Best Practice – Secret Ballot Envelope

 

Letterstream Secret Ballot Envelope

Ballot Mailing Best Practices

Improve voter turnout with our new and improved ballot envelope! We have researched and improved our Secret Ballot Envelope in such a way to create a Best Practice solution for secret ballots and your next election. We’ve had a secret ballot envelope for quite some time and have worked with our customers to create a new version that accomplishes nearly every requirement of a secret ballot mailing.

A Secret Ballot Envelope is important to protect the identity of the voter.  It is used in conjunction with a ballot and a #9 return envelope.  The completed ballot is placed in a Secret Ballot Envelope (which is large enough to hold a folded 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, but small enough to fit in a standard size return envelope) and sealed.  Then the Secret Ballot Envelope gets placed in the #9 return envelope and gets mailed back to the management company.  The management company can then open all the #9 envelopes and take the sealed ballot envelopes to the meeting for counting.

For those who need to keep track of which homeowners have returned their ballot or proxy, we have a simple option to add the homeowners mailing address and/or lot number to the return address area of the #9 envelope.  This allows the HOA management companies to see who has voted, while not being able to see how they voted for the election.

There might be a few individuals who say “Ah, nobody cares how other people vote.”.  Well, we might argue that anyone who says something like that has probably not served of a Homeowner Board or talked with their neighbors who don’t vote out of fear that their vote might be held against them. We might also argue that the number of homeowners voting could improve when a secure and trustworthy process is followed.

New Features of our Ballot Envelope:

Instructions for Homeowner – The envelope more clearly explains to the homeowner/recipient/voter what their role is and how to best use the envelope in order to keep their ballot secret.

Instructions for Management Company – The envelope contains instructions for the management company, board member or whoever handles the secret ballot so they can process it while protecting the intentions of a secret ballot.

Save a Page – With good instructions built right into the envelope, you no longer need to try and wordsmith some good directions in your own document.  This might just free up some space in your letter or possibly save an entire sheet of paper.

Professionally Designed – This new envelope looks far more professional in its design which may lead to better utilization and compliance.

Best Practices – We’ve attempted to incorporate the appropriate instructions and simplistic design in an effort to create a “Best Practices” solution to proxy and Secret Ballot mailings.

Same Security Tint – Our Secret Ballot Envelope continues to have security tint on the inside of the envelope to keep prying eyes from trying to see through the envelope.

Same Great Price – While we believe this envelope is far superior to our earlier version we’ve decided to leave the price the same as its always been.

We believe this is the best way to solicit proxies and votes from your members; its secure, its fast and its easy.  Give it a try for your next election or proxy mailing and let us know how it worked for you.

Off To The CAI Arizona Trade Show In Glendale, AZ

Central Arizona Chapter CAI - Community Association InstituteLetterStream will have a booth at the Arizona Chapter CAI (Community Association Institute) trade show again this year.

The event is this Friday, April 4th, 2014 at the Glendale Civic Center in Glendale, AZ.

This will be a great local event with:

FREE FOOD — lunch provided between 12:30 – 2:30
FREE RAFFLES — drop your business cards for lots of chances to win
FREE STUFF — the usual; pens, sticky notes, stress balls, etc.
FREE FUN — catching up with current and prospective vendors and business partners

We will be in booth H1. Interesting booth number, but we will be in the hallway by the registration table. Be sure to stop by and meet our crew and learn how LetterStream can help improve your mailing process.

This event is free to homeowners, community managers, board members, property management employees, etc. (i.e. just about everyone). Click here for registration.

The Trade Show Floor and Hallway Exhibits will be open from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.

It’s a can’t-miss opportunity to stop by and say “Hi” to the LetterStream team.

Glendale Civic Center ~ 5750 W Glenn Drive ~ Glendale AZ 85301

 

LetterStream Exhibits At The National CAI Trade Show

CAI 40th AnniversaryFor the fourth year in row, LetterStream is exhibiting at the National CAI (Community Association Institute) Trade Show.

This year’s event starts tomorrow and is taking place in San Diego, CA, (April 17-20th). It celebrates CAI’s 40th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to building better communities.

Homeowner associations (HOAs), and the management companies that assist them, send a tremendous amount of mail each year in order to keep homeowners informed and up to date. Each homeowner is assessed their homeowner fees via statement, invoice or payment coupon book. In addition, each homeowner is made aware of budgets, annual meetings and election results via letters, email and postcards.

LetterStream assists communities by providing critical online communication tools for homeowner associations and property management companies alike, to make the numerous mailings easier to manage.

Letters, statements, postcards, coupon booklets, violation letters, late payment notices, and certified mail are but a few of the types of mailings that LetterStream offers to HOAs. The LetterStream website has a solution for each of these different types of mailings, and is feature-rich, giving you control of your mailings.

If you are attending the National CAI trade show, stop by our booth (#805) to learn how we make mailings easy.

Happy Anniversary CAI!

See LetterStream At The Arizona Chapter CAI Trade Show

See LetterStream at AZ-CAI trade show

Meet with the LetterStream team at the CAI trade show and learn great new ways to create and send mail, including: HOA violation letters, statements, postcards, invoices, collection notices, intent to lien letters, certified mail, annual meeting notices, newsletters, new homeowner packets and even electronic documents.

LetterStream staff will be available to answer questions about outsourcing your mailing projects and streamlining your outbound mail operations.

New products featured at the show include eDocuments, PRO Postcards and an Android app for creating full color, first-class postcards (see newsletter). Rumor has it that the mysterious Letterman, blog writer extraordinaire, may even be present.

The expo is this Friday, April 12, 2013 from 11:30am to 3:30pm at Rawhide, and will be well attended by property management companies and community managers. Rawhide is located in Chandler, Arizona (5700 West North Loop Rd). To learn more about the Arizona Chapter of CAI, visit their website at www.cai-az.org. To learn more about LetterStream, visit our website at www.LetterStream.com.

Easy HOA Annual Meeting Notice Mailings

HOA annual meeting notices

For Community Managers and Property Management Companies, annual meeting mailings are some of the most complex document sets that need to be mailed to homeowners.

The notice of annual meeting can include a variety of the following documents: cover letter, meeting agenda, draft budget, absentee ballot, community newsletter, ballot instructions, proxy, bios (biographical information) of candidates, community survey, stamped return envelope, and/or secret ballot envelope.

In addition to the different document types, most community managers ask that the proxy be printed on a colored sheet of paper, and the ballot on another. Sometimes there are special instructions from board members to print on both sides of the sheet of paper for some documents, and only print on one side for others.

For those of you who are responsible for the annual meeting packet for your HOA, you know just how crazy these mailings can get. However, for those of you who are already using LetterStream to create your annual meeting announcement, you can attest to just how fast and easy the process has become.

On the LetterStream website you can do the following:

  • Specify paper size and paper color per document
  • Specify 1-sided or 2-sided (simplex/duplex) printing per page
  • Specify black and white or full color printing per sheet
  • Include a return envelope with or without the homeowners return address pre-printed on it
  • Include a secret ballot envelope

What makes this process so easy is that most of the options are simply check boxes that need to be clicked to activate the options.

So whether your HOA annual meeting notices can go out in a standard size business envelope (#10), or require a large flat packet envelope, your mailing can be created online in a flash. If you are a bit skeptical, log in to www.letterstream.com and experiment with our mailing tools to see for yourself.

Your mailing can be created online without so much as a phone call or credit card swipe, and if you don’t like the online proofs, simply delete the job! (You’ll only have to pay for a job if you decide you want us to print and mail it).

CAI Trade Show in Las Vegas

LetterStream HomepageWe just returned from a trip to Las Vegas for the 2012 National CAI Trade Show.

This show was the debut of our new booth and newly redesigned brochures. We enjoyed seeing many of our customers at this show; it’s always great fun to hear how we liberate them from the folding and stuffing process of getting a mailing out the door.

It was great to see the traction of our mail-making API. Several of the software companies attending were already displaying the LetterStream partner logo and many others expressed interest in connecting to our servers via the API in order to send postcards, first-class mail and certified mail.

Currently we have partners consisting of community management software companies, collection companies, legal document prepares and large certified mail senders integrating with us.

Follow this link to learn more about the LetterStream API: http://www.LetterStream.com/api.php

Always Learning…

Our customers are always surprising us with new and inventive ways to use our products.

Here are a couple great ideas:

  1. Save money with postcards. Some of our property management customers have found that they can save a fair bit of money by using postcards to present first violation notifications.
  2. Simple thank you’s go a long way. Those same property management customers use postcards to send simple “Thank You” notes to those residents that are doing a great job keeping their yards spic-and-span. A great, inexpensive way to let residents know that they are appreciated.

Give it a try!…

 

Create and send postcards with LetterStream