How Can You Send Mail on Postal Holidays?

USPS Post Office Sign

LetterStream can send your mail even when the post office is closed for a holiday. This might be hard to believe, but it is true! The United States Postal Service (USPS) will accept our mail at the post office on some postal holidays even though the front doors are locked.

The holidays that the USPS accepts and processes our mail include Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day), President’s Day, Veteran’s Day and Columbus Day.

Our mailing process is a bit different than putting a letter in your personal mailbox or dropping letters in the big blue USPS mailboxes. In fact, we even skip the front counter of the local post office and go directly to the USPS Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU).

BMEU’s process large quantities of mail each day and are basically the main drop point of large mailers across the country. In order to accommodate the large mailing volume, BMEU’s maintain a slightly different holiday schedule than the retail operations of the postal service. This allows larger mailers to keep their mail traveling through the postal system when most other organizations cannot.

So feel free to use LetterStream.com to create first-class mail, postcards, standard-mail and non-profit mail, even on holidays.

The only catch is that on holidays when we take mail to the post office, we are only able to mail Certified Letters if we have more than 200 of them (that is nearly always the case, but it is something to keep in mind anyway).

We recommend creating your certified letters anytime you have them–most holidays we do have enough to meet the postal minimum.

USPS First-Class Postage Increasing on Jan. 27th, 2013

U.S. Postal Service Announces New Prices and Services for 2013It’s official. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is increasing postage rates on many of their services, including First-Class postage. The changes are set to take effect on January 27, 2013.

The following is a snippet from a USPS press release:

The price for First-Class Mail single-piece letters will increase by just a penny when prices change in Jan. The new 46 cent Forever stamps will allow customers to mail letters to any location in the United States. Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of price changes.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 27, 2013 include:

  • Letters (1oz.) — 1-cent increase to 46 cents
  • Letters additional ounces — unchanged at 20 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1oz.) — $1.10
  • Postcards — 1-cent increase to 33 cents

*Source: USPS.com  http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2012/pr12_114.htm

Visit LetterStream.com today to create your First-Class mailing before the new postage rates go into effect. We are always available to help walk you through the process–it just takes a few minutes!

Sending Mail on Postal Holidays

Holiday CalendarCan you send mail on USPS postal holidays? Sure you can!

Let’s face it, we don’t all get the same paid holidays that the United States Postal Service (USPS) employees get. In 2012, the USPS is closed for 10 holidays.

However, if you are working and you need your mail to go out, LetterStream has the ability to mail your letters on many postal holidays.  While the post office front counters are closed and mail carriers are off, there are some holidays that the post office back office is still on duty.

So, “Yes”, the USPS accepts and processes our mail on President’s Day (Washington’s birthday), Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day and MLK Day.

If you are like us and are working those days, feel free to send your mail to us and we’ll get it mailed on the Holiday for you!

Who's Faster? You or Us?

Sometimes we hear concern from mailing prospects on the east coast. Their concern is that it will take too long for mail created here in Scottsdale (Phoenix area), Arizona to make it back to the east coast.

This is a reasonable and logical concern, but we are pretty certain that our west coast mail can consistently make it back to the east coast and be delivered faster than east coast mail can.

Doesn’t make sense? Well, consider these points… When the post office is closed on the east coast, we generally have 2-3 extra hours, given the difference in time zones. We have tremendous print and mail capabilities, which means we can probably get the mail printed and inserted far faster than an in-house solution, improving our chances of getting the mail finished first.

Your jobs are not filler work for us, so we won’t put the job off to work on other projects (which we hear happens in some companies where printing and mailing isn’t their bread and butter), further improving our chances of getting the mail out at least one day faster than other companies.

And finally, the best part… our mail departs our facility after the local post office is closed, travels to a USPS acceptance facility, gets sorted to commercial airlines headed for the east coast and typically hits major east coast cities before the sun even comes up.  So, when someone is concerned about the speed of mail across the country, we simply say “West is Best!”.

HIPAA Certified

HIPAA emblem

HIPAA Certified. You might know what this is if you are in the medical and/or insurance field. It stands for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It is a collection of rules that help govern the privacy of patient data and information.

Even if HIPAA doesn’t affect your organization directly, it does in a round-about way if you use LetterStream… mainly because we train our staff on HIPAA rules and follow them internally within our organization. The policies and procedures that we’ve put in place to protect private health information actually protect all our clients’ jobs.

So if you’re a law firm that sends class action lawsuit material or a pool cleaner who sends monthly statements, your information is guarded by the same tools and resources that we use for hospitals, medical offices and third-party administrators.

At the time of this blog post, 100% of our full-time employees and a portion of our part-time employees have passed HIPAA certification!

Envelopes Made with Wind Power?

Envelope with WindPower and SFI certification

We are always looking for ways to be a little more environmentally responsible in our printing and mailing practices, and we’ve found another good idea to implement. It is fun to talk about as well! You see, the bulk of our envelopes are now generated using wind power.

Quite often our customers don’t actually see the mail we send on their behalf, but if they did, they’d see a WindPower icon beside our SFI certification mark on the back of the envelopes we use. Cool!