How to Address Mail to the UK

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  • How to address mail to UK

If you’re sending mail to the UK, find out how to write a UK address from the USA with our simple to follow guide, and find the cheapest way to ship to the UK using our clever shipping calculator. 

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UK address format 

If you’re sending a package to England , you can avoid delays and the risk of your parcel getting lost by ensuring it is addressed correctly.

To demonstrate how to write a UK address from overseas, we’ve provided an example of a US address next to a UK address, so you can see the difference.

UK address format example

How to write a uk address.

After the recipient’s name, you need to write their house name or number and the street name. In our example, it’s 71 Cherry Court.

Some addresses may have a house or building name. If the property has a name this should be on one line after the recipient’s name, then the street name should go on the next line. 

If you’re sending to a business address, put the company name underneath the recipient's name.

Unlike an American address, where the town, state and ZIP code appear on the same line, the town and postcode is written on separate lines for a UK address.

On the line after the street name, you need to write the town or city, followed by the postcode on the next line. For clarity, the town and postcode should be written in capital letters.

Finally, write the destination country. This seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget! It's best practice to write this in capital letters too.

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London address format

If you’re sending a package to London, you should follow the same UK address format as above, making sure you include the correct London postcode.

London postcodes are used to divide London into geographic areas, these are West London, Central London, East London, North London and South London. This is segregated further into South West, South East, North West, West Central and East Central.

You can tell which part of London an address appears in by the postcode. For example, the address for Buckingham Palace is:

Buckingham Palace

The SW stands for South West London, while the numbers and letters after that refine it further to the street address. Most of the time, the first 4 letters and numbers will be enough, however, if you have the full postcode it’s always a good idea to use it.

Quick tips: How to address mail to the UK

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how to write the address on a letter uk

How to address mail

Make sure your post gets exactly where it needs to go

When posting something to someone in the UK, write the address like this:

Addressees' name House number and street name Locality name (if needed) Town (please print in capitals) Full postcode (please print in capitals)

Return address

If you want to make sure your post can get back to you, don’t forget to include your UK return address on each item. Items that cannot be delivered will be returned to you.

How to address an international item

The way you write international postal addresses may vary between countries, but here's a good guideline:

Addressee's name House number and street name City or town Province, state or department and postal code COUNTRY (please print in capitals & use English name)

Handy tips for international post

If you want to make sure your post can get back to you if undelivered, don't forget to include your UK return address on each item.

Just remember that your return address needs to be in the UK. If you include a return address that’s in the destination country, it won’t be accepted.

If you’re sending a package outside the UK, you’ll need a customs label. You can get all the customs forms you need at the Post Office or on our customs page .

Ready to post? Pop in with your item

How to Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain)

Last Updated: January 8, 2023

This article was co-authored by Tami Claytor . Tami Claytor is an Etiquette Coach, Image Consultant, and the Owner of Always Appropriate Image and Etiquette Consulting in New York, New York. With over 20 years of experience, Tami specializes in teaching etiquette classes to individuals, students, companies, and community organizations. Tami has spent decades studying cultures through her extensive travels across five continents and has created cultural diversity workshops to promote social justice and cross-cultural awareness. She holds a BA in Economics with a concentration in International Relations from Clark University. Tami studied at the Ophelia DeVore School of Charm and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she earned her Image Consultant Certification. This article has been viewed 265,037 times.

When posting a letter, you want to make sure you address the envelope correctly in order to help your letter get delivered to the correct place on time. Many countries have specific requirements for addressing an envelope correctly, including Great Britain. Great Britain is a term that describes the combination of England, Scotland, and Wales, the three nations which together include all the land on the island. Knowing how to send an envelope with the required elements of an address in Great Britain will help you look professional and ensure that your mail gets to its destination properly.

Mailing an Envelope within Great Britain

Image titled Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain) Step 1

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Image titled Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain) Step 8

Mailing an Envelope Outside of Great Britain (International Mail)

Image titled Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain) Step 10

Image titled Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain) Step 14

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Image titled Put an Address on an Envelope (Great Britain) Step 16

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how to write the address on a letter uk

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About This Article

Tami Claytor

To put an address on an envelope in Britain, start by writing it in the bottom left-hand corner of the envelope, but leave enough space so there is a 1/5 inch border around the address. Make sure all address lines are left aligned as you write them in permanent ink. On the first line, include the person's full name, then add the property name or number on the second line. When you're on the third line, include the local town or area. Finally, write the post code on the last line, which is used to help sort out mail. To find out where to write a return address and what the appropriate postage is, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Following the UK Mailing Address Format Correctly

uk mailing address format

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The 21st century! And electronic media has taken over our daily lives. Well, it was slow initially!

All of us today are dependent on different types of communication channels- agree? Looking back in time, Ray Tomlinson started the revolution with email in the ARPANET program, followed by Shiva Ayyadurai, who popularized email for the masses, and Mark Zuckerberg, who helped negate the need for physical mail.

uk mailing address format

Although it is virtually obsolete, the postal service is still required to verify documents and send parcels & packages. Today, nobody has time to verify and correct the UK shipping address format or protocols before sending urgent packages or even a letter.

Well, thanks to our busy schedules.

Again, just as we said above, it is crucial to know how to write a mailing address correctly to facilitate a clean-sailing and successful mail delivery .

Here is a guide to help you get familiarized with everything and clear all your doubts on how to write an address on a letter UK.

Let’s get to it!

Why Is It Important to Use the Correct UK Address Format?

Just as we keep telling our clients, address verification is a crucial element of any direct mail campaign. A wrong address results in a delivery, which causes customers to experience frustration, and for businesses, it may lead to loss of sales opportunities.

Address verification tends to bring noteworthy benefits to your business, a few of them are:

Looking for the Key to Boost Lead Generation?

If so, then PostGrid is your one-stop solution. Talk to us and let us help generate leads with our print & mailing APIs.

If you want to send something overseas, you should follow the guidelines of the destination country. The same rule applies while mailing something to the UK. You just have to write your complete mailing address as per the standard UK address format .

Also, Royal Mail has laid down several guidelines that can help you standardize your UK mailing addresses correctly. These guidelines can help you in the following ways:

Reduce Mail Returns

One of the prime reasons to write a UK address the right way is to make sure your mailpiece reaches its destination.

But, often, some people do not pay attention to the address format and make mistakes like

These mistakes can lead to failed deliveries and mail returns, leading to huge losses.

Avoid Delivery Delays and Maintain Brand Image

Delivery delays are as bad as returned mail items. For example, suppose you tell a UK client that the parcel will reach them by a specific date. But what if a slight formatting error causes a delay? It can upset your clients and also lead to a bad reputation.

The postal service depends on the mailing address you write to complete a delivery. If you don’t do your part right, the post office cannot deliver your mail to the correct address. Hence, proper formatting is crucial to help the post office transport and deliver your mail items accurately.

Save Resources and Effort

Reshipping international orders is expensive and can take a lot of effort. Yet, you may have to reship the returned items.

Also, you need to spend on extra printing, packaging, and mailing, causing a lot of wastage. So, apart from the extra effort, it also costs you tons of money and resources.

Using the correct United Kingdom address format can help you skip such troubles and mail to the proper mailing address the first time itself.

Complete Orders On-Time

On-time deliveries can help companies improve customer satisfaction and increase credibility. Once a customer receives their order by the estimated delivery date, there is a good chance they will order again.

But, all these things are possible only when the item reaches them at the right time. Here, learning how to write an address UK can be very beneficial to businesses.

How to Format a UK Address?

The British address format is very different from the US address format. For example, the city, state, and ZIP codes are all written on the same line here. But, in the UK, postcodes are always written separately on the last line.

It is just one example of how the two address formats differ. We have listed some steps below to help you understand how to write UK addresses without getting caught up in these variations.

Place the Address on the Bottom-Left of Your Envelope

Unlike US addresses, the correct address format UK recommends placing the address on the bottom-left corner of the envelope. Make sure that the mailing address always appears on the front side.

Write the Recipient’s Full Name

Start with writing your recipient’s full name even if you have an informal relationship with that person. It helps your letter or parcel reach the right person without any misinterpretations. Also, it is a must while mailing to a company where more than one person can have the same name.

Furthermore, it is advisable to add a salutation before the name on formal letters—for example, Dr. John Dankworth. Other titles include Mister, Miss, Mr., Ms., Mrs., Esq, etc.

Leave enough space at the bottom of the envelope to add the full address below the name.

Add the Company Name

If you are mailing a commercial address, add the company name on the second line. It helps the postal workers locate the address more quickly.

However, sometimes the business name is different than the parent company name. For example, the company Vinters Engineering Limited is owned by Rolls-Royce Holdings plc. So, naturally, there are two offices at separate locations for both of these organizations.

In such cases, you have to consider where exactly your mail is going before writing the business name in your address.

Write the Property Number and Street Name

The following line is also called the delivery address line. It consists of the property number along with the street name—for example, 12 Notting Hill.

Sometimes, there are many different variations of this line, and some of them are:

Mention the Locality Name

The address writing format UK suggests writing the locality name immediately below the street address.

Please note: Locality names help the postal service reach the right street where your address is located. For example, suppose there are two streets in the town of Bakewell named ‘Church Street.’ If you don’t mention a locality name, it is difficult for the postal workers to identify the right street.

Write the Town or City Name

Write the town or city name on the line below. If you didn’t mention the locality name, place this line below the street address.

For clarity, write the town or city name in uppercase letters.

Add the Postcode

Mention the postcode on the following line. Make sure to write complete and correct postcodes to avoid confusion and mistakes.

If you are unsure of your postcodes, you can find them here .

Write the Country Name on the Last Line

If you are in the UK and mailing to someone within the country, you can skip this line. But, for sending mail to the UK from the USA , you should mention the country name on the last line in capital letters.

Find below a London address example to get a better understanding of the above steps:

Ms. Naomi Davies Gaze Media Inc 1 Carnaby Street LONDON W1F 9PS ENGLAND

Write the Return Address and Post Your Mailpiece

Include the return address on the back of your envelope towards the bottom-right corner. Add the words “Return Address” on the first line and then start writing it.

Some people write their return address on the opening flap of the envelope. So, you can also opt for this method too as it is a common practice in the UK.

But is it necessary to add a return address to my mail? Well, you don’t have to add it if you don’t want to. Yet, it is recommended by Royal Mail as it helps you get your mail back in case the delivery fails.

If you don’t add a return address, the post office holds the item instead of delivering it back to you. If you don’t show up to collect your returned mail in a few days, the items are discarded.

Sometimes, the post office discards returned mail without a return address even before waiting for someone to collect it. So, always remember to mention a deliverable return address if you want your items back.

Find below the steps to write a return address on your envelope and mail it:

Step 1: Write the Address Using the US Address Format

Since the return address is a US address, you should follow the USPS address format. Follow all the guidelines in the same way as you would for a mailing address.

Below is an example of a return address:

RETURN ADDRESS THEO HELBERG 45 AZTEC DR ARIZONA CITY AZ 10418 USA

Please note: The country name ‘USA’ is written on the last line because the mail is returning from the UK (international). For domestic mail, you can skip this line.

Creating Return Address Envelope Made Easy

Create without the fuss of a pen, and send multiple outgoing letters and other mail items that look more personal & professional!

Step 2: Buy Global Forever Stamps

You can send letters weighing up to 1oz using one Global Forever stamp. Currently, the rate for one stamp is $1.30. The best part is that you can buy these stamps now and use them any time you want as they never expire.

If your mail item weighs more than 1oz, you will need more than one stamp.

Step 3: Post Your Letter

If you are sending the mail from the US, you can drop your items in a mailbox around you.

But, sometimes, it is difficult to determine the number of stamps you need or the amount of postage you need to pay. Hence, it is advisable to take your items to the post office to weigh your mail and know the exact postage.

Furthermore, if you don’t know how to write the address on the envelope UK, they can help you.

Once you mail something, the item can take about one to two weeks to arrive in the UK.

How to Write London Addresses?

We have already discussed how to address a letter to England . But, this section is all about London addresses due to their postcodes.

All London postcodes divide the city into several geographic locations like

These areas are further divided into

The postcodes of London start with these abbreviations. Some of the London postcodes are:

The extra numbers and digits in postcodes help in locating the street address. Most of the time, the first section of the postcode and the first number from the second section (for example, SE1 0) are enough. But, try writing the entire postcode for better clarity.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) Addresses

The address layout for a BFPO address is as follows-

For service personnel:

Service Number, Rank, Name Regiment or Unit Operation or Location RAF Station, Naval Ship, Barracks, or Camp (if applicable) BFPO Number

For family:

If the recipient is dependent on serving personnel of HM forces, use the below format.

Name of dependent C/O Service Number, Rank, Name Regiment or Unit Operation name RAF Station, Naval Ship, Barracks, or Camp (if applicable) BFPO Number

For non-service personnel:

Use the below format if the mail is for a Ministry of Defense (MOD) employee. You can also use it for employees of other official organizations who are supposed to use the BFPO.

Staff number (depending on availability) Name Department/Unit (school name) RAF Station, Naval Ship, Barracks, or Camp (if applicable) BFPO Number

If you are having difficulty finding the BFPO number, visit here .

Some more things to remember while writing BFPO addresses are:

UK Address Examples

The address you saw above explains only one type of correct postal address format UK. Below are some more examples so that you know how to address a letter UK under any situation:

UK Address Format Example With a Dependent Locality:

Mr. Daniel Morgan (addressee) Primrose Cottage (building name) Park Road (street name) Framingham Pigot (dependent locality name) NORWICH (post town) NR1 1QD (postcode) ENGLAND (country)

In this example, the dependent locality is a large village that can help the postal employees reach the right street.

UK Address With PO Box Address Format UK

Ms. Rachael Williams (addressee) PO Box 831 (PO box address) LONDON (post town) SWI9 2AA (postcode) ENGLAND (country)

As you can see above, the PO box address completely replaces the street address line.

UK Commercial Address Format

Mr. Jacob Staincliffe (addressee) Star Tech Company Ltd. (company name) HR Department (department name) 34 Abbey road (house number and street name) LONDON (post town) NW6 5JH (postcode) ENGLAND (country)

As written above in the London address format , the department name should always be on the line below the company name. Though it is never mandatory to write the department name, it helps your mail reach the right person within a company.

UK Address Format With No Street Name

Mrs. Lily Scott (addressee) The Gables (building name) LONDON (post town) NW1 2LG (postcode) ENGLAND (country)

If you don’t have a street name, it is not a problem. But, make sure to write the building name at least. You cannot send out a mail item that neither has a building name nor a street address.

Comparison between UK and US Addresses

Send mail to us and uk without worrying about the differences.

We process your print & mailing in just 2 SLA Business Days across the globe. Talk to us and avail the best of our services regardless of the country you are in!

Please find below other differences in the United States and United Kingdom mailing address formats :

Despite these differences, many general rules are the same in both countries, like

Apart from these guidelines, find below some more points related to addressing fonts and printing :

These guidelines help you get your mail items delivered to the UK faster. By following the UK address format Royal Mail , you can ensure that the post office workers and their machines can read your address correctly. It will lead to fast sorting, processing, and deliveries.

Know more about Correct International or UK Address Format

Make the most of our automatic address verification services that provide you with addresses that are 100% up-to-date and accurate.

Using an Address Verification Tool to Format Address Correctly

If the above instructions are too much for you or you don’t have the time to follow them, consider using address verification tools. For example, PostGrid’s address verification can help you standardize your addresses as per the letter envelope address format UK within seconds.

Our address validation API also has other features like

Hence, you can ensure that all your mail items reach their intended recipients, and you don’t have to stress over reshipping.

Plus, PostGrid ’s services are available for you at very competitive prices so that you can avail of high-quality services affordably.

Wrapping Up

Verifying your address and writing it down the right way is crucial before sending something to the UK. These steps can help you save a lot of effort, time, and money.

But, sometimes, it is impossible to standardize bulk addresses by yourself. Hence, PostGrid has brought a credible and effective solution for you. Our address verification API helps you verify your UK mailing lists in minutes hassle-free. You can always have access to updated data allowing you to mail abroad confidently.

Not just the UK address format , PostGrid can help you with other international address formats as well. Hence, you no longer need to worry about borders and can mail anywhere.

Also, try PostGrid’s print and mail API that helps you create, print, and send your mailpiece in an automated way.

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How to address your mail (Clear addressing)

These guidelines show the best way to address your mail for fast delivery in the UK and abroad.

Write the address clearly on the front following our clear addressing guide lines and always include a postcode when you can. You can search for up to 50 postcodes or addresses, free of charge, with our Postcode Finder .

Addressing your item

Remember to include a return address  so if for any reason your item can't be delivered, we can send it back to you.

Write the words 'return address' on the back of the envelope and underneath that, the actual return address.

Best way to write a UK address

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses

The address layout is:

Service Number, Rank and Name   Unit/Regiment Operation or Location Name (if applicable) BPFO Number Please note:  the town and country mustn't be included Please go to our  HM Forces Mail page for full details, and any restrictions. A full list of BFPO addresses is available at Gov.uk .

Typical way to write an address to an international destination

Using coloured envelopes  (Tip - stick on a white label with black ink.)

It's important that the address shows up against the colour of your envelope.

Address format in detail

Write or print the name of the person (or people) you are sending to on the first line, above the address. It's best to include their surname as well as their first name. You can add a line for an organisation name.

Middle lines

Use a line for the property number and street name. If the property has a full name, this can take up one line and drop the street name onto the next line. Next line can be used to name the local area or village name. Next line should be for the town. Write the name of the town in capital (upper case) letters.

There is no need to include a county name, your letters and parcels will reach your intended recipient without one. If, however, you'd prefer to include a county name, you' are welcome to do so.

Bottom line

UK destination: The final line should be the UK postcode, again in capital letters. International destination: After the area code, add the country name to the final line, again in capital letters.

Address formats for specific countries:

The State abbreviation should be inserted on the same line as, and between, the town and the postcode. Mr J Brownhall 264 High Street ALLAMBIE NSW 2100 AUSTRALIA

Mr Willy Janssens Lange Stationsstraat 352 3000 LEUVEN BELGIUM

M. Emile Dubois Rue du Diamant 215 4800 VERVIERS BELGIUM

Czech Republic

When addressing mail to France, write the addressee’s surname in CAPITAL letters.

M. Robert MARIN Rue de l’Eglise Dunes 82340 AUVILLAR FRANCE Mme Marie PAGE 23 Rue de Grenell 75700 PARIS CEDEX FRANCE

Germany has strict rules about receiving mail, which, if ignored, may result in your mail being returned to you with no attempt at delivery. When addressing mail to Germany, always:

Mrs F Meier Weberstr. 2 53113 BONN 1 GERMANY Mr P Kunde Lange Str. 12 04103 LEIPZIG GERMANY

In 2015 a seven digit postcode system was developed for Ireland and should be used in all addresses, other than those for PO Boxes. All mail for Ireland should now be addressed as illustrated below: Eason 80 Abbey Street Middle DUBLIN 1 DO1 P8N3 IRELAND The introduction of the new codes will not in any way affect the existing address structure. The postcode will occupy a new line at the bottom of addresses for domestic mail and the penultimate line for international mail.

Republic of Korea

The Netherlands

There should be a double space between the postcode and the post town

Mr J van Dieten Morsstr 111 2312  BK LEIDEN THE NETHERLANDS

New Zealand

Republic of Serbia

Items for the former Yugoslavia should be addressed to the relevant Republic.

Mr Stevan Raukovic Palmoticeva 2 11001 BELGRADE SERBIA

Republic of Singapore

Slovak Republic

The province should be included in brackets after the town.

Sra Ana Jimenez Mimbreras 4 03201 ELCHE (Alicante) SPAIN

Switzerland

If only the first half of the postcode is known, this will be sufficient, although both parts are preferred. The abbreviation USA is also acceptable.

Mr Joe Engle 1612 Dexter Street FORT WAYNE IN 46805 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Mr Bill Harrison 347 L’Enfant Plaza SW WASHINGTON DC 20260-6500 USA

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how to write the address on a letter uk

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Posting in the UK or overseas? How to perfectly address your mail

Posting in the UK or overseas? How to perfectly address your mail

We live for celebrating moments that matter and quite often that means sending cards and gifts to your friends and family by post. This handy guide will walk you through perfectly addressing your mail to make sure your birthday cards, letters, anniversary gifts or whatever lovely thing you are sending, gets to it's intended destination safely and swiftly.

Despite the massive shift to online services, social media, email and SMS (ew), people are relentless in their love of receiving cards and gifts through the post. It's easy to get giddy when a bunch of cards land on the doormat on our birthday. And quite right too! You know the sender has invested time in finding the absolutely perfect card for you or the gift that only you could appreciate and you can't help but get a fuzzy feeling from that meaningful and real connection.

If you still need inspiration for the perfect birthday card , want to find a quirky card to just say hi, or are looking for some gift ideas , our site is packed full of incredible products from well known brands like Leuchtturm1917 to inspiring indies like Hunter Paper Co.

Sending to someone in the UK?

Maybe it's your maiden posting voyage or perhaps it's been a while since you sent something - fret not! The best format for addressing UK mail is:

Write each line aligned to the left, not in the centre and avoid using full stops or commas. 

If you need help finding the postcode for the recipient and only know part of the address, you can look it up here .

We always recommend putting your return address on the reverse of the item. Not only does it mean that if your item isn't delivered for any reason, it will be returned to you, but it also means that the recipient knows where to respond or send a thank you note. Just mark it as RETURN above your own UK address. 

Sending something internationally?

Some countries have entirely different postal systems to the UK, however the following format is a good guide to use:

If you are sending your item within Europe we'd recommend noting the postcode to the left of the town eg. 75008 Paris. 

Don't forget to add your UK return address on the reverse of the item so it can be returned to you if it is undelivered.

When sending mail out of the UK, you will need to complete a Customs Declaration. You can get a customs label at your local Post Office or online . These need to be attached to the item, so leave room on the front top left of your item so it can be stuck on without covering any of the address.

And that's it ready to go...

All that is left to do is post your lovingly thought out and put together package or card. The best and easiest place to post your mail is of course your local Post Office. The team there will be able to advise you on the best method of posting and will happily help you with any questions about customs or cover for valuable items for example. You can find your local Post Office here .

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How to write a formal letter: Format and templates

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As experts in mail management , we recognise that 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 of a formal letter format

Top right: your details in this order

     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

Introductory line

Tip: If you don’t know the recipient’s name, write ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

Formatting the body of your letter:

How to format the body of a formal 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.

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.

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

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).

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

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