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How to write a letter for mail

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How to write a letter for mail
November 26, 2018 1st Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

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Wondering how to send a letter online, via snail mail?

Updated 9.22.2019

Mailform is the easiest way to send a letter, whether online or offline. If you wanna skip the hassle, the envelopes, the stamps, and the walk, you can use Mailform when sending a letter (or document, form etc) via USPS First Class mail or USPS Certified Mail. Here's how to send a letter in the mail, in a few easy steps:

  1. Write the letter! (in case you're not sure how to write a letter, check out How to Write a Letter on Wikihow)

  2. Head to Mailform and upload the letter you want to send:

  3. Once you've uploaded your letter(s), hit ‘NEXT’

  4. Tell us who to the letter is for (the recipient)

  5. Enter a return address (this is where the letter should go if it's returned) 

  6. Choose from double sided, printing in color, or USPS Certified Mail (and get a tracking link).

Pay however you want - using a credit card or using your PayPal account. Once you've paid, we will print an envelope with your recipient address and return address, ensure there is sufficient postage to mail the letter, hand the letter off to the USPS, and send you a delivery confirmation via email, when the letter arrives at its destination.

Here’s our "how to send a letter" video, in case you need more visual instructions. You can do it with Mailform online, quickly and easily:

What is Mailform?

Mailform.io is the easiest way to send a letter, document, form or PDF via USPS Mail. The Mailform app exists in the cloud, which means you can access it from any browser, on your desktop or on your mobile device. You do not need to sign up for an account or subscription or anything like that. Just upload a document, enter the addresses, pay and send. We make it really convenient to send physical mail, from the comfort of your home or office. Mailform already has a lot of incredibly useful features for consumers and small businesses that make it a convenient way to send a letter online:

  • Multiple Printing Options: With Mailform, you can print in color, black and white, or single or double sided. This gives you the flexibility you need, no matter what you're looking for.
  • Tracking Numbers: Get USPS Tracking numbers for USPS Certified Mail, USPS Priority Mail and USPS Priority Mail Express, and get FedEx Tracking numbers for FedEx Standard Overnight
  • Bulk Discounts: As your volume gets bigger, your price per piece automatically gets discounted. 
  • Bulk Business Mail: Easily send mail to multiple recipients. Perfect for sending demolition notices, abutter's notices, settlement notices, past due invoices, medical recall letters, and more.
  • Multiple Integrations - Quickbooks, Harvest, Xero, Google Doc, Box, Freshbooks, FreeAgent - this is perfect for sending invoices. Mailform automatically imports your invoices or documents from the service of your choice, and makes it super easy to print and mail the relevant ones. Thousands of invoices have been sent using our integrations, and businesses on average recover 52% of the invoices they mail out.
  • Mailform Android App: Mobile app for frequent users, available on the Google Play store.
  • Multiple Speed Options: USPS Priority Mail Express, USPS Priority Mail, and USPS First Class Mail and USPS Certified Mail. You can tailor your orders to match your cost and speed options. Priority Mail Express is the fastest service we offer, followed by USPS Priority Mail, followed by Certified/First Class mail. To learn more about how our USPS Priority Mail services work, head over to: https://www.mailform.io/lp/usps-priority-mail
  • Mailform for Teams: Easily get your entire team onto Mailform, under centralized and invoiced billing. Perfect for insurance companies, engineering firms, and other teams who need to send mail together.

How do I send a letter?

There's no one way to send a letter - there are many ways to send a letter, and how you do it depends on what your letter is about, who the recipient is, your time constraints, your cost constraints, and more. We've compiled a handy list of options for you.

  • The cheapest way to send a letter is by email (gmail, hotmail and yahoo are free)
  • The fastest way to send a letter is by email (gmail, hotmail and yahoo are free, and your recipient will receive the letter instantly)
  • The cheapest way to send a letter by snail mail is by heading to the nearest United States Post Office. You wont pay any premium for an online service.
  • If you want to send a letter cheaply, but want to skip the line to the post office, you can use a service like Mailform.io
  • The fastest way to send a letter by snail mail is via FedEx, using SendOvernightMail.com
  • If you want to make sure you get a tracking number, your cheapest option is USPS Certified Mail
  • If you want to ensure a human signs for the letter, get a USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipts (this can also be sent via SendOvernightMail)

How to send a letter by email

If you're sending a letter by email, you'll need a few items

  • An email address of your own
  • The recipients email address
  • A subject line (this is essentially a preview, that lets the recipient know what the letter is about)
  • The letter.

To bring these all together, here's how to send a letter by email:

Step 1: Write the letter.

Some tools you could use to write the letter include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Sublime Text, TextEdit, Evernote (or any notes app) and more.

Step 2: Log into your email and compose a new message.

Enter the subject line and the recipient's email address.

Step 3: Copy and paste in the letter from wherever you wrote it

Step 4: Proofread your message.

Make sure it strikes the tone you want (remember, a lot of tone is lost in writing) and check it for spelling or grammatical errors.

Step 5: Hit send!

How to send a letter by snail mail

There are a few ways you can send a letter via snail mail. What you'll need depends on which way you're going.

To send a letter via snail mail the cheapest way possible, here's what you need

  • The recipient's (the person you're sending the letter to) mailing address
  • The letter
  • A sheet of paper to print the letter on (or multiple sheets, depending on how long it is)
  • A computer and printer, or a pen
  • An envelope large enough to stuff the letter on)
  • Your return address
  • Sufficient postage or enough money to pay for postage.
  • The location of your nearest USPS Post office

How to send a letter via snail mail, by going to the post office (the cheapest way)

Step 1: Write the letter and print it out.

Some tools you could use to write the letter using your computer are include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Sublime Text, TextEdit, Evernote (or any notes app) and more. Once written on your computer, print the letter out on the paper you got. If you're using a pen, you can write on the paper directly.

Step 2: Write the mailing/recipient address and the return address on the envelope, on the closed side

The mailing address should go in the center of the closed side of the envelope. The return address should go in the top left. Postage information will go on the top right. The graphic below can help your orientation:

Step 3: Fold and stuff the letter in the envelope.

Your easiest bet for a letter sized envelope is to do a z-fold. If you're not sure, check out: https://www.formaxprinting.com/blog/2010/08/printing-lingo-what-is-a-z-fold/

Step 4: Lick and close the envelope, then head to the post office to mail it. 

If you already have stamps that you're sure will work, you can affix the stamp to the top right of the closed side of the envelope, and drop it in a nearby mailbox. Otherwise, head over to the post office to weigh and buy postage. Once at the post office, you can head over to a postal worker for help, or you can use an automated kiosk.

How to send a letter via snail mail, using Mailform (the quick way)

To send a letter via snail mail using Mailform, which is the quickest way possible, you'll need

  • The recipient's (the person you're sending the letter to) mailing address

  • A browser
  • Your return address
  • A credit card

Here are the easy steps to send the letter.

  1. Write the letter! (in case you're not sure how to write a letter, check out https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Letter)

  2. Head to www.mailform.io and upload the letter you want to send, and then hit "Next"

  3. Enter the recipient's address. Make sure this is properly formatted, and hit "Next"

  4. Enter a return address (this is where the letter should go if it's returned) 

  5. Choose your printing options; single vs. double sided, black and white vs. color, or USPS First Class Mail, USPS Certified Mail, USPS Priority Mail and USPS Priority Mail Express.

  6. Hit Pay and send!

And check out our review on Lifehacker! https://lifehacker.com/mailform-will-print-and-mail-your-documents-for-three-b-1824268286. If you're looking to send fast mail overnight, Mailform supports the USPS Overnight Service (via USPS Priority Mail Express). In addition, you can send via USPS Priority Mail for expedited, but less expensive service.

Mailform now also supports FedEx Standard Overnight service (as of February 2019).

Wondering how to send a letter online via FedEx?

 

If you're wondering how to send a Certified Letter, specific instructions are available here.

If you're interested in a greater amount of speed and bulk options  our sister service SendOvernightMail enables you to print and Mail via Fedex (orders are shipped via Fedex Kinkos): using Fedex Overnight, Fedex 2 Day, Fedex Express Saver, Fedex Ground, and Fedex Ground Home Delivery. All Fedex and USPS Priority options come with delivery confirmation via email, and you'll get a tracking number that you can independently use to verify that your documents were delivered. And email [email protected] with any questions, comments, suggestions or concerns.

Learn how to write an effective direct mail sales letter that will get a response by using this point formula.

FREE Sample Letter Templates & Guides

how to write a letter for mail

It’s always important to format formal letters correctly. They’re often being sent to professionals so your tone, style and wording are your chance to make a good impression.

What constitutes a formal letter? Formal letters are commonplace when sending business correspondence, contacting an individual you are yet to build a relationship with and scenarios where you’re trying to emit professionalism, such as job applications. If you’re struggling to decide, imagine meeting this person and think about how you would act. Would you shake their hand or pump their fist? If in doubt, format the first letter formally and use their response to guide how you continue to communicate.

Click here to download our free formal letter template.

How to format the top of a formal letter:

Top right: your details in this order

  • Full name and title
  • Job title
  • Full address
  • Today's date

     a. Use the full date without abbreviations i.e. October 3rd 2018

      a. Avoid using email addresses that aren’t professional i.e. [email protected]

Left-hand side: recipients details in this order

  • Full name and title
  • Company or organisation
  • Full address

Introductory line

  • Dear
  • Recipients title (when applicable)
  • Recipients full name
Tip: If you don’t know the recipient’s name, write ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

Formatting the body of your letter:

Opening paragraph

Use your opening paragraph to introduce yourself and your reason for writing the letter. It’s crucial that your message is direct and underlines why you’re contacting the recipient. Consider this paragraph as a direct way to capture their attention.

Main body

Use this space to delve into the issues raised in the opening paragraph. Give more detail of what you’re offering or asking of the recipient, backed up by relevant information. Consider this paragraph as an exploration of the points raised in the opening paragraph.

Closing statement

Ensure that you include a closing statement that thanks the recipient for their time, knowledge or help with the discussed points. It’s good practice to include a line such as ‘please contact me at your earliest convenience’ to show your interest in communication and readiness to act.

Signing off

Signing off at the end of your letter is one of your last opportunities to make an impression. Depending on your relationship and reason for writing to the recipient, there are several options available to you. If in doubt, picture yourself as the recipient, how would you like to be addressed?

Very formal

These options are acceptable when you’re contacting someone for the first time or you’re discussing a serious issue.

  1. Yours sincerely
  2. Yours respectfully
  3. Yours truly
  4. Yours faithfully - appropriate if you don’t know the recipient’s name

Formal

These options would still be acceptable when contacting someone for the first time but demonstrate a friendlier tone.

  1. Kindest regards
  2. Kind regards
  3. Yours appreciatively

Relaxed formal

Once you’ve established a relationship with the recipient, there is no need to maintain a formal tone (unless you’re discussing a serious issue).

  1. Warm regards
  2. Best wishes
  3. With regards
  4. Thank you
  5. Best

Signature

Including your signature at the end of a formal letter displays professionalism. You can either do your signature by hand after printing the letter, or use this tool to create your digital signature.

What to avoid when you’re writing a formal letter

  1. Spelling and grammatical errors. Grammarly is a free tool you can use to proofread your work.
  2. Using contractions, i.e. ‘i’m’ should read ‘I am’. ‘That’s’ should read ‘that is’.
  3. Including unnecessary information.
  4. Making the same point multiple times
  5. Overcomplicated language, i.e. ‘the issues highlighted are indicative of future failings’ could read ‘I believe these issues will lead to a problem’.

Download our free formal letter template:

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The Write to Santa Program in Canada

how to write a letter for mail

How to Write a German Letter

Once upon a time, people would wait weeks, months, and even years for letters from loved ones, pen friends, or associates to arrive in the mail. While we might not use them as much as the old days, when you're living in Germany it's likely you will receive letters about services you've signed up for such as the internet, cell phone service, or banking. When you leave the country, these are all things you will need to cancel, and in Germany, this has to be done through the mail. So as you can see, being able to write ein Brief (pronounced iyn breef: 'a letter') in German is super important.

This lesson guides you through the whole process so that by the end you will be a correspondence writing wizard at Hermione level.

Formatting the Envelope

First up is addressing the envelope. You might be thinking 'surely this is obvious' but you'd be wrong. The German way is different from the USA and some other countries in Europe.

The recipient's address is placed at the bottom-right corner of the envelope.

  • The first line is marked An ('to').
  • On the second line, Germans will place the person's title, such as Frau (pronounced frow: 'Mrs.') or Doktor (pronounced DOCK-toar: 'doctor').
  • On the third line we write the person's name.
  • Then on the fourth line comes die Strasse (pronounced dee STRAHS-seh: 'the street name') and die Hausnummer (pronounced dee HOUWS-nuhm-mehr: 'the house number').
  • The fifth line is for die Postleitzahl (pronounced dee POHST-liyt-zahl: 'the zip code') and der Bestimmungsort (pronounced BEH-stihm-mungs-ort: 'the town or city').
  • If you're send something internationally, the sixth line is saved for the country.

Here's an example to make it a little clearer:

An

Frau

Ilona Cerowska

Mariannestrasse 75

7752 Berlin

Deutschland

The Absender (pronounced AHB-sehndehr: 'the sender's address'), shortened to Abs, is placed in the top-left corner, like in the USA. It is formatted the same way as the recipient's address, except you switch An for Abs.

Formatting the Letter

Header

For formal letters, in the letter itself, you would include a header. First list your address and then underneath write the recipient's. These would be in the same format as the envelope. Formal letters also need to include the place the letter is coming from, then a comma, and then the date. This needs to be right aligned on the page. Remember that Europe writes the date as day, month, year. In letters, this may be written a couple of ways:

  • Berlin, 26.4.2017
  • Berlin, Dienstag den 26. April, 2017

For informal letters there is no need for a header, so you can skip straight to the next step.

Greetings

Here are the key German letter greetings. We will start with the more casual greetings then move up to the more polite ones. As a reminder, in German, an adjective in front of a noun must agree with the noun's gender (-e for a female and -er for a male ).

Informal

  • Hallo Christian (Hi Christian)
  • Liebe Sara (Dear Sara)
  • Lieber Max (Dear Max)

Formal

  • Lieber Herr Lehmann (Dear Mr. Lehmann)
  • Liebe Frau Helmholtz (Dear Mrs. Helmholz)
  • Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren (Dear Sir/Madam)
  • Sehr geehrte Frau Präsidentin (Dear Madam President)
  • Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Futterknecht (Dear Professor Futterknecht)

Because of the need for gender-specific endings, you can't simply say 'Dear Sara and Max'; it has to be 'Dear Sara, Dear Max' (Liebe Sara, Lieber Max,).

In German, we don't capitalize the first letter of the first sentence following the greeting because it is seen as a continuation from the opening greeting:

Liebe Sara, (Dear Sara)

wir hoffen alles geht gut bei dir. (We hope everything is well with you.)

Closings

There are also informal and formal ways to end a letter in German.

Informal

  • Leibe Grüße (Best wishes)
  • Viele Grüße (Best wishes)
  • Gruß (Regards)
  • Deine Charlotte (Your Charlotte)
  • Deiner Markus (Your Markus)

Formal

  • Mit freundlichen Grüßen (Yours sincerely)
  • Mit freundlichem Gruß (Kind regards)

In German we don't need a comma following the closing:

Viele Grüße (Best wishes)

Oma und Opa (Grandma and Grandpa)

Example Letters

Now you know how to address, open, and close your letter, you might want to know how to format the bits in the middle. Really it's a lot like English where the language you use depends on whether it is a formal or an informal letter. Take a look at two examples. One is a formal business letter, and the other is an informal one. Don't forget to put them in der Briefkasten (pronounced dehr BREEF-kahs-tehn: 'the mailbox') when you're done!


Formal

Sehr geehrte Herr Kühn, (Dear Mr Kühn)

leider gibt es ein Problem mit deiner Dokumentation. (Unfortunately there is a problem with your documentation.) Bitte anrufen Sie uns so schnell wie möglich. (Please call us as soon as possible.)

Mit freundlichen Grüßen (Yours sincerely)

Frau Helmholtz

Informal

Leiber Maxi, (Dear Maxi)

ich vermisse dich so sehr aber Kalifornien ist echt geil! (I miss you so much but California is really cool!)

Ich wünsche dich heir sein könnte! (I wish you could be here!)

Viele Grüße (Best wishes)

Deine Larissa (Your Larissa)

Lesson Summary

When starting your letter, your formatting will depend on whether it is formal or informal. A formal letter needs a header with the sender and receiver's addresses on the left, followed by the place that you're writing from and the date on the right (remember that Germans format the date as day, month, year). You can skip right to the greeting if it is informal.

Next up, you have to choose your greeting, considering whether you need something formal and informal and if you're addressing a male or a female. If it is male, your greeting needs an -er ending, such as Leiber (Dear). If it is female, it is an -e ending, such as Leibe (Dear). If it is unknown whether you are addressing a male or a female you would use the phrase Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren which is the equivalent of our (Dear Sir/Madam).

Once you've chosen your greeting, it needs to be punctuated with a comma, then you will start a new line with the content of your letter. Remember, do not capitalize the first letter.

To end your letter you again need to choose a formal or informal salutation such as Mit freundlichen Grüßen (Yours sincerely) or Viele Grüße (Best wishes). This time you leave out the comma and put your name in the line below.

The clearer you write a postage address, the easier it is for us to deliver it. See some examples of good address writing here.

How to Write a Letter in German

how to write a letter for mail

When writing a letter, c/o simply means "in care of." It is used when a person receiving a letter does not normally get mail at that address. People commonly use it to send mail to themselves at a different address than usual or to get in touch with someone they do not have an address for.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

To send a letter in care of someone, start the address with the recipient's name, then write "c/o" and fill in the rest of the address.

What Does C/O Mean

Those who do not do a lot of formal correspondence may wonder what c/o means in an address. Simply put, c/o means that someone is "in care of" another party. It is a way to ensure that an item is not returned to the sender if the post office does not recognize the addressee as someone who gets mail at that address. Addressing a letter as c/o also ensures that the recipient knows that the letter is not intended for them, but that they are supposed to give it to someone else.

For example, if you wanted to write a letter to a traveling salesperson, but you do not know their usual address, you might write something to the company's home office in care of the salesperson's boss, who will know how to get in touch with him.

When to Use "In Care Of"

You may address a letter c/o when you do not know someone's primary mailing address, but you may also choose to send something in care of someone else if you are concerned about unwanted eyes or hands landing on the item. For example, if a construction worker lives in a bad neighborhood and does not want her packages to get stolen, she may have them delivered to her work address using a c/o address since she does not usually get mail at the office.

Alternatively, some people may want to ensure certain documents are not lost, so they may have them addressed to their attorney in care of their name, so the paperwork can be filed with other documents already in their lawyer's possession.

You may also use C/O if someone is staying in a hotel or on vacation at someone else's home.

How to Use C/O

To address a piece of mail to someone using c/ o, write the addressee's name, followed by their title, if applicable. Then you will add the c/o portion of the address, starting with "c/o" in lowercase letters and the person or organization you are sending the mail to.

For example, if you are sending a letter to someone at a hotel, address it:

Bob Vance
c/o Marriott Hotel
123 Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 91234

If you are sending a letter to someone in care of another person in her company, use:

Gina Paninia
Events Coordinator
c/o Tina Fab
Marketing Director
Wonderful Co.
5678 G Street
New York, NY 12789

write letters or cards - Teach child to address envelopes (perhaps had delivered But writing traditional snail mail is exciting PLUS, excellent writing skills give.

how to write a letter for mail
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