Return Address Standards

When we send greeting cards to friends and family, we can be casual. But when you’re sending business greeting cards that represent your company, you should observe the correct protocols.

You spent time selecting a card style and verse that you think is the best fit. But don’t spoil the effect by getting sloppy when addressing the card. We’re going to focus on the return address here, but first a few quick reminders about the main address:

  • Don’t use printed mailing labels: You don’t want your card to look like junk mail. Take the time to handwrite the address.
  • Always include the recipient’s full title: Even if it’s a close business relationship, the envelope should be done correctly.
  • Neatness counts: If you have horrible handwriting, ask a colleague to address your cards. Then buy them lunch.

Return Address Guidelines
If you want your mail to be delivered, you should follow USPS guidelines. It’s also a matter of common sense. You want your business greeting card to reach its destination. Here are some tips for your return address:

  • If you use a return address: Your mail will be returned to you if it can’t be delivered.
  • Printed return addresses are OK: You may have the company’s return address printed on your business greeting card envelope or use printed return address labels. Although you should handwrite the main address, it’s acceptable to use a printed return address.
  • Include the company name: Sometimes we leave off our name on a personal mail return address. But it’s important to include the company name (and your name, if appropriate) so it’s recognized by the recipient.
  • The Post Office would like it: The USPS has stricter standards for the main address, but there are guidelines for the return address as well. The post office prefers that you put the return address in the upper left corner of the envelope. But it is also acceptable to put it on the back flap.
  • Always include the ZIP Code: The USPS requires the ZIP Code to be in the return address. Either 5-digit or ZIP+4 are acceptable.