How To Export Mailing Addresses Out Of Your Software

Export Addresses Thought BubbleGetting an address list out of your software for the purpose of sending a mailing can be a confusing task at times, but we will attempt to decode things just a bit.

You have probably been entering your customer names and addresses into your accounting software or management software. You might even have names in a CRM (customer relationship management) package like Act! or an email program like Outlook. Wherever you enter names and addresses, there is generally a way to get them back out in order to send a mailing.

The process of getting your mailing list out of your software is called “exporting” or an “export“. If you know this simple term you can search the Internet or your software help files for more clues on the subject. Most software packages that allow you to enter names and addresses generally have an export function of some kind.

As it relates to software (not a website or web service), the process is usually as easy as clicking on the “File” menu on the upper left of the menu bar, then choosing “Export“. (The reason we excluded websites and web services is because the standard “File” menu doesn’t exist with websites, and most websites have their own unique way to export data.)

When exporting your data, there are sometimes a wide variety of file formats that you can save your file to. We recommend exporting your data to a .csv file, otherwise known as a “comma separated values” file. The nice thing about a csv file is that it can easily be opened by Excel or other spreadsheet programs, and it can be loaded into other applications as well.

But the best feature of the csv file format is that it can easily be loaded to the LetterStream website for creating a mailing.

The export process discussed here isn’t an exhaustive solution to all software packages and websites, but just know that the magic word is “export”.

If you’d like to share your specific method for getting address data out of your software, feel free to contact us and let us know. We will post it in the help pages of the LetterStream website.

 

Last Minute Christmas Postcards

LetterStream Christmas postcardRunning a little behind this Holiday? Aren’t we all. But here’s a way to get your Christmas greetings out the door quickly.

Granted, we are known for our industrial grade automated mailing solutions, but one of our products makes sending fun, full-color postcards a breeze.

All you need is a picture and the addresses of those you want to send the postcard to. Wow, this sure is going to be a short blog post.

It’s funny because you could probably create your Christmas postcards in less time than it took me to write this short little post.

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Want more info? Our postcards are printed in full-color, full-bleed (printing all the way to the edge of the postcard/no white margins). The postcard is 5 1/2″ x 8 5/8″ printed on heavy card stock paper.

Nearly any size image will work as our cropping tool will help you fit the photo to our postcard. If the image is too small, we will give you a warning, but most pictures from today’s modern smartphones should work just fine.

There’s room for another image on the address side of the postcard as well, or you could leave a white space if you aren’t feeling creative or are pressed for time. On the other hand, you can type out some well wishes and save them as a .jpg file. You might even want to put a colorful, festive background behind your holiday greeting to add more color to your message.

I recommend making the address-side image roughly square as that is the area available to you. Again, our cropping tool will help you crop the image so that it fits the message area.

I guess I should talk briefly about addressing your postcards. You can enter the addresses one at a time into your private online address book (which will make sending next year’s greetings even faster), or you could upload a .csv file to get all your addresses loaded in a snap.

Once your job is complete, we take your postcards to the Post Office and mail them via USPS First-Class mail. There’s nothing else you need to do!

Ok, we’ve taken enough of your precious holiday time. Get started, find that great holiday photo and your mailing list, and get those postcards in the mail.

***For the month of December, all postcards created on our website before noon Arizona time (MST) will mail that same day.

What Is Needed To Send USPS Certified Mail Online?

Certified Mail Letters and Envelopes

Well, it’s pretty simple actually. You need an address and a document, oh, and a company that offers the ability to create certified mail on their website.

If you want to use LetterStream.com or our sister site OnlineCertifiedMail.com to send your certified letter, you simply need the address you want to send the letter to and your document saved as a PDF file. Yes, it seems like it should be more complicated than that, but most of our clients can create and send their Certified Mail in two minutes or less.

There’s nothing more you need to do. However, if you want to track your letter through the USPS process or retrieve the signature of the person who signed for your certified letter, the process is as simple as logging into the website and clicking on the mailing to see all the details.

Or, consider the alternative: You could write your letter, print it from your laser printer, hunt for an envelope, fold the document (maybe twice to get it to fit in the envelope), hand address the envelope, seal it, drive to the post office, wait in line, fill out the green card while waiting in line, try to figure out how the certified mail barcode wraps over the top of the envelope, pay for the piece, get a receipt with a 20-digit tracking number that you will need to enter any time you want to track the status of the piece, and get the green card back. Then, not knowing where you should keep the green card, you shove it in a desk drawer and ultimately lose it, and just when you want to find out what happened to the letter… the post office tells you they have removed the information from their online system and you’ll have to request that it be emailed to you.

Hmmm… I feel an AT&T commercial coming on. “It’s not complicated. Simple is better.

Schedule Your Mailings And Enjoy The Holidays

Woman Celebrating LetterStream Mailing
I Love LetterStream!!!!

One of the many little-known features of the LetterStream website is the ability to schedule a mailing to go out on a specific date. It’s a handy feature to be familiar with when you have a mailing that needs to be sent on a date that coincides with a vacation you’re planning, or an upcoming holiday.

Imagine creating a mailing, scheduling it for a future date and taking off for vacation. While you are sitting on the beach one evening an email arrives from LetterStream letting you know that your mailing went out according to plan. Ah, now that’s what I call a vacation!

Scheduling is fairly simple; after your job is created, click the “Edit” button under the options column on the job listing page. Then choose the option called “Change Scheduled Date” and enter the date you want your mailing to be delivered to the Post Office. We’ll take care of it from there.

Keep in mind, the schedule tool is for delaying a mailing for a specific date. If you need your mailing to go out the door faster, choose the expedite or rush option for faster processing.

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.

New YouTube Videos On Making Mail With LetterStream

LetterStream-YouTube

We’ve published more videos on our YouTube channel to help you better understand some of the powerful features of our mail-making website.

The latest videos include:

  • Pre-Addressed PDF Demo – A quick overview of the mail creation process if you have documents that already contain the recipients’ mailing address on them. You might also refer to them as an already merged document.
  • Document PreFlight Demo – Learn how to use our PreFlight tool, which allows you to see the parts of your document that is visible through our windowed envelope.
  • Windowed Letter Demo – Learn to create a first-class or certified mailing using an address list and a PDF file.

If you are new to LetterStream, I’d recommend watching all of our videos (we try to keep them short and relevant) so you can see how easy it is to send your mail through LetterStream.

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.

How To Send USPS Certified Mail Online

USPS certified mail online

Have you ever wondered if you can send certified mail online, without having to go to the post office? Well it is possible; but only a few websites exist that can make it happen.

Generally to send certified letters you would need to take your letter to the post office, fill out certified mail forms, apply a certified mail tracking barcode to your letter, and present the finished product to the postal clerk for them to calculate charges and collect payment.

But with LetterStream.com and OnlineCertifiedMail.com, you can completely eliminate the trip to the post office!

Caution: Some companies claim they can do this too, but they often require you to purchase special software, forms or labels. So before signing up for any services for certified mail online, make sure you determine what extra work or purchases might be required of you.

With LetterStream and OnlineCertifiedMail the process is extremely easy. All you need is your document in electronic form (Word, PDF, etc.) and the address you need to send it to. The entire process of creating and sending a certified letter online takes less than 2 minutes.

In addition to saving the time and hassle of going to the local post office, these two sites allow you to track the status of your certified mail online, showing each of the USPS scans of the certified mail barcode and even the signature of the person who signed for the letter. You don’t even have to enter the 20-digit tracking number; you simply click on the letter you need to track. All mailings are neatly saved and organized online.

LetterStream.com has the added bonus of an online search tool that allows you to search by recipient name or mailing name so you can quickly find the information you need. The LetterStream site is much better for mailing large quantities of certified letters as well, as you can upload entire mailing lists in CSV and Excel formats.

So the next time you bemoan the idea of going to the post office and standing in line to send certified mail, take a moment to review these two sites. You’ll be glad you did!