USPS Postage Rate Increase on January 26th

USPS 2014 stamp 49 centsAs a reminder, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be increasing the price of a first-class stamp from $.46 each to $.49 each on January 26th, 2014. If you are planning on getting a mailing out the door this month, you can save money by sending it a few days early.

LetterStream will be raising its prices on all first-class mail products by 3 cents to cover the cost of the USPS price increase. Our new prices will take effect at 5:00 pm on January 24th, as jobs received over the weekend will be mailed on Mon. Jan. 27th at the new postage rate.

As is our tradition, LetterStream has no plans to increase prices beyond the USPS increase. Keep in mind that the USPS has raised prices on postcards, flats, certified mail and other products as well. These increases will be reflected where appropriate in LetterStream prices. We look out for our customers as best we can!

Toys for Tots 2013 Update

Toys for Tots toy drive

Santa at Toys for Tots eventThe Toys for Tots event at DC Ranch in Scottsdale was a huge success! It was a warm, sunny day, and a spirit of giving must have been in the air… the Marines collected more than 20 jumbo boxes of toys; enough to fill an entire U-Haul truck!

The event was complete with Christmas carolers, great food, photo ops with Santa, an antique toy auction, plenty of hot chocolate, and lots of smiles all around.

Just like last year, I was blown away by the generosity of our team. This year LetterStream giving was up by 50%Way to go guys!

As the Marines filled the U-Haul truck with toys, I couldn’t help but think of the joy it would bring to kids in need this holiday season.

A special thanks to Grimaldi’s and American Family Insurance who sponsored the event. And thanks to all who came out and participated.

We hope to see an even bigger crowd next year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2014! Years seem to feel more like months these days. I’m not sure if that’s because we are having too much fun and making time fly, or if we are just distracted by the opportunities to assist our customers. Either way, a new year is upon us.

We want to say thank you to all our customers, vendors, employees, friends and families who all have been so supportive of the products and services that we offer. We are grateful… Thank You!

In response, and as our New Year’s resolution, we will continue to innovate in the mailing industry in order to deliver hi-tech mailing tools to assist you with your mailings. We will also continue to offer a degree of speed and precision that few in the mailing world can provide, and we will continue to offer stellar customer service, the kind that you can only find by turning back time.

Please continue to communicate with us and give us your feedback so that we can partner with you in helping you accomplish your goals this year as well.

Thank you! …and Happy New Year!

Toys for Tots 2013 Event – Join Us on Dec. 21st!

Toys for Tots 2013It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit and round up toys for kids who might not have Christmas presents this year without a little help from us.

LetterStream is again participating with American Family Insurance agents Nanette D. Cure and Nanette Corso for their 7th Annual Christmas in the Park Fund Raiser and Toy Drive.

This year’s event continues to support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a visit from Santa, Marines, live entertainment, an antique toy auction and more.

The event has been moved from the Pinnacle Peak General Store to Grimaldi’s in DC Ranch. This is a great backdrop for family photos, and of course pictures with Santa!

What:      Toy Drive, Santa, Toy Auction, Great Food

When:     December 21, 2013: 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Where:    DC Ranch, Scottsdale, (20715 North Pima Road)

Please bring unwrapped toys for donation, or drop them off anytime at the LetterStream corporate office.

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

*Click to download flier.

Innovations In Printing And Mailing

Popular Science 100 Best InnovationsI was flying out of town the other day and picked up a Popular Science magazine to read on the flight. I was happy to see the title was “100 Best Innovations of the Year” and wondered if any of our mailing innovations had made the list. There are a few different mailing innovations that we rolled out this year and I thought I might find one or two discussed in the magazine.

For instance, we have our innovative Return Mail Processing service where we can process our clients’ return mail. This is a good way to keep undeliverable mail from being returned to our customers. Instead, we get it. Then we flag all the addresses in our customer’s account that have been returned, showing the return date and the return reason from the USPS yellow sticker. In addition, reports can be run by user, date range, mail type and many other filters for the letters that were returned.

Another innovation is our USPS Registered Mail solution, which allows users to create and send Registered Mail on our website. If you send Registered Mail, you know that it is one of the most time-consuming and confusing types of mail that you could possibly send. True to LetterStream’s form, we make the process so easy you can create the registered letter–or hundreds of them–in around 2 minutes on our website. We keep track of the USPS tracking information and the signature cards in an orderly fashion on our website.

Some may say that our online Certified Mail process is the most innovative Certified Mail solution they’ve ever seen. We’d like to agree… but we’ve been processing Certified Mail this way for nearly 10 years, so it might not be an innovation of this year.

We’ll, I’ve skimmed the 100 Best Innovations article, and unfortunately I could not find the name LetterStream. But that’s ok, our customers repeatedly give us the honor of being great innovators in the mailing business, and they are the ones we want to please.

If you want to learn more about our mail innovations, check out our website, explore our blog or pick up the phone and call us.

Eliminate Returned Mail with LetterStream Return Mail Processing

Return MailAs part of our goal to be your very best mail room, we have added Return Mail Processing (RMP) to our already rich line of mail room services.

In a blog post earlier this year we showed you how you can reduce the amount of return mail that you receive by cleaning up your address data with our CASS and NCOA tools. Now we are offering a way for you to completely eliminate your return mail by using the LetterStream Return Mail Processing Center as your return address.

This will eliminate the labor you currently spend on processing returned mail and it will keep a permanent record of each piece of mail returned. Imagine when a client of yours says they didn’t get a letter or bill that you sent, being able to see that the mail piece was returned. Then, instead of sending the same bill to the same address, you could work to capture a better or more complete address from your client.

To implement return mail processing we simply swap out your return address with ours, keeping your company name attached for recognition by your clients. Undeliverable mail will then be returned to our RMP by the USPS instead of to your office. We will make a record of which pieces are returned and electronically flag them in your account on our website. Returned mail pieces will be highlighted in your mailing history for instant identification.

Return Mail Processing

This same highlighting will appear on addresses of returned mail when you are searching for mail pieces by recipient name or address. With our handy “show only returned mail” feature, you can see how much returned mail you have by date range, sender, job type, or nearly any other identifier that our system allows you to search on.

Return Mail Search Function

Return Mail Processing might not make sense for you if you have less than a few returned pieces per month, but if you see that stack of returned mail piling up, wondering if you’ll ever have time to figure out what’s going on, now might be the time to see how LetterStream can help.

We have a special roll-out promotion price of $59.00 per month plus $0.10 per returned piece. That’s an insanely good deal, so take advantage of it before we figure out what we’ve done. 😉

Happy Veterans Day!

On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.

-Veterans Day Proclamation by Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

Veterans Day Stamp

 

Happy Veterans Day from LetterStream!

 

Even though the Post Office is closed today, we are open and able to process and mail your critical correspondence.

New LifeShow Slideshow. (Say That 10 Times Fast)

LetterStream lobby slideshowWe’ve found an innovative way to show off photos and display our logo in our company lobby. Since the price of a mounted flat panel HDTV was less than a custom made sign, we decided to opt for technology and electronics over old-fashioned plastic cut-out letters. Turns out the technology is pretty amazing, especially when combined with LifeShow.

We created a slide show of various pictures of certified mail, registered mail, trays of mail, post office locations, blue collection boxes and a host of other mailing related products with our logo intermixed. Then, via LifeShow we have shared the slideshow on Google+, Facebook and most importantly the flat panel in the LetterStream lobby.

The craziest part!? We are even able to share it in this post!

Use your arrow keys to scroll through our collection of mail related photos (you might need to click on the image first to get it rolling).

You can now pretend you are sitting in the leather overstuffed chairs in our lobby, listening to our peaceful background music, knowing that behind the lobby wall, we are printing and mailing your letters, documents and postcards for you.

If you have fun photos of mail that you’d be willing to share, send them our way and maybe they’ll make it on our slideshow!

LetterStream Uses Same Help Page Software As Pandora

24/7 Service buttonOur IT crew is always working on things to make creating and managing mailings as simple and as easy as possible. However, due to the complex nature of mailings, there’s occasionally the need for a little assistance.

If you ever find yourself in a position of needing some help, please don’t hesitate to contact us in whichever way you feel most comfortable. There’s nearly always someone around during business hours who can readily pick up the phone and give you some old-fashioned customer service, and sending us an email is never a bad option either.

Now you have yet another way to get assistance from us. We’ve packaged up the most common questions we get asked into a brand new FAQ page, utilizing the same help desk software as Pandora.

Since one of our frequently asked questions is “What does FAQ stand for?”, we simply call our page… “Help“.

The link to the Help page appears in the upper right corner of nearly every page after you have logged in, and is always available in the footer of our website.


The new Help page is packed with handy tips and instructions (organized by category), and a powerful search tool is available to help steer you in the right direction. In addition, we’ve included some short, easy-to-follow instructional videos packed with how to’s and product overviews.

LetterStream Help Page
LetterStream Help Page

 

Our phone number and email are handy on the right side if you can’t find exactly what you need.

Bottom line is, we are here for you. Phone. Email. Videos. Help Page.

Help! I Need To Send A Mailing Out Fast!

LetterStream Flying LettersHave a mailing that needs to go out FAST!?

Is TODAY fast enough? If so, we can probably help. If you need your letters mailed yesterday, we can almost do that too! 😉

Our process for creating and sending mail is blazing fast. The LetterStream website allows you to create a mass mailing of thousands of pieces in as little as two minutes. Trust us, we’ve timed it!

And once you get the mailing loaded and approved, we launch our team of experts to properly print, process and mail your critical documents.

We take the extra step of delivering your mail to a USPS distribution center to reduce the number of local post offices that your mail needs to travel to, further reducing the time in transit of your letters.

Ready to do it? You simply need a PDF version of your document and a mailing list or collection of addresses (saved as a CSV file).

Your job will move quickly through our production process. If you must have your mailing out the door today, choose to expedite your mailing so we process it first (extra fees apply).

As for the true speed of the LetterStream process, I think it is fair to say we can get most mailing projects out in a day. And if by chance it needed to go out yesterday, well, we will certainly try!

Here are some helpful videos from our YouTube channel to make the process even faster:

Many other job types and options are available, if you have little more time to log in and get creative.