Main Content Region

Addressing For Success

Postal Addressing

In order to increase the speed , efficiency, and accuracy of your mail, the USPS utilizes optical character readers (OCR's) and barcode sorters (BCS's) to process mail. These computerized mail processing machines are located in post offices across the country and are programmed to 'read and sort' up to 36,000 pieces of mail per hour. To benefit from these high speed readers, your mail must be technically compatible.

The Post Office considers mail that is the right size and shape to speed with ease through their equipment.  Each piece of mail passes by the computer's scanner for a quick read of the delivery address. Then the OCR's printer sprays on a delivery point barcode for the address.

Next, the mail piece zooms on to one of the OCR's sorting channels reserved for the proper delivery area. From there, the barcoded mail is fed to BCS's for fast final separations, right down to the letter carriers who deliver it.

The OCR is easily confused by sloppy handwriting, highly stylized characters, extraneous printing and incorrectly placed address information. A sample of correct addressing can be found under the section Automation Requirements.

Intercampus Mail

Intercampus mail is mail that originates on campus, relates to University business, and has an on-campus address and/or recipient for which it to be delivered.

We strongly encourage you to use intercampus envelopes for on-campus mail. When you use an intercampus envelope, be sure that the previous addresses are crossed out and that you use the next sequential address block on the envelope. If you are using stationery envelopes for intercampus mail, please ensure that "CAMPUS MAIL" is printed prominently on the envelope where it can be seen.  Intercampus envelopes may be available from Mail Services, for free, or purchased from an outside vendor.

Intercampus mail can be a nonspecific flyer for general distribution or an item addressed to a specific individual or department within the University. Intercampus mail of this nature should at least be marked with the individual's name and department.

Mail Services sorts intercampus mail by department, not by a person's name or building or room number. Failure to list the department name may result in a delay or misdirection. Personnel scan envelopes quickly to decide on a destination department. Envelopes with no department designation are automatically set aside for later research. The more clearly your department is identified, the less likely a mistake will be made in sorting.