Must Be Postmarked Today! Warp The Space-Time Continuum.

LetterStream reverses timeEver get into that position where you need to mail something by a certain date but you aren’t sure how you can make it to the post office in time?

Sometimes you need to get a cancellation letter or an acceptance letter or one of many other letters of a legal nature postmarked by a certain date. Or maybe it’s a bid for an upcoming project. Whatever the case for needing a postmark, and needing it today… there’s a chance we can help.

One of the many neat benefits of knowing a mailing company out west, in Scottsdale Arizona to be exact, is that we can drop your letter at our local post office which is typically still open even after your office closes, especially if you live or work on the East Coast.

This is where the speed of the internet can warp the speed of time. If you live in New York and it is 6 pm, the post offices are already closed, and your letter has no chance to be mailed today. However, if you take 2 minutes to load your letter into the LetterStream.com website, you’ve effectively turned back time by 3 hours (April – October)*, making it 3:10 pm with the post office still open (in Arizona).

We’ll print your letter and get it in the mail before the day is out.

There is some fine print here… if you want to make sure your letter gets mailed the same day, you will need to choose “Rush” on your order, which will increase the price slightly, but we do guarantee same day processing or your money back if you choose that option. Also keep in mind that Arizona doesn’t participate in Daylight Saving Time (DST), so some months there is only a 2 hour difference.

When that letter really really needs to be mailed today, warp the space-time continuum by using LetterStream Rush Services.

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.

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.

Firing Patients With Certified Mail

Doctor using computerHere’s an interesting topic. We talked to a medical professional the other day who needed to fire a patient and contacted us about using USPS Certified Mail to do it.

Firing a patient? What an interesting concept.

After some googling, we found that it is more common than you might think, and is even a necessary practice.

The American Medical Association website (www.ama-assn.org) states it very clearly in this article:

(Here is a PDF version of the article as well, as contents on the ama-assn.org website sometimes move around.)

Physicians need to fire patients for lack of payment, non-compliance and a host of other reasons.

We found a number of other websites that discuss the reason for using Certified Mail with Return Receipt for this delicate matter. A couple are shown below, however be sure to check your state’s laws before terminating the patient-physician relationship.

On a related front, it is also important to notify patients via Certifed Mail when your medical practice is closing or relocating. Since LetterStream is HIPAA compliant, we can help you with that or any other Protected Health Information (PHI) mailing.

Whatever the reason to communicate patient-physician matters, many articles point to the need to send the letter via USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt. Both the LetterStream website and our sister site, OnlineCertifiedMail.com allow users to easily create, send and track Certified Mail.

Both sites maintain tracking information and signature receipts for immediate access longer than the US Postal Service.

Sending Notices to Local Residents via Certified Mail

USPS Certified MailWe are always fascinated to learn more about how our customers are using certified mail. Most of our large volume certified mail users are sending mail for legal reasons, but the spectrum of legal mailings is quite broad (lien letters, collection letters, class action lawsuits, medical device recalls, parking tickets, gym membership cancellations, etc.).

The other day we even created a certified letter mailing for a new bar in Chicago.

Did you know that (according to Chapter 4-60-130 of the Chicago Municipal Code): “If 50 or more legal voters reside within a distance of 500 feet from the licensed premises, the applicant is required to send written notice to all legal registered voters within 500 feet of the licensed premises. The applicant must send notices via certified mail with a return receipt requested.”

This is found in the Chicago Late Hour Liquor License Application Process.

So if by chance a similar city ordinance applies to you, keep LetterStream in mind. We mailed 100% of the letters the same day the bar owner gave us the go-ahead!

Send Mail Magically With The LetterStream API

LetterStream Mail API SolutionEver wish for an even faster way to send out USPS First-Class and Certified Mail?

Our website already saves countless hours of tedious work involved with sending mail, but you might be sending so much mail that you need an even faster way.

If so, the LetterStream API might be the solution you need. It allows you to automatically send thousands of pieces of mail instantly through a behind-the-scenes connection to LetterStream computer systems. Most APIs require programmers to implement them, and ours is no different in that regard, but some of our clients have implemented it in just a few days.

Our API is being used by many different types of companies, including software companies, collection agencies, billing companies, etc. and even individuals who need to send a lot of mail quickly. It has access to many of the mailing products available on our website including postcards, first-class letters, invoices, statements, newsletters, checks and certified mail.

You can advertise your partnership with LetterStream or keep it quiet and price the mailings to your customer however you see fit; because with the API your users and customers can send real mail without even knowing about LetterStream.

To learn more, click here to get detailed information about our API, or simply contact us to get started.

Now where did I put that green card?

If you send Certified Mail, you know what sort of pain it is when the attorney asks for the green card (PS Form 3811) and it can’t be found.

USPS Certified Mail Green CardI know, I know….we all like to put our highest paid employees on the task of filing the green cards so they are always where they need to be. Well, ok…..that’s not exactly true. In reality, they stack up on the receptionist’s desk, then they get moved to the mail room, then they may make it back to the collections department, with each department attempting to file a few whenever they get an idle moment.

Sound familiar?

Wish there was a better way? 

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need to worry about hanging on to those pesky green cards? Instead, what if the green cards were electronically delivered to us with the name and address of the recipient and the signature of the person who received the certified letter. Then, what if the signature was instantly and accurately filed, just the way we like.

While we are dreaming, let’s make it one better. What if, when the green card is needed — even if it’s years down the road —  all we need to do is type in the name or the address of the person who was sent the letter and we’d immediately see the certified letter, the tracking information and the signature, all available to be printed and handed over to the person who needs it. Now that would be ideal!

And it would also be an explanation of how our Certified Mail process works.

Don’t file green cards, use LetterStream.

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!

Certified Mail by the Thousands!

USPS Certified MailWe were contacted the other day to help one of our customers with a fairly large Certified Mail job.

It wasn’t our largest USPS Certified Mail project, but with more than 23,000 certified letters, it was still a lot of certified letters (see actual picture).

In addition to printing, folding and inserting the certified mail for our client, we also licensed a cobranded version of our website so their clients could log in and check the status and retrieve signatures of any piece of mail.

The job went out quickly and easily and provided everyone involved complete USPS tracking information as well as electronic signatures, matched with the mail piece.

Big or small, whether you’ve got a single certified letter or thousands, our automated processes will make it easy.

Social Media Promotion Winners!

*Image: FreeDigital Photos.net

Thanks to all who participated in our social media promotion for $100 in Starbucks gift cards!

We had four winners, one for each platform that we launched:

Facebook: Justin A.
TwitterKayza H.
Google+Christal W.
LinkedInJessica I.

Thanks again to all who entered! Keep following us for more fun contests. And if you haven’t explored our website, please check us out… especially if you send First-Class or Certified Mail.