To ensure an address can be machine read, the following guidelines are recommended:
- Make sure the return address is in the top left corner of the envelope.
- Use a printer or typewriter to write the address in block lettering. Use Courier as the font type at 10 or 12 point size. The characters must not touch and must not be in italics.
- The city, state, and zip code should be the last line of the address. The street address should be the next–to–last line. The lines of the address should be evenly spaced.
- Write the street address, city, and state in capital letters without punctuation.
- The entire street address should be on a single line including secondary information, such as an apartment number. If a street has a North, South, East, or West designation, use standard postal abbreviations.
- Write the address in the center of the envelope. When using labels, make sure the labels are attached horizontally and not skewed either up or down. Check to see that the address is not partially hidden in an envelope with a transparent window.
- The surface of postcards / envelopes must not be glossy or dark finish; otherwise, the postage ink will not dry or show up and will be returned to your department.
- All letters and flats to be metered must be turned the same direction in the tray or mail hod. This increases the speed of metering the mail piece and ensure that the mail will be processed that day.
- There is no advantage to separating Blacksburg (local) mail from other United States Postal Service mail.
- All first class, international mail, and campus mail should be separated.
- A separate transaction card should be filled out for each class of mail.
Departmental Mail is capable of sealing letter–sized envelopes with the flaps folded up or down; leaving the flaps up is preferred.