How to Address Manila Envelopes

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Standard #10 business envelopes are fine for lightweight mailings, but if you're sending multiple pages or including inserts, you may want to use sturdier Manila envelopes. Various types and sizes are available, so you're sure to find the right Manila envelopes to meet your needs.

Manila is a type of hemp plant. Its light-brown fibers are used by the paper-pulp industry to create sturdy papers used for envelopes and folders. Since the plant grows abundantly in the Philippines, the fiber is named after that country's capital city.

Envelope Format for Return Addresses

Address a Manila envelope as you would any standard business envelope. Use the upper-left corner for the return address on the envelope. Create a second line for the street address or post-office-box number.

It is acceptable to use abbreviations such as ST (street), AVE (Avenue), RD (Road) or PO (post office). Notice that there are no periods after these abbreviations. Since mail is scanned and sorted by machine, it's preferable to use all capital letters and eliminate punctuation.

Create a third line for the city and state. Write out the city name in full. For example, write "Los Angeles" instead of "L.A." You should abbreviate the state using a standard two-letter abbreviation as assigned by the United States Postal Service. For example:

ANYTOWN CA 91111-0123

Envelope Format for Recipient Addresses

Imagine a rectangular block in the center of the Manila envelope. This is where you'll put the name and address of the person or business who will be receiving the mailing. You'll write the address using three lines, one below another, for the recipient name, street address, city, state and zip code.

Mailing to a Specific Individual

Suppose you're mailing to a business address, but you want to direct the envelope to a particular individual. Use the first line of the address block for the person's name. You have the option of using the abbreviation "ATTN" for "attention," but it is not required. Use either of these two formats:

ANYTOWN CA 91111-0123


ANYTOWN CA 91111-0123

Choose the Right Size of Envelope

Manila envelopes are available in a variety of sizes, from small coin envelopes measuring approximately 2 by 4 inches to legal-size envelopes measuring approximately 11 by 14 inches. Choose the size that will allow you to send your mailing flat or, if not too bulky, folded in half once.

If your mailing includes a small item that requires some extra protection, you can purchase bubble mailers. These are Manila envelopes available in various sizes that are lined inside with plastic bubble wrap. Bubble mailers cost more, so they're not necessary unless you need some cushioning for the item you're sending.

Address a bubble mailer using a felt-tip pen or preprinted label. If you use a ballpoint pen, you're likely to poke a hole through the Manila paper.

Affix the Correct Postage

A mailing piece larger than a standard business envelope is called a "flat," and special postal rates apply. In 2020, first-class/flat-rate mail costs $1.00 for the first ounce and 20 cents for each additional ounce. For Priority Mail service, costs range from $7.75 for a flat-rate envelope to $8.40 for a padded flat envelope. If the contents of the envelope are rigid and the envelope cannot be bent, it is classified as a package.

Use an accurate postal scale so that you can affix the correct postage by weight. You can find current rates on the USPS website. If you cannot determine weight and postal costs on your own, visit a local post office branch.