Making life easier with mailing labels


The past couple of years, I’ve had to mail in my state tax return. (Don’t even ask why I couldn’t e-file — that’s a whole different fiasco.) And each time, I’m annoyed at having to copy and paste the address into a separate text document, enlarge it, print it, and finally cut it out to attach to the envelope. Why, I wonder, can’t they just give you a makeshift mailing label at the bottom of the tax filing instructions?

In my case, “they” refers to the tax filing software I use. But I’ve seen the same problem with online retailers, investment firms, and anyone else that asks you to mail them something. Except for the case of prepaid return labels, it’s always a pain to get the address into a usable form.

Here’s what I’d like to see: whenever you ask customers to mail you something, write out the address in big, bold text. Then, put that text at the bottom of the instruction sheet (so cutting it out doesn’t trash the whole page), or on a separate sheet altogether. This approach is easy and won’t cost you anything, since the customer is still paying postage.

Why bother? Well, when people don’t have to manually write out the address or enlarge it on their own, they’ll make fewer errors. This means you’ll get a higher percentage of the documents or items you need, while making customers happier in the process.