COVID-19 Update May 2020

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Thanks to all of you for supporting and remaining loyal to us during COVID-19. It’s been a number of weeks since we’ve given you an update so we thought we’d pass along our current status.

As an essential business, as defined at both the states and federal level, we are still open and operating, and, aside from suspending our Express Letter job type, there has been practically no negative impacts on our speed of service or quality.

I have to express our overwhelming appreciation to our team for reacting positively to a great many restrictions that we imposed on them, like canceling their free gym memberships, closing down our breakroom, getting rid of shared food, and breaking up comfortable workgroups by spreading workers around the clock. We have been blown away by our team’s flexibility and commitment to us and to you our customers.

Going forward, as the country attempts to get back to some level of normalcy we are working on our next phase of operating, taking into account both state and federal guidelines and recommendations.  The Governor of Arizona recently announced that we are in Phase One of his reopening strategy.  Group gatherings are to be limited to 10 or fewer people and social distancing is still to be observed.  Phase Two is likely to occur at the end of the month if all state metrics are trending in the right direction.

In Phase One we will continue to practice social distancing, equipment, and workplace disinfecting and frequent hand washings. Our breakroom and common areas will remain closed and essential employees are encouraged to wear masks.  Non-essential employees will continue to work from home and meetings will be handled via conference calls, zoom meetings, and the like.

When the Governor declares Phase Two, we will cautiously work to remove some obstacles to productivity all the while continuing to embrace appropriate methods of cleaning and disinfecting.  In Phase Two we anticipate reintroducing non-essential employees into the building in a limited capacity and may receive an occasional prospective client for a company tour.

Keep in mind we remain highly vigilant for the health and safety of our employees, customers, and those in our community and will always choose safety over convenience or profit.  This period calls for fluid decision making that is the best interest of all.  All that to say, our plans may change but know that we are striving to be the best possible us, so we can do our best for you.  Thank you one and all!

2019 Baja 1000

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Racing through Mexico!

Given today’s headlines it might sound treacherous to drive to Mexico; but how much more so, to make it a thousand-mile road trip through the country. And let’s add a twist of only traveling on unpaved and primitive roads.

Well, Dennis our Technical Services Manager is doing just that this weekend. But because Dennis loves a good challenge, he’s making the trip in a Volkswagen bug.

Dennis is racing in the 2019 Baja 1000, a grueling 1000 mile non-stop road race on nearly impassible roads in a car that’s over 50 years old and has a fraction of the horsepower of any modern car.

There are two things you should know about Dennis. First, he can fix anything (which LetterStream really benefits from and I’m sure his race team does too) and second he has a heart the size of the entire Baja Peninsula. Dennis has joined up with another Dennis, Hollenbeck, and his team to race Class 11 car 1121 through a brutalizing 1000 miles of dust and boulders. But car 1121 isn’t just a race car, it is owned and operated as an extension and fundraising arm of Real Life Ministries an organization that serves the less fortunate ones in Mexico.

So not only does Dennis get the joys of fixing even more things this weekend, he also gets the greater joy of participating in a journey to uplift the downtrodden and help shed light on a ministry seeking to do the same thing.

Dennis, we’ll be watching and cheering as you pound the rocky terrain of Baja Mexico and seek to make the world a little better for those around you.

Check out the following related websites:

Real Life Ministries. https://reallifeministries.org/ “committed to serving the less fortunate, tending to the sick, and providing shelter for the homeless. 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.”

Class 11 Car 1121. http://www.teamh12one.com/ “We are about Running the Race as it describes in Hebrews 12:one , “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us … run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.”

Baja 1000. http://score-international.com/ November 22 – 23rd 2019. View the livestream of the event at http://score-international.com/livestream-52nd-annual-score-baja-1000

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Update: November 25, 2019: 

The Baja team fought a brutal battle, enduring one of the most difficult courses in the 52 years of the Baja 1000 history. And congrats to the team, for taking First Place in the group of Class 11 cars. How amazing, to punish the car and driver for over 36 hours of non-stop CARnage and still drive across the finish line. Great job team!

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LetterStream Celebrates Sweet 16.

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A quick but heartfelt thank you to all our customers, employees (present and past), vendors and encouragers who have cheered us on in some way over the years.

We say a big Thank You! October 2019 is LetterStream’s sweet 16th birthday.

It has been fun to serve all those who enjoy our service these many years. And one fun fact… as nearly 25 new users discover and sign up for our services each day now (including LetterStream.comOnlineCertifiedMail.com, and MailMyLetter.com), to send one letter or 10s of thousands, we signed up our 16,000th user this month too!

Thanks everyone!!

20% off Orange Paper and Postcards!

October Promotion

No tricks here, we are giving you a treat this Halloween season.
For the month of October, we will be offering 20% off all Orange 8 ½ X 11 paper and Orange Express Postcards.
You have a business to run and customers to keep happy, so we want to help you! For your festive holiday letters and notes look no further than LetterStream. For your fast mailing and printing needs, we’ll get the job done. Don’t wait until it’s too late and all the candy is gone, let us help you this Halloween season.

Las Vegas Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2019

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LetterStream takes on Vegas!

Come say Hi, and meet some of our LetterStream team. There are many ways that you can meet us, but in this case, all you have to do is stop by our booth. Were talking about the Las Vegas Debt Connection Symposium and Expo being hosted at the Red Rock Hotel, September 10th-12th, 2019. Our booth at this Expo will be stocked with our fantastic and passionate staff.

This Expo will be “focusing on networking and connection with clients, service providers, product suppliers, agencies, and attorneys- at a whole new level… This symposium and Expo’s concept is to have an opportunity to meet peers and other industry professionals, as well as finding new products and services that might make your job easier, better, more efficient, more productive, etc.”  (DCSE)

LetterStream is going to have staff on hand to explain why outsourcing print and mail projects makes the most sense, as well as showing how mail managers can get their important mailings out the door in as little as two minutes. We’re sure there will be many questions about how Certified Mail can be sent and tracked online without ever going to the post office, and will be more than happy to answer every last one of them.

Please stop in and see us about your first-class mailing, statement mailing, payment coupon booklet printing, FedEx letters, annual meeting notice, postcards, certified mail, and any other mailing projects that you might need for a better solution.

Be sure to stop by booth #202, and say hello. We will be awaiting your arrival. See you soon!

Welcome Ashlee, our New Customer Service Manager

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Hold on, hold on, before you panic at this headline, Mike hasn’t left the LetterStream team.  He is now our Director of Customer Experience.  We figured that Mike could get a promotion if he could find someone just as awesome in customer service as he is.  That said, we didn’t think Mike would ever get a promotion.  Enter Ashlee.  We aren’t sure how Mike did it, but he actually found someone who can bring help and joy to customers as well as he can.  Ashlee has been with us a few months now, so some of you have already experienced her good nature, knowledge of our systems and overwhelming desire to help people out.

Ashlee has some 5-star training from Marriott hotels and resorts and has supported many different clients in an earlier payroll processing career.  These experiences are quite helpful to her on the job, but nothing can compare to the enthusiasm that she has to be a part of our team and her tremendous desire to support all of our customers.

Next time you call in, be sure and say “Hello and Welcome” to Ashlee.

Faster Mail through FedEx

 

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How Easy!

You already know that we are fast at printing and folding your documents and getting them in the mail, but some of you wish the United States Postal Service (USPS) could deliver mail as fast as we can prepare it.  Well, for those of you who never can get things as fast as you’d like or need, we just may have the answer.

You can now upload a PDF file of your letter or document within your LetterStream account and choose the FedEx Overnight Letter job type.  We’ll print your document, (not fold it), and put it in a FedEx overnight letter envelope.  And depending how early in the day you create and pay for your mailing, we might just be able to get your letter delivered the next business day.  Need your document mailed to many different addresses? Simply upload your mailing list (click here to learn how) and our sophisticated, yet simple, address mapping tool will help you pick the right fields for your mailing addresses.

How Fast!

Image this, you are in New York trying to get a proposal (or some other document with a deadline) delivered to Boston tomorrow.  Unfortunately it is already 5 pm in New York and its too late to get it in the mail.  But, if you load your document to the LetterStream website (where some months it will still be 2pm), we can print and mail your important documents and have them delivered to your recipient in Boston via FedEx by 3pm the next (business) day.  Between you and me, I call that extremely fast!

Currently we have an introductory flat rate price for anywhere in the US.  That makes for easy math and a simplified decision making process so you can focus on getting your job loaded instead of pondering all the different mailing and pricing options.

If you like fast, FedEx and LetterStream may be just what you are looking for to get your next mailing delivered quickly.

USPS Stamp Prices Going Down in 2016!

USPS Postage Rates 2016

USPS Cuts Price of First-Class Stamp!

The biggest news in the mailing business, in maybe forever, or since the forever stamp.  The United States Postal Service (USPS) is LOWERING the price of a first-class stamp.  The price DECREASE goes into effect on April 10, 2016, when your cost for a first class stamp will be reduced to 47 cents each.

The last time the USPS decreased the price of a first-class stamp was in 1919, when the price dropped a single cent from 3 cents each to 2 cents each.  Now, the greatest price decrease in the price of a first class stamp since 1885; the USPS is cutting the price of a first-class stamp by a whopping 2 cents!  For more information check out the wikipedia page on the History of United States postage rates.

Why are Stamp Prices Going to 47 Cents?

The federal regulatory body that governs USPS pricing is the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)(http://www.prc.gov).  This organization decides whether the Postal Service can raise prices and by how much.  A year ago the USPS was given a special waiver by the PRC to increase prices by more than the maximum amount allowed (according to their rules), so now the PRC is making the USPS roll prices back.

It really makes no sense though, as the USPS is still operating at a loss.  Follow this link to read the USPS press release on the topic of lowing prices (http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2016/pr16_009.htm).

What Other Postage Prices are Changing in April?

In addition to the decreasing price of a first-class stamp, other stamp prices are going down as well.  In fact, nearly every increase that took effect in 2015 is being reversed.  Seems a bit odd that the Postal Regulatory Commission and the USPS couldn’t work out a meet-in-the-middle solution, but their loss turns out to be mailers’ gain. Here’s a sampling of new postage rates:

  • First-Class Postcards will decrease from $.35 to $.34 each (reversing last year’s increase)
  • Additional ounces for First-Class mail will decrease from $.22 to $.21 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • Certified Mail base fees will decrease from $3.45 to $3.30 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • Certified Mail Return Receipt Green Card fees will decrease from $2.80 to $2.70 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • Certified Mail Electronic Return Receipts will decrease from $1.40 to $1.35 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • International First-Class Letters will go down from $1.20 to $1.15 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • One ounce First-Class flats will decrease from $.98 to $.95, and 2 ounce pieces will fall from $1.20 to $1.15 (reversing last year’s increase)
  • Registered Mail letters will decrease from $12.20 to $11.70 (falling more than last year’s increase by another 25 cents)
  • The price of a First-Class Stamp will fall from $.49 to $.47 (there was no increase in the price of a first-class stamp last year)

We encourage everyone to take advantage of the cheaper postage prices in 2016 and send more mail.  If you need some help with that, give us a call, we are what you call experts.

 

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.

Delivering Mail, The Old Fashioned Way

LeGunflint Mail RuntterStream is delighted to be a sponsor in this years Gunflint Mail Run (www.gunflintmail.com). The Gunflint Mail Run is a sled dog race taking place in Cook County Minnesota this weekend, celebrating the old way of delivering mail and supplies.

As a printing and mailing company, we’re glad for the more modern ways of getting mail from place to place, but it sure is fun to look back at yesteryear and see how things used to be.  Take a moment to check out the Gunflint Mail Run website, they have some beautiful pictures of dog sled teams working through the snow as well as some history of dog sledding in Minnesota.

You can also participate in their fund raising efforts and bid on some $75 LetterStream coupons, which might not be bid up as high as warm winter cabins, crampons and various other cold-weather items. The coupons can be used for USPS First-class mail, postcards, Certified Mail, FedEx overnight letters or any other services that LetterStream offers.