LetterStream Celebrates Sweet 16.

Fireworks Birthday Card (2)

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!!

USPS Proposed Postage Rates for 2020

Capture4

The time has come, and the rates are in.

On October 9th the United States Postal Service (USPS) filed their proposed price changes with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). These proposed rates are set to take place at midnight on January 26, 2020.

The best news is that First-Class rates are staying pretty much the same. A First-Class stamp will continue to be only 55 cents.

Like clockwork, extra services are increasing in the Certified Mail fees area, with Certified Mail base fees going up a nickel.

And with each proposed rate increase, there is always a twist of some sort. This year, USPS is separating out extra ounces of flats from extra ounces of letters. These two have historically been tied at the hip with “extra ounces” simply being the same rate for any type of First-Class letter regardless of size. Now, any First-Class letter with physical dimensions larger than 11 ½ inches by 6 1/8  inches (11.5” X 6.125”), known as a Large Envelope, or Flat will see a $0.20 per additional ounce.

Here’s the list of items unchanged by the 2020 rates:

  • First-Class stamps staying at $0.55
  • First-Class Postcard Rate staying at $0.35
  • Extra Ounces staying at $0.15 (for letters, not flats)
  • Flat base rate staying at $1.00

And some items that are experiencing an increase, such as:

  • International Rates going up from $1.15 to $1.20
  • Certified Mail going up from $3.40 to $3.55
  • Return Receipt going up from $2.80 to $2.85
  • Electronic Return Receipt going up from $1.60 to $1.70
  • Registered Mail going up from $12.40 to $12.60
  • Flats Extra Ounces going up from $0.15 to $0.20

Sorry, this year we didn’t find any fees that went down for the products that we offer.

If you want to review the USPS press release, click here.

For the complete list of 2020 rate changes, click here and download the data files from the USPS website. Keep in mind, the Notice 123 for 2020 is still in review by the RPC and subject to change, but the USPS generally gets the rates they ask for.

We should remind you that LetterStream seldom ever raises our base rates, instead, we just increase prices by the amount of the USPS rate increase so you can expect the same this year as well. LetterStream will be implementing these changes on January 24th, 2020 by 5 PM, so plan ahead and get your jobs in our system before the 24th to get the past prices.

Las Vegas Debt Connection Symposium and Expo 2019

LetterStream

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

Ashlee

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.

LetterStream Learns – Internal Training Brand

LetterStream Learns BrandWe had a fun day today.  Well, we probably have fun most days, but today we launched our new internal training brand; LSLearns.  LetterStream always wants to develop, and cultivate an internal culture of learning to go along with our already “fast and perfect mail” mantra and our “mad customer love” vision for customer service.

It is our belief that as employees grow and learn they start to discover their unique talents that can unlock a tremendous amount of capability.  David, our President, is often heard saying that inside everyone is a hidden super power that can manifest itself in the workplace in amazing ways.  LSLearns is an attempt to formalize our belief that people, when awakened in the right way, can do amazing things.

Some skeptics may say, “Ah, this is just an attempt to squeeze more productivity out of people”.  We might respond; “Sure! Sort of.” After all, what’s wrong with more productivity? But “squeeze” probably doesn’t capture the essence of our training efforts, instead we might use the word “foster”. By creating training, learning and growing opportunities we allow our employees to decide how much effort to put into their own career development plan, and hopefully inspire them along the way to be excellent at whatever it is they are doing.

Leader of Leaders and Learner of Learners, Kay Coleman, helped us launch the day, and our new brand, by leading us through some activities to engage our minds in different ways.  Kay has been an active learner, teacher and facilitator for most of her life, was Program Director with iLeadAZ – a program developed to lead school principals to greater success, and now provides consulting services to companies (like ours!).  Thanks Kay, for coming along side us with our passion for learning!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2014! Years seem to feel more like months these days. I’m not sure if that’s because we are having too much fun and making time fly, or if we are just distracted by the opportunities to assist our customers. Either way, a new year is upon us.

We want to say thank you to all our customers, vendors, employees, friends and families who all have been so supportive of the products and services that we offer. We are grateful… Thank You!

In response, and as our New Year’s resolution, we will continue to innovate in the mailing industry in order to deliver hi-tech mailing tools to assist you with your mailings. We will also continue to offer a degree of speed and precision that few in the mailing world can provide, and we will continue to offer stellar customer service, the kind that you can only find by turning back time.

Please continue to communicate with us and give us your feedback so that we can partner with you in helping you accomplish your goals this year as well.

Thank you! …and Happy New Year!

Towing Companies Send Certified Mail, Too

tow truckIf you’re not in the towing business, this post might not be for you… unless of course your vehicle has recently been impounded, in which case you might want to know a few things.

Many states require towing companies to notify owners, via USPS Certified Mail with Return Receipt, that their car has been towed within 3 days of towing. Failure to do so may result in the inability to charge the car’s owner for towing fees and/or storage. (Be sure to check your state laws to determine what is required.)

We’ve found that our online certified mail solutions are a tremendous benefit to those in the towing business for two reasons. First, LetterStream helps towing companies send their certified letters on time–each and every time–allowing all fees to be collected. Secondly, we maintain the mailing records online for easy access to comply with document retention rules.

Check out how we help towing companies comply with their specific state statutes:

Colorado

Public Tow Requirements:

“If the responsible law enforcement agency does not use an operator to store the motor vehicle, the responsible law enforcement agency must notify the owner(s) and lienholder(s) by certified mail, return receipt requested” and “Tow Operator- Notice to the owner(s) and lienholder(s) must be sent within 3 calendar days after the receipt of the completed record search from the Department. a) The tow operator shall retain proof of notification on file for 3 years. b) Notices sent by a tow operator must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.”

South Carolina

Guidelines for Businesses for Tow/Repair Vehicles Section 56-5-5620-5670:

Storage charges to begin on the first day if certified return receipt notices to the owners and lien holders are mailed within 5 days of determining their identities. Otherwise no storage charges accrue until the notices are mailed.”

Connecticut

State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-145:

“If vehicle is not claimed within 48 hours, the tower must complete the DMV form “Motor Vehicle Notice of Tow” (form H-114) and shall mail, by certified mail, copies of the completed form to the owner and to all lien holders of record.”

California

Section 14602.6 Vehicle Impoundment:

“The impounding agency, within two working days of impoundment, shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at the address obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle as been impounded. Failure to notify the legal owner within two working days shall prohibit the impounding agency from charging for more than 15 days’ impoundment when the legal owner redeems the impounded vehicle.”

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We haven’t looked at every state’s statutes on towing and impounding, but the above is the result of a quick google search.

If you want to speed up the time to get your certified mail sent, and want to learn how to keep great records of your mailings for years to come, contact us today.

Time Is Running Out To Give Stars And Get Starbucks!

starbucks card from letterstream

The Stars for Starbucks promotion is nearing its end, so if you haven’t taken a moment to give us 5-stars and a glowing review, now is the time!

We’ve enjoyed receiving and reading the positive feedback and encouraging comments. We’ve liked it so much, in fact, that we’ve upped our Starbucks gift card giveaway amount to $10!

Here’s what one customer, Andrew Flusche, had to say (keep his name handy if you get a traffic ticket in Virginia):

I use LetterStream to fulfill a variety of printing & mailing needs for my law firm. They do an excellent job from start to finish.

Here’s what really got me hooked on them: When I called with questions before I was even a client, they happily gave me some credits to play around with. I sent a test letter from their system, expecting to see it in the mail in a few days. I was amazed when they emailed me a picture of the letter before mailing it! Super cool way to WOW a new customer. 🙂

We’ll be anxiously awaiting YOUR positive feedback, and then promptly sending you your Starbucks gift card. It will arrive in a professional looking mailing that we’ve created, taking advantage of our own color specials for the month.

So in addition to getting coffee on us, you’ll also get to see how nice our Color Express Letter product looks when you see it in the mail. (**Oh, by the way, there are only 6 days remaining in our Color Specials as well**).

In case you want to create full-color letters like the one shown above, here’s how we did it… we simply loaded our logo into our Remembered Items (under My Account) to use as the return address on the #10 envelope. The letter was also saved as a color document in Remembered Items. Each time someone sends their positive review, we simply add their name and address to our private online address book, and in a couple of clicks the mailing is ready to go (except for the Starbucks gift card, which we lovingly attach by hand with those sticky things credit card companies use). Anyway, the process only takes a minute or two.

Keep those 5-star comments coming, and we’ll keep the Starbucks cards flying out the door!

Remember this is for current customers. We are looking for reviews based on your prior positive experiences.

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!