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How to Mail a Letter

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Do you need to mail a letter?

Once in a while, there are still many reasons to send regular letters even in the fast-paced, tech-world of today. Perhaps you want to send a traditional, hand-written thank you note for a gift, or send condolences manually. Perhaps you want to send some cash inserted into a birthday card. There are many occassions when to mail a letter. The good news is that the process of sending a letter is straightforward and incredibly simple. Sending snail mail so easy that you can focus entirely on what you want to say in the letter contents itself.

To mail a letter in the US, here are the steps to follow:

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Select The Correct Envelope

Envelopes matter.

When you send a letter, the envelope needs to be strong. Think of it as the case of your valuable mail. Indeed, finding the correct kind of envelope to mail a letter is important. For example, if the letter you select is made of really light paper, once it's in transit, the contents could breakthrough.

Here are a few things to consider when you go about selecting an envelope to mail a letter:

  • The destination of the letter - You will want to use a sturdy envelope when you mail your letter overseas. The reason is that along the way, there is a greater chance it could get damaged.
  • The letter's intent - If you are mailing a cover letter select a business-size, professional-looking envelope. You can send personal notes in a decorative, colorful envelope if you want to.
  • The envelope size - The size of the envelope needs to be appropriate for the size of the contents within. Letters that you write on a note card can be mailed in a smaller sized envelope. Typically, letters that you write on standard paper 8.5 by 11 inches, you can fold this in three and mail-in business-sized envelopes.
  • The paper's weight - The paper's weight needs to match the weight of the envelope. Heavy cards should have sturdier envelopes. If your letter is on regular paper, then regular-envelopes made in a similar weight should suffice. If you include photos, find a sturdier envelope that can handle the enclosed weight.

Seal The Envelope

The moment you have selected an envelope to mail a letter, lick the envelope edges to activate the glue, insert your letter inside it and seal the envelope. You can also use a sponge or moistened fingers with water to get the glue wet. If you think the glue won't hold, use some clear tape.

Write Down The Address

On the middle front of the envelope. write down the address. This should include:

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  • Name of the recipient
  • House number
  • Apartment number (optional)
  • Street name
  • City, State
  • Postal code or Zip code

Use the two-letter state code or the nine/eleven digit zip code if you know it. Use printed, clear letters in the upper case. Use dark, easy-to-read ink. If machines can't read your handwriting, post office employees will need to read your writing accurately and quickly.

Write address sections on different lines to make it easier to read. Some people use a post office box as an address instead of a home or business address. If this is what you are doing, write down the post office box number followed by the city/state/country, whichever one applies. Include the country's destination if you are writing an international letter. Write the country name on the bottom of the address in the upper case.

Here is an example of a well-written address if you want to mail a letter to the USA from another country:

Mark Tyler Smith

111 Rose Gold Apartment Homes

Apartment 5

White Plains, NY 10603

The Return Address

On the envelope's top left corner, write your address and name. It is better to write your returning address on the envelope front instead of the back. This makes post handling easier. You can also use labels that have your return address pre-printed. The reason you will need to write down your return address is to make sure that the letter returns to you if, for any reason, it does not reach the intended recipient.

For example, your pre-printed return labels can say:

Justin Johnston

55 Lake View Circle

Daly City, CA 94016

First Class Stamps

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When you mail a standard-size letter that weighs less than 1 ounce and intended to be sent to a U.S. address, the letter's top right corner needs to have a first-class stamp. You can buy any stamp you need at various retail stores, on USPS online or at any post office. Stamps are available with special designs or standard designs. If you want to buy a commemorative or decorative stamp, ask to see their current selection at the post office. Periodically, stamps increase in price. If you have older postage stamps, check USPS dot com to ensure that the stamps you have will still cover the entire first-class postage cost. At times, you will need to use more than a single stamp.

Mailing The Letter

Deposit The Letter Into The Blue Mailbox

In the U.S., there are USPS mailboxes you will see in most suburbs and cities. These are also called mail drop boxes. All you need to do to mail the letter is to make sure the envelope is properly labeled with the recipient's address and your return address. Check to see if you put the correct number of stamps on the envelope. Open the blue mailbox, drop your mailbox into the slot and close the mailbox.

Box

The box will show a time in which the mail person will collect your letter. The mail person picks up the mail daily. If the blue mailbox indicates a time that has already passed, your letter will be picked up the next day, at the time indicated for the daily pickup. Find a blue mailbox near me.

Take The Letter To The Post Office

If you need to purchase stamps, you can leave your envelope with the post office clerk and he or she will do the mailing for it. Even if you don't need postage and your letter is stamped correctly, you can still let the clerk mail it for you. Find the nearest post office to your home by checking online.

Place The Letter Into Your Home Mailbox

If your home has a mailbox, you can put your letter into the mailbox. Move the mailbox flag upwards to alert the mailman that there is mail to be collected.

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Extra Stamps

Over-sized or heavy letters that are meant to be mailed internationally will need additional stamps to reach their intended location. All current rates for postage are displaced at the USPS. If you don't have a scale, go and have it weighted at USPS. The assistant will be able to do exact calculations for how much your mail will cost to send. If you have an accurate scale for postage at home, you can measure and weigh your letter to check to see how much the postage will cost. Check the rates for USPS dot com and check to see how much your letter will cost to send. To the top right letter corner, affix the correct postage.

To mail a letter in most countries, postcards and regular mail cost a small fee to get mailed. The postage stamp indicates your payment. You can buy a stamp from the regular post office. The price of stamps vary in various communities. However, sending a domestic letter within the U.S., letters that weight less than one ounce requires one stamp. That is basically the standard rate.

It normally takes two or three days for your letter to arrive not counting weekdays. International mail takes longer to get to the recipient. Letters with no stamps won't get mailed. It will be returned to the return address. One regular stamp should suffice but if your letter is heavier than normal, you will need more stamps. Find out exactly how much your letter will cost to send by checking at the USPS. You can also get online rates and use your own letter scale, if you have one. You can use USA stamps on international mail, as long as you pay the correct fee.

Does it matter what time of day to mail a letter in your personal mailbox?

To be sure your letter gets mailed promptly, put it in your personal mailbox a day early. Position the flag upwards to ensure that the post office carrier will know that there is something in your mailbox that needs to be mailed. Remember that if you forget to put the flag up in your own personal mailbox, the clerk will not collect your mail.

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As you can see, it is quite easy to mail a letter in the USA. Stamps don't cost much and if you stay within one ounce, all you need is one stamp. if you send out letters often, it might be a good idea to get your own weighing scale. it might also be a good idea to get more than enough stamps. When you have more than what you need, you will not have to keep running back and force to the post office to buy some more. If all your letters fall below one ounce on the scale, you may not have to buy a scale, as they will all be roughly the same weight.