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Whenever a correspondence is sent, be it a letter, email or fax, it will be necessary to correctly specify the recipient. There are some rules for labeling envelopes and filling in the mailing address that must be followed to ensure that the correspondence will be received by the correct person. By using the abbreviation of attention (ATN), which means ” to the attention ” we will be correctly identifying the person who should receive the correspondence.
Especially in the case of large organizations, providing a specific name or department at the recipient’s address can speed up the delivery process and possibly we will be able to get a faster response. In the case of emails, using the ” to attention ” line or the attention abbreviation in the address can also increase the probability that the message will be read and not considered as spam.
Envelope Addressing Basics
If you’re sending a letter or package within the country, the United States Post Office ( USPS ) has guidelines that you should follow when preparing your delivery address. You will need to include the recipient’s name, company name, address, and city / state / zip code on separate lines, all in that order. When secondary address information such as suite or apartment number is used, this is added to the end of the address line and abbreviated, according to USPS regulations.
Attention Abbreviation (ATN) in the delivery address
It is not always necessary to use the “to attention” line or abbreviation of attention in a delivery address. For example, personal correspondence generally does not use this line. However, if the recipient works for a company, or if you are sending a letter to a specific department within an organization, then you should add it. It is important to use the abbreviation in capital letters followed by the name of the person or department. You do not need to add a colon in the delivery address. The line is printed immediately above the name of the organization or company.
Attention Abbreviation (ATN) in the inner direction
The “to attention” line or abbreviation of attention can also be used with an address inside that will appear on the letter itself. When the address includes the name of a company, but you need it to reach someone specific or a particular department, you should add this line, two lines below the interior address. You can write the word in capital letters or just with an initial capital letter. If you choose the first option, you must also write in capital letters the name or department.
C / O or ATN?
You may also wonder when to use the attention line instead of the ” in the care of ” or (c / o) line as a way to address your letters. “In Care Of” should only be used when you are sending a letter to a specific person who does not normally live or work at that address. For example, you can use this method to send a letter to someone who is staying with a friend. Another difference is that the “c / o” comes before the name of the person or company at that specific address, never before the name of the recipient.