Addressing for Success

Specific Format

The following is recommended in the sequence and position indicated for addressing to insure efficient handling and delivery by the US Postal Service: 

Domestic Address Format
Eastern University
1300 Eagle Road
St Davids PA 19087-3696

Maureen Ornstein
54 South Pearl St
Northeast PA 16428-1288

International Address Format
Eastern University
1300 Eagle Road
St Davids PA 19087-3696

Mary Jones
Station 321
Ottawa Ontario K1A 0B1

You will get the best possible service if you:


  • Use 2 letter state abbreviations 
  • Eliminate all punctuation (except the hyphen between Zip Code and plus four)
  • Use common abbreviations
  • Use Zip + 4 Codes

Make sure the place where you want the mail delivered appears on the line immediately above the city, state and zip code line; i.e.,

123 W MAIN ST STE 400 OR P O BOX 125
If both the street address and the P O Box are on the same line, the mail piece will be delivered to the P O Box.

Address Placement

Placement of the address on the face of an envelope should conform to USPS specifications.

Labels for use on parcels, packages or large envelopes must be addressed according to the recommended format. 

Improperly prepared labels will be returned to you for correction and/or completion. Labels that are applied must be parallel to the bottom edge of the envelope to be processed by the USPS on automation equipment.

Quick Reference

  1. Type or machine-print all address information.
  2. Make sure print is clear and sharp.
  3. Ensure address characters don’t touch or overlap.
  4. Black ink on a white background is best.
  5. Maintain a uniform left margin.
  6. Use upper-case letters.
  7. Omit all punctuation.
  8. Include floor, suite, and apartment numbers whenever possible.
  9. Put the city, state and ZIP Code or ZIP + 4 code in that order on the last line. If there’s not enough room, you can put the ZIP Code or ZIP + 4 code alone on the bottom line. 
  10. Use standard two-letter state abbreviations.
  11. When using window envelopes, make sure the complete address is always visible, even when the insert moves.
  12. Leave one or two spaces between words and between the state abbreviations and ZIP Code or ZIP + 4 code.


Mail of any kind for transport by the U S Postal Service should be enclosed in an appropriate envelope or parcel and sealed. The types of enclosures determine the mailing classification.


The following are samples of non-mailables in envelopes:

Paper Clips -Metal Pieces
Glass Chips -Sand

In addition to jamming and/or damaging the mailing machines, these items can also cause serious injury to Mail Center employees.

The following are also classified as non-mailables and may be returned to sender:

Envelopes and Cards if pieces are less than: 3 1/2" in height or 5" in length or .007" in thickness (thickness of a post card)

All foreign countries also impose various restrictions depending on country and item(s) being mailed.

It is recommended that when mailing questionable items to U S or foreign destinations, the mailer should call Mail Services for assistance.

Window Envelope Enclosures

Enclosures that are designed so that the address appears in a window should not be stapled to prevent movement of the address from window view. If the addressed enclosure does not properly fit the window, use an envelope without a window.


Sizes and Types

The size of the envelope should properly accommodate the contents. In the US Postal System there are two categories of envelopes: letter size and flats.

Letters, non-letters and barcoded flats are rated differently by the USPS. To assure the best rate, call Mail Services for size and rates before preparing the mailpiece. Use light colored envelopes for legibility and please avoid brilliant colors.

Letter Size

Letter size mail must be rectangular in shape for automated processing by USPS. To ensure prompt and efficient processing of First Class mail, it is recommended that all envelopes and cards:

a) Have an aspect ratio of width (height) to length between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 2.5 inclusive. See Mail Services for envelope template if you are not sure of sizing.

b) Be sealed or secured on all four edges so that they can be handled by machines.

c) Meet the following dimensions for automated processing by USPS:

  1. Height: 3 1/2" Min 6 1/8" Max
  2. Length: 5" Min 11 1/2" Max
  3. Thickness* .007 Min 1/4" Max
  4. * Firmly compressed
  5. ** Card Stock should not exceed .016"

Note: Maximum thickness for automated processing is 1/4". Mail that does not meet automated processing size may not qualify for discounted rates. Letter size envelopes (up to 6 1/8" x 11 1/2") over 1/4" thick will be returned to originator for re-enveloping.

Non Letter (Flats)
Non letter size envelopes are larger than the maximum letter size, but not larger than 12" high by 15" long and 3/4" thick. 

Plain White or Manila - Can be used for all other classes of mail. These should be marked to show proper class of mail, i.e., First or Third Class.

Padded - These envelopes contain a cushioned lining to provide a degree of safety for mailing small and fragile merchandise. If you need to purchase these envelopes, please contact the purchasing office.

Priority - Should be used for First Class mail weighing over 11 ounces and up to 70 pounds, or any other mail under 11 ounces requiring expedited delivery. Priority Mail provides two day service between major metropolitan areas. This is not a guaranteed service.

Various Classes of Mail & USPS Special Services

The cost of mailing varies with each classification.

Oversize/Underweight Mail

First class, Standard A and International Letter Class Mail weighing one ounce or less is non-standard* if it exceeds any of the following size standard limits:

6 1/8" in height, 11 1/2" in length, 1/4": in thickness
or its aspect ratio (length divided by height) does not fall between 1 to 1.3 and 1 to 2.5 inclusive.

* There is an additional charge on each piece of mail that is found to be non-standard.

In addition, pieces which are less than the following dimensions are non- mailable in the U S Postal Service and will be returned to you:

3 1/2" in height or 5" in length or .007" in thickness (thickness of a postcard)

First Class Mail

Any mailable matter may be mailed as First Class Mail. The following examples are considered First Class matter and must carry postage at First Class or Priority Mail rates.

a) Matter wholly or partially handwritten or type-written (including identical copies prepared by automatic typewriter), originals or carbons, invoices, (except when accompanying the matter to which they relate), postal cards, post cards.

b) Matter sealed against postal inspection.

c) Bills and statements of account.

d) Price lists with written-in figures changing items or prices.

e) Blank printed forms filled out in writing, including canceled or un- canceled checks.

f) A computer printout may or may not be First Class Matter. It depends on the content. Contact the Mail Center for additional information.

g) If you are not sure if it is First Class, ask us!

Priority Mail

All First Class mail exceeding 11 ounces and not exceeding 70 pounds is considered priority mail and at the option of the mailer, any mail weighing 11 ounces or less. There is no minimum weight limitation. There is a flat rate up to two pounds.

The U S Postal Service provides free Priority Supplies (1-800-The- USPS): cardboard and Tyvek envelopes, boxes, stickers and tape. The postal service will also pick up Priority, Parcel Post and Express Mail for a fee of $4.95 per pick-up.

Use Priority Mail when 2 or 3 day service is desired. Discount rates are available for 300 or more pieces when using priority mail.

Use Flat Rate Priority Envelopes when possible. These free envelopes allow any weight of material for the 2 pound rate.

Note: Priority Mail is a 2 day service (not guaranteed) between 64 major markets i.e. Atlanta to Dallas or Chicago to New York. When using Priority Mail we recommend use of priority envelopes available at no charge from the Mail Center or your local Post Office.

Standard Mail (A)

  1. Circulars -Catalogs
  2. Booklets -Newsletters
  3. Merchandise -Product Samples
  4. Photographs -Printed Matter

Each piece of Standard Mail (A) must be less than 16 ounces. Anything heavier must be mailed as Standard Mail (B) or Priority Mail. Reduced rates are available for mailings of 250 pieces or a mailing of 50 lbs.

Standard Mail (B) (Parcel Post)

  1. Packages or Parcels -Sound Recordings
  2. Library Materials -Merchandise
  3. Bound Printed Matter -Computer Media
  4. Books -Films
  5. Video Tapes

Each piece of Standard Mail (B) must not exceed 70 pounds in weight and a maximum size of 108" in length and girth combined.

A number of quantity discounts are available for mailings of 200 or more pieces. Call Mail Services for information.

There are three sub-categories of fourth class mail that might save postage. They are:

  1. Special Standard Mail (B) (Known as "Book Rate", but not just for books)
  2. Library
  3. Bound Printed Matter (Known as "Catalog Rate")

Call Mail Services for qualifying items and postage rates.

Special Services

Accountable Mail includes all Certified, Registered, Insured and Overnight Courier mail. These services are charged directly to the cost center that is mailing the piece. An account number must be placed in the upper left hand corner (above the return address) of each outgoing mail piece.

Certified Mail provides you with a mailing receipt and a record of delivery is maintained at the recipient’s post office for two years. A return receipt provides you with proof of delivery and can be obtained for an additional fee. Certified mail service is available only for First Class Mail. No insurance coverage is provided. A numbered label and completed receipt must be affixed. These labels can be obtained from the Mail Center.

Registered Mail is designed to provide added protection for valuable mail. Postage insurance may be purchased to cover articles valued up to $25,000. Registered mail is the most secure mail the Postal Service offers. It incorporates a system of receipts to monitor registered articles from the point of acceptance to delivery. Return receipt and restricted delivery services are available for additional fees. Added security may delay delivery by 24 - 48 hours.

Insured Mail means you can obtain payment for domestic mail that has been lost, rifled or damaged by having it insured. You can but insurance up to $600 for Standard (A) and Standard (B) mail. It is also available for merchandise mailed at the Priority mail or First Class mail rates. Express Mail includes $500 insurance at not extra charge.

Return Receipt is your proof of delivery. It is available for insured mail, certified, registered, and domestic Express mail shipments. The return receipt identifies the article number, who signed for it and the date it was delivered. It is not necessary to utilize a return receipt on all certified or registered mailings. Be certain to identify your department or cost center on any return receipts so we can route them back to you.

A. Return Receipt at time of mailing: $1.85 (by mail), $1.35 (receive electronically)

Return Receipt Optional Service Available with Certified, Registered, Insured (over $50.00 Value), C.O.D. and Express Mail.

B. Return Receipt for merchandise: $3.15 (requested at time of mailing)

C. Return Receipt after mailing: $3.45 (up to two years after mailing)

D. Restricted delivery: $3.70 (will be delivered only to addressee or persons authorized in writing to receive mail)

Express Mail

Express Mail is an extremely reliable and fast delivery service available from the US Postal Service. It reaches all major markets in the US and 84 foreign countries. Express Mail provides shipment of letters, documents and other mailable items and carries document reconstruction insurance at no additional cost. You may mail up to 70 pounds. This can be delivered seven days a week at no extra charge.

SAME DAY AIRPORT DELIVERY to 64 major airports is available for time critical items. Pick up service is not available for same day airport service.

Express mail offers a variety of service options to meet needs. The following are a list of these options. Contact the Mail Center for further details.

  1. Same Day Airport Delivery (Suspended Temporarily)
  2. Post Office to Addressee
  3. Post Office to Post Office
  4. Express Mail International Service

Domestic Overnight Delivery is guaranteed by the US Postal Service (to most locations), and provides for full postage refund if the item is not delivered on time. International deliveries vary by country of destination. No guarantees are offered by the US Postal Service since they have no control over foreign delivery system. There is no provision for a refund.

International Mail

Most items are mailable to foreign countries. However, there are certain restrictions. It is important that mailers contact Mail Services to determine the proper classification and documentation required.

If customs regulations are not followed and documentation is not exact, the item will be impounded by customs until the addressee makes arrangements for clearance and the payment of whatever duties required for the release of the item. Custom rules apply the same whether mail is sent by USPS or other couriers.

The last line of any foreign address should be the country names spelled out in capital letters, in English.

Reply Mail

When you decide to design any business reply envelope or card, please call the Mail Center Manager at extension 5812 for proper format. 

Business Reply Mail (BRM)

BRM service enables mailers to receive First Class mail by paying postage only on the mail which is returned. We guarantee payment of the appropriate First Class postage plus a handling charge per piece.

A special format is required for mailing in foreign countries.

Meter Reply Mail

In some instances Meter Reply Mail is the most cost efficient method since there is no service charge, but postage is prepaid. For information, contact Mail Services. 

Courtsey Reply Mail

Pre-printed envelopes with special formats are available. Mailers returning these to us must prepay the postage.

Note: Business Reply Mail Handling Charges range from $.44 per piece to $.02 per piece plus postage. Contact Mail Services prior to designing or printing any Business Reply mail pieces to insure the most cost effective method.

Large Mailings

Before producing a large or specialized mailing, include the Mail Services Supervisor in your mailing arrangements to ensure your mailing program is timely and cost effective.

Advance notice is required to effectively handle and process large or specialized mailings. Large mailings are considered any mailing consisting of 250 or more pieces.

72 hour advance notice is needed to insure the following items are available:

  1. Sufficient postage on deposit.
  2. Schedule of the mailing house contracted to handle our mailings.
Personal Mail (Incoming & Outgoing)

Outgoing Personal Mail

Outgoing personal mail is handled along with company mail. You may deposit your personal mail in an Out basket located in your department or area.

Outgoing personal mail must be sealed and have the proper postage affixed prior to depositing in the Mail System. For your convenience, a stamp machine is located on the ground floor of Walton Hall.

Personal mail will be delivered to the US Postal Service as received in Center during our next scheduled trip.

Incoming Mail

All incoming personal mail will be sorted and delivered with the daily mail to the department where you are currently working.