As we embrace the festive spirit, it’s crucial to stay informed about the USPS holiday schedule to ensure your holiday mailings reach their destinations on time. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about the USPS Postal Holidays 2022 and now here we are a year later going over the United States Postal Holidays 2023. Crazy how fast time flies!
Ok, let’s get into it. Here’s a quick rundown of the 2023 USPS Christmas and New Year’s schedule, followed by a sneak peek into the 2024 USPS holiday season.
2023 USPS Christmas and New Year’s Schedule: Plan Your Mailings Accordingly
If you’re wondering what the rest of the 2023 postal holiday schedule looks like for the United States Post Office, look no further!
Both the USPS and LetterStream will observe the following holidays during the rest of the 2023 holiday season.
USPS Postal Holidays 2023
Christmas Day – December 25, 2023 (Monday): USPS will be closed and mail delivery will not be taking place.
New Year’s Day – January 1, 2024 (Monday): USPS will be closed and mail delivery will not be taking place.
Keep in mind that it’s important to plan your mailings around these dates to avoid any delay. Stay tuned for another blog post where we talk about crucial days to remember during the 2023 holiday season to help avoid any late deliveries.
Oh, and you might also be wondering. “Is December 26 a postal holiday?” or “Is December 31 a postal holiday?”…actually you more specifically might ask, “Is New Year’s Eve a postal holiday?”
Neither one of those is a federal holiday or a U.S. Postal Service holliday and because of that Post Office locations will be open and they are not included in the U.S. Postal Service holiday schedule. To be on the safe side you may want to call and check with your local Post Office to see if they might be closing early on New Year’s Eve but most will be open and doing their normal delivery services which include sending regular mail, also known as First-Class Mail, Certified Mail, Marketing Mail and more.
Looking Ahead to 2024 Postal Holidays: USPS Holiday Schedule & LetterStream’s Holiday Schedule
As we bid farewell to 2023, (can you believe it is already that time?!), it’s wise to get a glimpse of the upcoming year’s holiday schedule for better long-term planning.
We created a 2024 holiday calendar for you that not only showcases the USPS postal holidays and when the Post Office is closed in 2024 but also which days LetterStream is still open and mailing during that time.
LetterStream’s committed to providing fast, efficient and perfect mailing services throughout the holiday season and beyond. Our team is here to support you, offering assistance and guidance to make your mailing experience as smooth as possible.
While we have you, we wanted to extend our warmest wishes for a joyous holiday and a prosperous New Year. Thank you for choosing LetterStream as your trusted partner for all of your mailing and printing needs!
As we are in the thick of the holiday season with the increase in USPS holiday mail, our hearts are filled with warmth and joy over here at LetterStream. This time of year allows us to reflect on the abundance of blessings that surround us, from the meaningful connections we’ve forged to the challenges we’ve overcome together. As we are navigating our busy season with the increase of USPS holiday mail, we can’t help but reflect on how thankful we are for being able to still produce fast, perfect mail for our customers after all of these years.
In the spirit of gratitude, we invite you to join us in appreciating the moments that make this season so special. Here are a few ways we are truly grateful this holiday season and every day:
Expressing Thanks for Team Collaborations
LetterStream’s success as a printing and mailing company is a testament to the incredible team that works diligently behind the scenes. This holiday season, we extend our deepest gratitude to each team member who contributes their unique skills and perspectives, fostering an environment of creativity and innovation. Together, we’ve achieved milestones and faced challenges head-on, emerging stronger and more resilient.
As a team, we just held our Q3 Bonus Party and Thanksgiving Dinner. Our theme this year was, indeed, gratitude. Every quarter we do a bonus party for our staff because we want to let them know how grateful we are for the hard work they do, the mail they help produce and their dedication to not only LetterStream as a company but to our customers that we work with daily. It’s our way to say “thank you” to them each quarter.
This bonus party felt a little extra special this year. As a company and as individuals we have so much to be grateful for and we not only wanted to showcase that at our dinner but it’s also something we are remembering and practicing for the rest of this quarter (and beyond).
Appreciating Our Loyal Customers
To our valued customers, we want to express our heartfelt appreciation for the trust you’ve placed in us over the last 20 years. Your unwavering support has been the driving force behind our commitment to excellence.
Our loyalty and commitment has always been about treasuring people. In fact, that is our top core value; “we believe in the tremendous value of people and that all should be treasured.” With that said, we are excited to continue our growth into 2024 while finding new ways to continuously improve our processes to help add value and ease for our customers.
This holiday season, we celebrate the relationships we’ve built and look forward to continuing our journey together in the coming year.
Reflecting on Community Engagement
Beyond the office walls, our commitment to gratitude extends to the communities we serve. Whether through charitable initiatives or local partnerships, LetterStream is dedicated to making a positive impact.
This holiday season, we encourage everyone to find opportunities to give back to those in need. Not only does it bring joy to those who are less fortunate but it also helps build the collective strength that comes from supporting one another.
Counting Our Blessings in a Digital World
In a fast-paced, digital age, taking a moment to unplug and appreciate the simple joys can be transformative. Even though we are a SAAS company, we still encourage everyone to embrace the beauty of simplicity through meaningful in-person connections.
Maybe that looks like sitting down with someone for a meal or coffee, bringing in donuts or cookies to team members as a small token of appreciation, writing a handwritten note, or giving a nice card. Maybe it’s as simple as telling someone that you appreciate them or saying “thanks for being such a great help and I’m so thankful we worked on this project together to get the job done.”
Recognizing the power of personal connections in an increasingly virtual landscape is so important to remember.
All-in-all, let’s come together to celebrate the spirit of gratitude this holiday season! We are so thankful for the relationships we’ve cultivated, the challenges that have shaped us, and the opportunities that lie ahead. As we express our gratitude, may we inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of positivity that extends far beyond the holiday season!
And, just a friendly reminder to check the USPS website or our blog post for the postal holidays schedule so you can plan your USPS holiday mail and printing and mailing needs accordingly.
Remember: There is always something to be GRATEFUL for.
Wow, can you believe we’re officially in Q4 of 2023?! I’m sure you’re like us where each year you think, “Where has the time gone?” but this year feels like it’s going especially fast…wouldn’t you agree? With that being said, we’ve made a lot of new updates to our website, along with printing and mailing updates and processes over the last few months (well years even but that’s a blog post for another day) and we wanted to share some of them with you.
What LetterStream’s Been Up to With Printing and Mailing Services
Let’s get into it, shall we? Let’s fill you in on what the mailing experts have been up to over here at LetterStream over the last few months.
Our production team is always busy serving up fast, perfect mail. Our customer support team is rocking it by giving nothing short of mad customer love. Our IT department just keeps making magic happen. Our marketing department has been revamping and reorganizing our online presence and our accounting team just keeps being awesome at what they do best.
Now, let’s get into the specifics of what we’ve been up to behind the scenes for you, our awesome clients, new and old to LetterStream. Keep in mind, we try to keep our updates subtle, so they don’t disrupt your normal processes when creating jobs to send your letters.
Quick Updates to Help You Send Mail Online Include:
Re-named #9 envelope overprint
Added the correct artwork/thumbnail for our flat-sized envelope
Turned on user-created endorsements for our flat-size envelopes
Improved access to our BAA (Business Associates Agreement) for HIPAA clients. We now use DocuSign to get our BAA to you and back in record time.
More In-Depth Updates
Let’s get into a bit more detail for some of the bigger updates we’ve been working on and have finally launched.
New Chatbot on LetterStream
We added a new chatbot to our website. This one we are super excited for and it’s going to help with quick answers to just about any question you may have.
Our new Chatbot is not like the others. It is an extremely fast, highly intelligent AI that can actually get you help faster than if you were talking to a human. Now, of course, our customer support is still available to provide mad customer love to our clients, but the Chatbot will help to answer most questions instantly.
We did it, finally! We turned on FedEx 2Day letters for users that have been active for 6 months or more.
Currently, we offer the standard FedEx 2Day letter option. This will get your FedEx envelope delivered by 5 P.M. on the second business day from when it was mailed.
To learn more about the new FedEx 2Day or to see the step-by-step process on how to mail your documents via FedEx through our online portal, click here.
Improved Help Articles
Our customer support team has not only been busy providing customers with the best support possible, but they’ve also been busy improving some Help articles to make it easier to find questions to answers you might be looking for.
We have a plethora of articles that have recently been updated but here are a few to reference below:
We are beyond excited to announce that we recently added a new member to our customer support team who has been such an incredible asset to us. If you happen to reach out to support and get a reply from her, be sure to say hi! Welcome to the team, Morgan!
Well, that’s the not-so-quick update we have for you in regard to what’s been going on here at LetterStream lately. Keep in mind that we’re currently in the holiday season, so be sure to prepare accordingly for closures coming up. Here is an overview of the 2023 USPS (United States Postal Service) and LetterStream’s Holiday Schedule.
Let’s face it, we all need a little help sometimes. Even the LetterStream team needs help getting fast and convenient answers to customers 24/7/365 to include all days of the year, including holidays where we’re closed. That’s where our new chatbot friend comes in. We’ve implemented a new online help chat tool designed to help us, help you, with finding the most up-to-date answers as well as tips and tricks to make your utilization of our website and mail-building tools even more powerful.
Ever-Present Chatbot Help Center
Floating in the lower right corner of every page of our website is a help icon. When clicked it summons a powerful chatbot tool, that through the use of AI, can quickly return answers to your most pressing questions. Make note that the floating button never goes away, however, it can be scrolled out of the way by using your side scroll button in the event that it covers something you are trying to read. To minimize the dialog window after getting your answer, simply hit the icon once more and all is hidden from view. Not to worry; your prior conversations are kept so you can refer back to them whenever you open the chat tool again.
Not Like Other Chatbots
Our chatbot is not like the others. No, other chats can get kind of annoying. You know what I mean? You ask a question and feel like you are waiting for a highly distracted person to get back to you. I often imagine one person with a circle of computers around them. Each one with a person in chat. The operator spins their rolling chair from one computer to the next answering 10 people at a time and never really understanding what anyone asks. Anyway, our chat tool isn’t like that. It is blazingly fast and provides extremely accurate information.
But, I Need a Human, Not a Chatbot
Not to worry. We have plenty of humans behind-the-scenes ready to give you even more personalized assistance. As some of you already know, our team of humans do super-human things and can answer any question you may have. They can even propose changes and fixes to our always-ready-to-help development staff. To reach a human, simply send an email to email@example.com. But, while our humans don’t spin around in office chairs (well, sometimes they do for fun), keep in mind that they might be on break, in a meeting, on vacation or working on the next cool feature, so for the fastest answers, be sure to ask your questions in the chat tool first.
I Have an Urgent Need
Believe it or not, this is the main reason we introduced the chatbot in the first place. People sometimes run into snags and need a solution right now, not in 20 hours or after someone returns from a meeting. This makes our decision to employ a chatbot all the more relevant. It’s not just you that has an urgent need, many customers do, and we want to help them all.
Disaster Averted Thanks to Chatbot
Using the chatbot to find answers quickly takes the urgency and the drama out of your day. Another major thing that we do is provide you the tools, within your account portal, to stop, pause or cancel a job at any point up until it is time to mail. To take advantage of this process, simply log into your LetterStream account, find the job in question, and click the word EDIT appearing in the Options column. From here you can choose what you need to do, stop and shred, pause, delete, etc. Some options come and go as the job moves through our production process. For more information see our help article “Changing a Job.”
Help Pages Still Present
Which reminds me! We still have all our help pages, videos and content. Simply navigate to the bottom of any page and select HELP from the list of options in the footer. These resources are still very beneficial and is one more method you can use to get all the help you need.
If you’re wondering how long Certified Mail takes to be delivered, just know that there are a few different items to consider when answering this question.
Speed of Sending Certified Mail
Let’s start with pointing out that Certified Mail is actually just USPS First Class Mail with the Certified Mail Service included. After you purchase postage to send your Certified Mail, you’ll then receive your USPS tracking number. Along with that Certified Mail tracking number you will see a charge for First-Class postage and the purchasing fee for the Certified Mail forms.
This means that USPS Certified Mail should travel across town or across the country at the same speed as a normal First-Class mail piece. If you send a First-Class letter and it normally takes about four days, your Certified letter will probably take about four days, as well.
Now just remember, the 4-day time frame is just something to go off of. It’s just a random number, not the fine print. Think about the saying “results may vary.”
Delivery of Certified Mail
When it comes to tracking your mail and the actual delivery of the letter, it gets a little more complicated.
A Certified letter does not and is not supposed to be placed in someone’s mailbox. Instead, the mail carrier is supposed to deliver or do a delivery attempt to the required recipient.
Once delivered the mail carrier will collect a signature of the person who accepts the letter. If someone is home to sign for the letter, then ta-da! You now have your proof of mailing, proof and delivery and your mailing is officially complete.
If you require a Return Receipt, green card or an Electronic Return Receipt, the USPS may not load all the Certified Mail tracking information into their website the same day that the letter gets delivered. This means you might need to add another day to the process. It might be best to wait about a day to check for the proof of delivery.
What If No One Is Home to Sign for the Certified Letter?
Now, let’s say that no one is home when the mail carrier attempts to deliver the letter. In this case, the mail carrier is supposed to leave a USPS PS Form 3849. This instructs the addressee that a Certified letter is available for them to pick up. The USPS may or may not attempt redelivery, but they are supposed to hold the letter at the location for 15 days waiting for someone to pick it up.
Let’s say, 20 or so days have now gone by, and the letter could still be moving around. If this happens it is still not considered “lost.” There’s a chance it may still be delivered.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the intended recipient does not go to the post office to pick up the piece of mail. If this happens the local post office will hold the mail piece for 15 days and then return the letter to the sender’s address that is documented in the return address portion of the letter. This means a few more days might be added due to the letter being sent back to you.
Is the Certified Letter Lost Yet?
At the end of the day, USPS Certified Mail might get delivered in 1 or 2 business days, but it might also take up to 25-30 days due to travel time. It’s a big gap, we know.
If 30 days have past and the letter is not delivered or returned back to you, there are some things you might have to think about:
What was the return address you put on the Certified letter?
Did you include a return address?
Did someone else’s name get added by mistake?
Was the address accidently mistyped?
If none of the above options have happened, then the mail piece may, in fact, be lost forever. However, it could still show up to the correct location, but not until 45 days later. If you’re shaking your head at that…know we get it.
Long story short, there is a reason they call it snail mail. Unfortunately, it can take a long time for a Certified letter to arrive at the correct destination and this is something a lot of people may not realize.
We always recommend calling the United States Postal Service for assistance in tracking down your certified mail. Their number is 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or you can visit the USPS website.
To learn more about how to conveniently send your Certified Mail through LetterStream, visit our Certified Mail page, here.
For those of you who see us promoting FedEx letters on our website but can’t quite find the button to make it happen; we have great news! Most of you will now be able to send FedEx 2Day letters, with ease on our website.
What is FedEx 2Day?
FedEx 2Day is just one of the many FedEx fast delivery products that is offered. FedEx 2Day offers the speed, security, tracking and confidence that all FedEx products offer. It’s like an overnight letter that takes one extra day to get there.
LetterStream offers the standard FedEx 2Day letter option, which will get your letters or documents delivered by 5 P.M. the second business day from when you mail it. FedEx does offer a 2Day A.M. product, which we do not currently offer.
How Fast is FedEx 2Day?
FedEx 2Day is pretty quick. Like the name implies, it will take two (2) business days for your letter to arrive and will arrive by 5 P.M. to most destinations. Let’s break this down. If you combine the speed that LetterStream offers along with this FedEx product, then your letter will get there in no time.
If you were to load the documents to our website on Monday, then they will arrive at your intended destination by Wednesday. Keep in mind; no trips to the FedEx store, or post office, no scheduling pickup for your letter, no hassle of buying a FedEx envelope. Just the ease of sitting at your computer, uploading your document and easily sending it on its way.
Why Would I Choose FedEx 2Day?
FedEx 2Day is a great solution for sending a lot of different documents, since it’s not that much more expensive than Certified Mail, especially when you need to send a lot of documents to a specific location. Around 50, 8.5 in. x 11 in. documents, can be placed in a single FedEx 2Day envelope and be delivered for around $18.
FedEx gives you tracking information so you can see where your letter is at any moment. It provides you with proof of mailing and proof of delivery. Unlike other items with tracking, FedEx is dedicated to ensuring your letter reaches its destination. This allows them to achieve a much higher delivery rate than maybe some of their competitors, in our humble opinion.
What’s more, FedEx is a known and trusted brand for delivering on time, nearly every time. When a FedEx package arrives, you know it is something special, that it’s something important that you should embrace and open.
Some competing products that offer tracking don’t quite capture that same vibe. Think about it; have you ever received a letter with a green bar across the top and put it off because you might not want to know what is inside? FedEx generally doesn’t give people that same feeling. Wouldn’t you agree?
How Do I Send FedEx 2Day?
Oh yes, I nearly forgot. You are probably wondering, “how do you actually send a FedEx 2Day letter?”
Sending FedEx 2Day letters is an easy selection when you start to create your mailing on the LetterStream website. You simply click “To Send a Letter,” and you can choose from multiple options like First-Class, Certified Mail, and now FedEx 2Day.
On the main dashboard page, select the button to “Send Letter(s).”
Name your job, select the address source and then, on the same page, choose the delivery method on the right hand side. There should be an option for FedEx 2Day to select.
If by some chance you’re not seeing that seeing that option:
For security reasons the FedEx product is not available to users who have not been a customer for less than 90 days. It gets complicated but let’s just say we don’t want to block any users from finding this product, so if you have a legitimate need for the FedEx2Day option and you can’t seem to find it, reach out to our support team and we’ll get you taken care of.
When Will Overnight Options be Available?
The FedEx overnight option is currently available to a few select customers who meet our criteria. However, if you have the need to send more than 100 overnight letters per year, reach out to us and we may be able to qualify you for this added service.
Can I use Certified Mail for marketing purposes? The simple answer is yes, you sure can. You can use USPS Certified Mail to send all sorts of documents to anyone in the United States. However, a better question to ask might be, “Why would you want to send your Marketing Mail via Certified Mail?”
The obvious reasons to send your marketing campaign this way might be because Certified Mail gets attention when it arrives, you can track it and see when it is delivered with Certified Mail Receipts.
It could also be due to your desire to ensure that your prospective clients are receiving the promotional deal that you’re distributing. Initially, this seems like a great idea. You would know exactly when your prospects got your promotional material and when you might be expecting a call from them about placing an order for your product.
However, let’s flip that coin over and propose some ideas about why Certified Mail might actually not be a good tool to have in your marketing toolbox.
Does Certified Mail Bring Goodwill?
What is marketing? It’s basically about generating goodwill and revenue. You’d love for your customers to remember your name and have a good feeling about your product or services whenever they hear it. Additionally, you’d like for your customers to be motivated to purchase your product. This generally comes from trust in your brand, the right timing and the right offer or promotion.
Let’s ponder the concept of “goodwill” first. How will Certified Mail create goodwill; a pleasant feeling or association when your company’s name is mentioned? Does Certified Mail have goodwill associated with it? You may be surprised but have you considered that it might actually has the opposite effect on people?
Certified Mail means business and it is designed for legal proof, assigning responsibility and proving delivery through USPS tracking. Not that Certified Mail is bad, but have you ever heard someone say, “I’m so excited about a Certified letter I’ve received?” Have you personally ever said that when you received a piece of Certified Mail? Didn’t think so.
Keep in mind, it’s possible that everyone’s first thought, when receiving a Certified letter, is “uh oh, what have I done?” “Did I forget to pay my bill?” “Is someone suing me?” “How much is this going to cost me?” If this is your experience, you can see that Certified Mail generally never makes anyone feel good.
Does Certified Mail Bring Joy?
What happens when your potential client opens the Certified letter and finds your happy promotional material inside? Will they be relieved that it’s not bad news? Yes, but what will be their next reaction be? Will they say, “I’m so happy this isn’t bad news! I’m so happy that I’m even going to buy the product that is being promoted.” Well, to be honest that seems a bit overly optimistic. In reality, they are going to feel duped. They will be a bit angry that you caused them panic.
It’s a bit like tying your advertisement to a rock and tossing it through someone’s window. It will make a scene, cost you a lot of money and make the recipient mad, but they will get the message. Now, ask yourself why you would want to do this? How powerful does your offer need to be in order to overcome the fear and trepidation that a Certified letter causes?
Let’s face it, sometimes people hide from bad news (I’m sure you’ve seen this concept in action). Yes, you’re going to be happy that you know when your promotional piece was delivered, but there’s not a great chance that all of the pieces will be opened when they arrive.
Some recipients may set it aside until they have a chance to meet with their accountant. Some may wait until they are having a really good day in fear that the contents may drain them of joy. Some may just put it at the bottom of their mail pile in hopes it will go away. Now, we wouldn’t really recommend these options as the best course of action, but we have seen and heard of this taking place involving Certified letters.
Marketing materials sent via First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail through the postal service, on its best day, is neutral. But using the Certified Mail service is often considered threatening, and definitely does not make people happy.
Does Certified Mail Generate Sales?
As we look at the sales or revenue, the question might be, “which mail product will generate a greater return on investment (ROI)?” Meaning, will $1,000 of First-Class Mail generate more revenue than $1,000 of Certified Mail?
Let’s Break it Down:
Using very rough numbers, let’s say a First-Class piece of mail costs $1 each including the postage rate, and a piece of Certified Mail costs $10. Yes, $10 is more than the cost of Certified Mail fess, but by the time you spend your time creating Certified letters and going to the post office, you’ll be hard pressed to do this for less than $10 a letter. But those arguments are for another time, so feel free to pick any number you want for this exercise. We’ll go with $10 for simplicity.
If you send your offer via First-Class Mail, you’ll be able to send out 10 times (10x) the number of letters. In one case you’ll send 1,000 pieces of mail and in the other you’ll send out only 100. And if Certified Mail is not opened, you may lose another 20 recipients. If those who do open it are annoyed that you tried to trick them, you may lose another 50 recipients.
In our little hypothetical situation, you can deliver your message to 1,000 recipients (First-Class Mail) or 30 (Certified Mail), for the same money. In this case, the clear answer and most cost-effective way is to send your marketing piece or mail campaigns is via First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail.
Can Customers Refuse Certified Mail?
Of course, another problematic part of sending Certified Mail is that people can actually refuse the letter. They can just pretend like they aren’t home when the mail carrier arrives. If a notice is placed in the recipient’s mailbox or left on their door for them to drive to the post office and pick up their letter, they can choose not to do so. Sometimes people have seen Certified Mail and now just make it a habit of saying “that person doesn’t live here anymore,” in which case the letter gets returned to the sender.
What is Better Than Certified Mail for Marketing Purposes?
That’s a pretty easy questions; just about anything.
You can save a bundle and preserve goodwill by sending your promotional products or direct mail piece by First-Class Mail. You can also save a few more pennies by sending via USPS Marketing Mail, but it has some complications you’d need to deal with (a topic for another day).
Another powerful option is to send your message on a postcard. The recipient doesn’t even need to open it. Instead, they’ll see your offer immediately when they are sorting their mail. Yes, you may not feel like those are glamorous options, but there is a reason that over 100 billion First-Class and Marketing Mail documents are sent each year.
What is a More Glamorous Option Than Certified Mail?
If money is no option, the speed of delivery is what you desire and if you want the recipient to be wowed by your mail piece, then we recommend using FedEx. It’s fast, it’s powerful and there’s a much better chance of excitement when the truck pulls up than there is for Certified Mail.
Consider this: Good things like checks, refunds, rebates and offer letters come in through FedEx. Bad things like past due notices, legal notices, food recalls, fines and fees come in Certified Mail.
At first glance, Certified Mail seems like a great way to send marketing material, but maybe a second glance is what is needed before making your decision. Send your legal correspondence via Certified Mail. Send your promotional materials via First-Class Mail. When you need to make a massive statement along with your marketing message, send it via FedEx.
(Here’s our shameless plug… if you do intend to send a lot of FedEx letters, we have a great way to get them out quickly while probably saving you a considerable amount of money.)
So, you want to send a Certified letter but you’re not sure what the cost will be. Before we begin talking about that, let’s do a quick overview of what Certified Mail is, shall we?
What is Certified Mail?
Certified Mail is the right product when you need proof of mailing, proof of delivery and detailed tracking of the letter as it travels to its intended recipient. You can choose to have the recipient must sign for the letter. That is, as long as you choose to add a Return Receipt to your mailing. More on that later.
Certified Mail is only available for letters bound for addresses within the United States and can only be used on letters that weigh less than 13 ounces. This service is often used from important legal documents or for legal matters where you need to prove that you mailed something.
USPS Certified Mail Cost
Ok, so now that you have a brief understanding of what sending a letter by certified mail is, let’s talk more about the cost.
The cost of Certified Mail varies depending on the weight of your mail and whether you want a Return Receipt included. Again, we’re still saving that for a little later on.
Now keep in mind, if you’re sending Certified Mail the traditional way, through the United States Post Office (USPS), then you have some work to do on your end as well.
Not only do you have to provide the letter itself, through creating it and printing it, but you have to get an envelope, seal it, drive to the post office, wait in line, fill out the Certified Mail label, add postage to it, pay for it and then drive back home or to the office. Remember, time is money.
Keeping all of that in mind here is the breakdown cost of what the USPS charges to send a Certified Mail piece:
Here’s an example of what it would cost: If you want to send a 1-ounce letter with Certified Mail rates and a Return Receipt, the total cost would be $8.56. This includes the $4.35 certified mail fee, the $3.55 return receipt fee, and the postage for a 1-ounce letter.
Ok, ok. Now that we’ve broken down what the post office charges. Let’s do a quick overview of what a Return Receipt and Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) are and how they are different.
What is a Return Receipt? A Return Receipt is a physical copy of the green card, also known as the “PS Form 3811,” that is mailed back to the sender to show that the recipient received and signed for the letter.
What is an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR)? On the other hand, an ERR is the same as a Return Receipt except it is electronically sent back to the sender showcasing that the recipient received and signed for it.
A Different Approach to Mailing Certified Mail
Remember above where we talked about the extra time and effort that goes into sending a Certified letter by going directly through the postal service?
What if we told you there was an easier, more convenient and overall affordable way to send a Certified letter or letters?
LetterStream makes the process so efficient you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t done this sooner. Instead of buying and using all of your supplies and instead of making the inconvenient trip to the post office, you can simply go to LetterStream.com, create or login to your account, upload your Certified Mail into our online portal (or create one from a template we offer) and send it on its merry way.
We handle all of the printing, inserting, and mailing so you don’t have to. Plus, we offer an Electronic Return Receipt that you can track right in your customer account.
Your cost for sending a single Certified letter online through LetterStream includes:
Certified Mail Letter Fees
Printing and mailing your letters in less than two (2) business days
USPS Tracking Number
Electronic Return Receipt
Trackable Online Status
Along with never having to leave the comfort of your home or office
This comes out to only $9.49 for a single letter. If you don’t want the Electronic Return Receipt then you can get a certified letter starting at only $7.27.
Why Would I Use Certified Mail?
OnlineCertifiedMail.com is a related partner site to LetterStream but is dedicated exclusively to the process of processing, mailing and tracking Certified Mail. It has an easy-to-use interface to quickly send a single letter or two.
To learn more about OnlineCertifiedMail.com click here.
Comparing Costs for USPS Certified Mail
The cost of USPS certified mail is comparable to the cost of other secure mail services, such as UPS and FedEx Ground Economy. However, USPS certified mail is often the most affordable option for sending a certified letter the traditional way.
For sending certified mail online or as e-certified mail (a new term being used for online Certified Mail), our service is actually the cheapest. When you factor in the supplies we include (paper, envelope), labor and sending of the letter (so you don’t have to use gas to drive to the post office and wait in line) and Certified Mail fees, our price is unbeatable.
Is Insurance Offered When You Send Certified Mail?
Insurance is an optional service offered by the USPS and you might be wondering what the cost is for that. However, insurance actually is not offered for Certified Mail. Instead, you can purchase insurance using Registered Mail. Registered mail is similar to certified mail as you get the tracking and proof of delivery, but with Registered Mail, you are also able send it internationally and get the proof of insurance you may be looking for.
We do offer this as an option at LetterStream. However, please keep in mind that the cost is quite high, starting at about $30 per letter. Plus, it generally takes between 7–30 days to be delivered (possibly longer depending on location), and successful delivery and signatures are not guaranteed.
All-in-all, the cost of certified mail is a fair price for the peace of mind that it provides. If you need to mail important documents, certified mail is a secure and affordable option. If you want the ease and convenience without the hassle of going to the post office to send your letter, then check out our Certified Mail page to get started!
You’ve heard the old adage, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, while that goes to show the determination of the 300,000 plus fearless United States Postal Service (USPS) mail carriers, it doesn’t always reflect the full story of mail delivery.
Mail Delivery Disrupted
Mail delivery can be disrupted by a great many natural and not-so-natural causes. Take Hurricanes for instance. While mail carriers may be determined to show up and sort and deliver the mail, sometimes roads are closed or impassible due to high water and they aren’t able to make it to their designated Post Office.
Sometimes Post Offices are damaged by rising flood waters, a storm surge and even extra heavy rain that seeps into the building before it could drain away. When Post Offices are flooded, they need to be shut down and mail needs to be diverted to nearby postal facilities until the water has cleared and the Post Office can be used again.
What you might not know is that the USPS keeps an active list of all the Post Offices that are closed and the various reasons that cause them to be unable to sort or process mail.
USPS Service Page Alerts
At the time of this publication, the USPS website (USPS.com) has a link in the footer of their website called USPS Service Updates. Clicking the link will take you to their Service Alerts page.
Today, August 30, 2023, the USPS shows 50 Post Offices closed in the state of Florida for Hurricane Idalia, which has yet to make landfall. When Idalia comes to shore and pushes a storm surge towards the coast, we are likely to see even more Post Office closures.
Also, it’s not just current Post Office closures that show up on this page but also past ones. Consider this list of closures for Hurricane Ian on November 4 of 2022.
Keep in mind, it’s not just Hurricane’s that can disrupt mail delivery times. Any natural disaster, including fires, mudslides, tornados, floods, earthquakes and volcanos, to name just a few, can cause a Post Office to close and delay mail. Even non-weather events can close a Post Office. Here are a couple of post offices that were closed due to power outages.
Not all closures result in delayed mail. Sometimes our cherished mail pieces can be diverted to a nearby Post Office and mail carriers report for duty at this secondary facility and carry on with their work. However, just because the mail carrier can sort the mail, it doesn’t mean that the coast is clear for them to deliver mail to their entire mail route.
So, when you send USPS Certified Mail and follow the Certified Mail Receipts or tracking information, you might see odd delays and rerouting of the mail. Sometimes this is due to postal closures. First-Class Mail doesn’t have the same transparency in that tracking as it isn’t typically included in First-Class Mail service. But, you still may discover that a letter arrived a few days later than you anticipated. When wondering why, consider checking the USPS service alerts just to see what might be happening in that local area.
Given the number of storms and unforeseen circumstances that takes place around us, we have to give our local mail carriers a hand for working and doing their best, despite the weather, in order to get our mail delivered on time, every (or nearly every) time.
Do you ever feel confused by the different options when it comes to sending mail or even just the terminology itself? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. It can be hard to know when to send something as First-Class Mail over Certified Mail, or when to send via FedEx vs United States Postal Service (USPS). In this article we’re not going to break down each type of mailing (we’ll save that for another day), but we will give you a little breakdown of Certified Mail and how it works.
What Is Certified Mail?
Certified Mail is a secure and reliable service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides proof of mailing and delivery. Whether you’re sending important documents, legal papers, or sensitive information, Certified Mail offers an extra layer of assurance and peace of mind.
Sending Certified Mail
You may be wondering what the USPS Certified Mail process entails. In order to send Certified Mail, you need to fill out PS Form 3800, which serves as proof of mailing. The USPSP Certified Mail requirements includes a form to be filled out with the recipient’s address, your return address, and additional details such as insurance and registered mail options if necessary.
The Certified Mail fees are the same no matter how many or how few pieces of paper are in the envelope. However, First-Class postage does increase with each additional ounce of weight.
When you hand over the item at the Post Office counter, the clerk will provide you with a stamped proof of mailing. Once the payment is made, you will receive a receipt with a unique tracking number. This receipt includes the date and time of mailing, as well as the tracking number. It is crucial to keep this receipt safe as it serves as evidence of your sending the item.
Tracking and Delivery
The great thing about USPS Certified Mail is that it comes with a tracking feature that allows you to monitor the progress of your mail piece. Using the unique tracking number provided on the receipt, you can look up your tracking number by accessing the USPS website or mobile app to check the delivery status.
The tracking information typically includes the date and time of acceptance, arrival at various postal facilities, and final delivery confirmation.
Once the Certified Mail item reaches the recipient’s local post office, the carrier will attempt delivery. They will bring the Certified Mail to the recipient’s front door looking for someone to be available to accept it. If the recipient is unavailable, a delivery notice will be left, informing them about the arrival of a Certified Mail item. The recipient can then choose to either pick it up from the post office or schedule a redelivery.
Keep in mind, if you want additional proof of delivery, you can request a USPS Certified Mail signature, also known as a Return Receipt or Green Card or more technically as PS Form 3811. This service provides a copy of the recipient’s signature and date of delivery, which is mailed back to you.
There is also an Electronic Return Receipt, which is the same as the Return Receipt except in digital form. A copy of the recipient’s signature gets emailed directly to you instead of being sent via regular mail.
Both options serve as concrete evidence that the item was delivered to the intended recipient.
Using LetterStream to Send Certified Mail
So now that you know how sending Certified Mail works, let’s go over another way to send your certified letter. Through us!
LetterStream offers a different approach to sending Certified Mail. It’s not only easier but also way more convenient than the traditional way. It’s so convenient that you don’t have to leave your home, office, or wherever you are in that moment. Pretty nifty, huh?
Ready for how easy it is? You can literally upload your documents in just minutes and then have your Certified letter sent through our online portal without doing any other work, without wasting anymore time and without having to go to the post office. That’s it! Easy, right?
And, like we mentioned above, we also offer USPS Certified Mail tracking right inside of your online portal for quick and easy access. There’s never a need to keep track of, or enter, your tracking numbers because we keep track of them for you.
Click here to learn more about sending your Certified letter as Certified Mail through us.
Benefits and Considerations
Let’s talk about some benefits and considers when it comes to sending Certified Mail. The primary benefit of using the USPS Certified Mail process is the proof of delivery it offers. With the stamped proof of mailing and the tracking information, you have tangible evidence that you sent the item and that it was delivered to the recipient.
Certified Mail is often used for legal documents, court papers, and official correspondences, as it provides a level of assurance that is crucial in these contexts. It can be used to establish timelines, fulfill legal requirements, and maintain records of important communications.
While USPS strives to deliver Certified Mail promptly, it is essential to consider the timeframe for delivery. Depending on the distance and other factors, delivery may take several days.
Just be prepared; Certified Mail is not an overnight or expedited process. Actually, it could be slower than First-Class Mail as the mail carrier attempts to catch someone at home in order to collect a signature. If all goes well, a Certified Mail letter can be delivered in less than 5 business days, but don’t be alarmed if the process takes 15 business days or ever more in some cases.
To sum it up, USPS Certified Mail is a valuable service that adds an extra layer of security and proof of mailing (and sometimes delivery) when sending important documents or sensitive information. By going through the traditional way of sending certified mail or by using our online portal, you can easily track your item’s journey and ensure its delivery to the intended recipient.