Address labels are labels customized with your name and address, sometimes including a photo, logo, or any such decorative material. Free address labels have been one of the oldest internet freebies around, given away as promotional materials for various brands and causes.
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Free address labels will save you money each year, especially if you send holiday cards to friends and family. Same if you’re planning a wedding, birthday, anniversary, or any other big event and would be sending out invitations.
Plus, it’s a good idea to have some of these labels in your office, your car, or your family console (or, let’s be honest, junk drawer) so you can quickly add your return address to anything you’re about to mail.
Free address labels save you money, time, and your hands from writing down addresses one by one.
Here are a few different ways you can get free address labels.
4 Sources of Free Address Labels
When it comes to getting free address labels, the only way you can receive some is if an organization or private company has a record of your name and address. So how can they get your info?
Plenty of charities give out free address labels throughout the year. Penn State, for example, has sent us free address labels because we’ve made donations to them in the past and they know our info. The downside to this is that we never know if or when we’ll get more address labels.
If you’re interested in organizations that give out address labels, here’s a list of the charities I know so far:
- Disabled American Veterans — Many people in the marketing and charity worlds credit DAV for being the first to use free address labels as a way to increase donations. To this day, you can receive mailing labels if you extend a helping hand to our veterans.
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — Donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by buying checks or mailing labels with their logo or with patients’ designs. So technically, the free mailing labels aren’t free; a set of 144 mailing labels costs $12, of which $4 gets donated to the hospital. We donated here once and received address labels successfully.
- March of Dimes — If you want to support this organization that fights for healthier pregnancies of moms and the overall health of babies, donate through mail including your filled out donation form, your donation, and a letter requesting address labels (as well as how you want your name to appear on them). Regular donors receive free address labels, notepads, cards, and other giveaways as well.
- Feed the Children — Fill out the form or donate by mail by downloading and completing this mail-in donation form (PDF) and send your check or money order payable to “Feeding America” (P.O. Box 96749, Washington, D.C.)
- Paralyzed Veterans of America — This charity has been using address labels as direct mail campaign for over 30 years. Although the organization sold its direct-mail sister company PEP Direct in 2002 and cut back on sending out promo materials, they still send out address labels to donors.
Many of the charities do not publish that they send out free address labels to donors. Some of the ones that have been known to mail out free address labels include:
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Boys Town
- American Heart Association
- Arbor Day Foundation
- The American Legion
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Christian Appalachian Project
- Helen Keller Foundation
- Jacksonville Humane Society
- Moffett Cancer Center
- National Foundation for Cancer Research
- Salesian Mission
- Joseph’s Indian School
- Susan G. Komen Foundation
- St. Labre Catholic Schools
- SPCA International
- National Wildlife Federation
- American Lung Association
Note that if you prefer to mail a check instead, the addresses of these organizations are publicly available on their websites. Just indicate that you’d love to receive promotional items, so you’ll be included once they run a new set of printing.
Also a warning, charities may share their mailing list with each other, so you may receive promotional items from organizations you didn’t donate to. On the plus side, some of those items may be address labels as well.
Sometimes, companies send out free address labels to people on their mailing lists. Do you make it a habit to register online on the official websites of brands you like?
If so, you might be lucky enough to find a company that uses address label giveaways to entice people to become real, paying customers.
A good example of this is The Humane Society of the United States. You’d just have to fill out the form and wait up to 10 weeks (or more) for delivery. Only available in the US and limited to one set per household.
3. Printing Companies
If you’re looking for free mailing labels, printing companies are the best companies to follow since mailing labels are normally part of the menu of products that printing companies offer.
These companies know this too, so they may sometimes send out free address labels as part of a direct-mail marketing campaign.
Another way they can promote their company is to give out coupon codes for discounted or even free printing services.
You can try to message printing companies for mailing label samples or for coupon codes to apply to printing orders for address labels.
Or you can just follow them on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and actively wait for special offers and freebies to be emailed to you.
The advantage of going with printing companies is that you have a greater chance of getting to customize your address labels.
However, if these companies do send free labels, they might send fewer labels than charities would.
Here are some printing companies that have previously sent free samples or at least heavily discounted coupons to their customers:
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4. Shipping Companies
It sounds logical that shipping companies should also have mailing labels available. But did you know that you can get them for free?
Solid Alternatives to Free Address Labels
The problem with free address labels is that there is no guarantee of how many pages of mailing labels you’ll receive or when you’ll receive them from a particular organization or company. The amount of money you donate doesn’t even guarantee this.
If you can’t find charities and private companies currently sending out free address labels, but you need a bunch soon, you can always make them yourself.
1. Visit sites that offer free templates and download them to your own computer.
- World Label
- Laser Ink Jet Labels
- Label Planet
- Online Labels
- Free Personalized Stationery
- Pink Ribbon labels and other similar organizations – The organizations that use address labels as fundraisers and sell them to supporters may also share their designs with those who are interested but cannot spend money. You do have to do a little editing since you’d have to enter your name and address, as well as position the given design where needed.
2. Open the template (using programs like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or any of Adobe programs like Adobe PDF, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).
3. Edit the address, or if the labels are blank, enter your own information into the fields.
4. Print the labels. Make sure the sheets of blank labels you buy from any office supply store match the template you choose to use. The templates will include the size of the label and the number of labels that can be printed on a single sheet.
5. Wait. Once printed, leave the label sheets out for the ink to fully dry. Use the next day.
Of course, you can also design your own address labels digitally and never have to write them manually during the Christmas rush.
The Bottom Line
Even in this digital world, receiving handmade greeting cards, invitations, holiday cards, and other snail mail can still feel more personal to most people. However, writing your return address multiple times can be quite daunting (speaking from experience).
Donating some cash to the charities of your choice hits two birds with one stone – not only will you spread your blessings by helping out in causes you care about, but your mailing label needs will also be taken care of.
I hope this post helped you with your return-mail label needs and guides you on what to do if you need to mail a bunch of letters but can’t find any freebie labels.