How to Address a Letter

Modern society may make letter writing seem obsolete, yet well-crafted letters still make an impactful statement. From formal business letters and thank-you notes to friendly notes between loved ones and dear old folks – knowing how to address a letter correctly is paramount for its message being received properly by its intended recipients. We provide this comprehensive guide as a primer on how best to do just that!

Letter writing remains one of the most timeless arts. Whether for business purposes or to connect with an old acquaintance, getting your address correct is paramount in effective communication.

Recognizing Letter Formats

Letters come in various formats and knowing which format would work for a certain situation is essential to getting messages across to someone quickly and correctly.

Business Letters

Professional communication through business letters often follows a standard format and is used for professional purposes like job applications, cover letters, or official correspondence.

Personal Letters

Writing personal letters offers more freedom of expression and can serve various purposes – such as showing appreciation to close ones, or sharing important news with them.

Before we delve into the specifics of letter addressing, let’s first learn the essential components of an address.

Your address typically appears at the top of a letter and includes your name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code.

Date and Timestamp of Correspondence

A letter’s date and timestamp are essential components. Together they establish a timeline for communication.

Recipient’s Address

After writing out your message and including its date of delivery, provide the recipient’s full mailing address which includes their name, title (if relevant), street address, city, state, and ZIP code information.

Addressing Your Letter Correctly Correct addressing is of utmost importance to maintain professionalism when writing business correspondence.

Start your letter in an appropriate tone by beginning with a formal greeting such as, “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Dear Dr. Johnson”.

Name and Title of Recipient

Please provide a list of recipients along with their full names and, where relevant, professional titles.

Include both of your recipients’ companies and full addresses for added clarity.

Addressing a Personal Letter

Personal letters provide greater room for creativity and expression.

Use an approachable greeting, like, for instance, “Dear Sarah” or “Good evening, Grandma”.

Recipient Information on Letter (5.2. Recipient Name and Relationship to You, for Example, “My Dearest Friend,” or “Dear Aunt Lisa”.

Include all relevant recipient address details to facilitate delivery efficiently and successfully.

Special Considerations

In some instances, special care must be taken when addressing letters.

When sending letters internationally, be mindful of using correct foreign address formats.

P.O. Box Addresses

When sending to recipients who possess P.O. boxes, make sure you include this in their address.

For addresses containing multiple units, include their individual apartment or suite numbers in addition to your mailing address.

Compose Your Letter

Once your addressee is addressed correctly, begin crafting an engaging and compelling body for your letter.

Closing Your Letter Sign your letter off by including an appropriate closing, such as, ‘With my warm regards,” etc.


Though addressing letters may seem like a small detail, they set the foundation for effective communication. By following these guidelines you’ll be better equipped to address each one with confidence and make your mark in business communication.

By adam

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