk of sending a private letter to the wrong contact is minimized.

Are you looking for step-by-step guidelines? Find out how to write an address and verify it in today’s post about:

  • How to write an address in different postal address formats: domestic, business, military, and international (with the US address examples)
  • Postal address format for occasional and automated mailings. Is there a difference?
  • Automated address verification with Inkit Verify for businesses

How to Write an Address in Different Postal Address Formats: Domestic, Business, Military, and International (with the US address examples)

Before you write the recipient’s name, street address, suite number, return address, and other details, you need to decide on the postal address format. Domestic mail isn’t the same as international business letters and requires slightly different formatting. Below are the main peculiarities to note when you address a letter.

General guidelines on the domestic postal address format

How to write an address of the RECIPIENT

Write the address in capital letters using at least a 10-point font. Don’t use punctuation or reverse colors such as white ink on the black paper. It’s also necessary to make sure the address and postage are located on the same side of the mailpiece.

postal address sample

You need to include the following details:

  1. Place the name of the recipient on the first line.
  2. If you are addressing a company, indicate its name on the second line.
  3. Indicate the delivery address with a building number and a street name.
  4. Indicate the city, state (two-letter state abbreviations), and ZIP code.

US address example





Note that the United States Postal Service uses automated mail processing machines that read addressed from the bottom up. They start with a city, state, and ZIP code and then look for a street address. If any of these lines are missing, the USPS can delay or misroute the mailpiece.

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How to write an address of the SENDER

To follow the domestic postal address format, add the return address in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope. Although the return address isn’t something mandatory, it’s recommended in most cases. The sender’s address will allow the USPS to send the mail back in case of any delivery issues.

As to the rest, the sender’s address must follow the same postal address format as the recipient’s. Basically, you will need to make the same steps, namely:

  1. Indicate the sender’s name on the first line.
  2. Mention the name of the company if the sender represents a specific organization.
  3. Write the building number and street name.
  4. Indicate the city, state, and ZIP code.
letter format

US address example





How to write an address in other standard postal address formats

The information you put on the envelope may slightly differ depending on the type of mailing. For example, mailing overseas, you will need to include the country’s official name, whereas military mail requires special abbreviations. Here’re the main peculiarities to note:

  • Business letter postal address format. Addressing an envelope to a business entity requires putting the business’s name on the second line. As an option, you can also mention the recipient’s professional distinction or title (e.g., VP, CTO, MBA, etc.)
  • Military postal address format. To properly format military addresses, put DPO (Diplomatic Post Office), FPO (the Fleet Post Office), or APO (the Air/Army Post Office) abbreviations instead of the name of the city. Replace the state’s name with the acronym indicating the recipient’s duty station (e.g., AA for Armed Forces America). With military mail, it’s also essential to make sure ZIP postal codes have a 4-digit extension.
  • International mail postal address format. Approaches to the formatting of international addresses differ among countries. So before you fill out the address information, check out the requirements of the recipient’s country. Generally, most European countries require you to indicate the same information as the USPS but put the country’s name in the final address line.

Now when you know how to write an address and what information to include, it’s time to estimate mailing volume. Whereas manual mail management may be the best choice for occasional mailings, it’s useless for large enterprises. Read how to manage mail in both cases below.

Postal Address Format for Occasional and Automated Mailings. Is There a Difference?

Overall, there is no difference between the postal address format used for manual and automated mail delivery. You will need to include the same information in the same place in both cases.

The main difference is that with manual mailings, you hold the responsibility for the success of delivery. This may be fine for occasional mailings when you have time to double-check every address and pick the right postal address format. You also don’t invest much in direct mail delivery and, therefore, high return rates have no impact on your business profitability.

US address format

Everything gets more severe for enterprises that send thousands of mail pieces every month. The cost of mistakes is very high. Banks, insurers, healthcare providers, and other large organizations deliver critical communications with personal information. When they end up in the wrong hands or never reach the target, an organization may face tremendous financial and reputational losses.

In this case, knowing how to write an address isn’t enough. It’s crucial to have robust address verification and mail tracking software to ensure delivery accuracy and automate repetitive tasks. Consider Inkit as one of the options to use in your company.

Automated Address Verification with Inkit Verify for Businesses

If you don’t want to fiddle around filling out every address manually, you will need automation services. And the more features they offer for your business performance optimization, the better.

Inkit is a multi-functional Reach Enablement Platform that provides address verification and data enrichment, among many other capabilities. When connected to your CRM, it can automatically obtain customer data to clean, standardize, and validate it. Inkit removes invalid addresses from your database and enables you to reach the recipients only at mailable addresses. This cuts delivery expenses and helps you always deliver critical communications in time.

After cleaning your database, Inkit moves to the next step and automatically renders PDF documents before delivering them to customers. You don’t need to worry about the postal address format or what information to include. Such communications are 100% personalized and can be sent through online and offline channels following all the delivery rules.

Want to test address verification in Inkit? Сontact our team to request the demo or have any of your questions answered.

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