Elvis Presley and How to Return Mail to Sender

A story from the Letterman about return mail all thanks to a classic song…

It was a busy day of making mail and innovating today. I traveled to multiple facilities and had a brief celebration of our most recent quarter. I gave a Starbucks card and a high-five to our team leader, who produced the most pieces of mail for the month and watched as we spooled up a new process of shipping pallets of mail to send across the country for speedier mail delivery.

To give a little context, my family is out of town and I’m sitting in an Italian restaurant that is open late, having a little desert and writing blog posts about mail. 

Is this not how everyone spends their Friday night? Or is that just me?

Anyway, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had been playing to set the mood of fine dining. I’m in the zone, cranking out blog posts and savoring affogatos after experiencing a wonderful day in the factories. As if it wasn’t already going great, the icing on the cake was when Elvis Presley came up in the playlist singing, get ready for it… Return to Sender. Now, to most, this would simply mean a great Elvis Presley song was playing. To a Letterman, however, this was gold. Could a day be any better?!

Elvis Presley and Mail

In case you might not be aware of what the song is, here is a little overview and some of the lyrics I got to listen to while celebrating a fantastic day of mail:

According to Wikipedia, “Return to Sender” is a song recorded by American singer Elvis Presley and performed in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!. The song was written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell to suit Presley’s rock and roll musical style. The singer laments his relationship with a spiteful partner. Released on October 2, 1962, and published by Elvis Presley Music, the song became a commercial hit and received praise for its lyricism and melody.”

Lyrics:

I gave a letter to the postman

He put it in his sack

Bright early next morning

He brought my letter back

Return to sender, address unknown

No such number, no such zone

We had a quarrel, a lover’s spat

I write I’m sorry, but my letter keeps coming back, 

address unknown

How timeless are the words from the king of rock and roll?

Return Mail That Isn’t Yours

Ok, but let’s talk about this for a minute. Granted the song is about two people who knew each other and one writes the words Return to Sender as if they don’t live there anymore, but I ponder the thought of mail ending up at the wrong location.  

Which brings up the question: How often do we get a piece of mail that doesn’t belong to us?

As a recipient of mail myself, it’s a scenario I’ve encountered more times than I can count due to the United States Postal Service. There’s a certain curiosity that accompanies the moment when you realize the letter in your hand is addressed to someone else—a mix of intrigue and responsibility. It’s also a reminder that even in our digital age, the tangible exchange of snail mail still holds a place of significance in our lives.

When faced with this situation, my first instinct is always to do what’s right—to ensure that the first-class letter finds its rightful owner. It’s a simple act of kindness, but one that carries weight and importance. After all, behind every piece of mail is a story, a connection waiting to be made, even.

Returning the letter to its sender is not just a matter of correcting a mistake—it’s an act of respect and consideration. It’s about honoring the privacy of the individual to whom the letter was intended and upholding the integrity of the postal system.

How to Return Mail/Send a Letter Back?

But returning a letter isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes, there are no clear indications of the sender’s identity, and I’m left to rely on my instincts and intuition. It’s a process that requires patience and persistence, but one that’s ultimately rewarding.

Here are some helpful tips on how to return mail that was sent to the wrong address or if the person no longer lives there.

  • On the envelope write the words “Return to Sender” or “Not at this address.” 
  • If there is a barcode on the # 10 envelope, cross that out to help ensure it doesn’t come back to you again.
  • Put the mailpiece back in your mailbox, an outgoing collection mailbox or you can hand it back to your postal worker or mailman the next time you see them.
  • If placed back in your mailbox and you have the option, put the red flag up, indicating you have outgoing mail.

On that note, if you’re sending a letter a bulk mailing that’s considered important, you may want to consider sending it in a way where you can track it. On our LetterStream website, we offer the ability to track your letters right inside of your online portable. So, if you’re sending Certified Mail, Registered Mail (international only) or FedEx 2Day letters allowing you to see if they were delivered, signed for or undeliverable. Just something to keep in mind so this doesn’t happen to you.

Return to sender written in red ink for return mail

There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that I’ve played a small part in ensuring that a piece of mail reaches its intended destination. So the next time you find yourself holding a letter that wasn’t meant for you, remember the importance of kindness and consideration. By returning the letter to its sender, it extends a helping hand to a stranger, even in the simplest of ways.

As I wrap up this blog and my time here at the Italian restaurant, I can’t help but secretly hope that anyone who reads this post will now think of us here at LetterStream every time they hear Elvis Preseley’s Return to Sender. 

How to Seed Your Mailing List and Marketing Campaign

In the world of mailing, first impressions are often the most impactful. When sending a letter online the expectation is that your recipient opens their mailbox, retrieves your letter, and takes in its contents. This moment is crucial and we recognize the significance in that. Hence why we’re huge advocates of customers seeding their mailing campaigns a practice that may seem a bit unconventional coming from a printing and mailing company.

What is Seed Mailing?

Seed mailing or a seed mailing list is a simple yet powerful strategy that allows you to monitor the performance of your mailing provider. Essentially, it involves adding your own address or the addresses of friends and colleagues to your USPS mailing list. By doing so, you receive a copy of the mail piece alongside your intended recipients. This simple yet effective strategy offers firsthand insight into how your mailings are handled and delivered.

Benefits of A Seed List

As we mentioned above, we champion for our customers to seed their list, for numerous reasons. Firstly, it provides a comprehensive understanding of your mailing provider’s performance. By witnessing the journey of your mail piece yourself, from creation to delivery, you can assess its quality and efficiency and if it actually makes it to you in general.

Secondly, seeding your mailing list isn’t just about monitoring—it’s also about gaining confidence when sending to your marketing mailing list through USPS First-Class Mail or when sending community announcements for Homeowner Association Mailings, important notices or legal notices sent via Certified Mail. Basically, seeding offers reassurance by confirming delivery. It’s a proactive step towards ensuring accuracy and reliability in your messaging.

Check-In on Speed and Efficiency

Now that we got through all of that, let’s talk about expediting your USPS mailing online using LetterStream. There are several strategies you can use to streamline the process. One approach is to include your own name and address in the CSV file or merged file used for your mailing. This ensures that you receive a copy of the mail piece alongside your recipients. 

A second option would be to utilize a seamless solution we offer in our online platform. When you’re in your account you can simply click the “Add Additional Recipient” button and type in your information to include your address directly. It’s super easy to do, just look at the screenshot below.

Add New Address

Empowering Your Mailing Campaigns

Seeding your mail job isn’t just a precautionary measure for quality control—it’s an opportunity to gain invaluable insights into your communication strategy. By proactively monitoring and optimizing your mailings you can guarantee that each communication is able to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re sending community updates, business announcements, or promotional materials to a mailing list for marketing, seeding empowers you to refine your approach and maximize your impact.

Seed Your Mail With LetterStream

Just remember in the world of communication that will live on, every detail matters. Seeding your mailing campaigns with LetterStream is about empowering your small business or company. By taking proactive steps when you mail letters, you can then take your communication strategy to new heights. So go ahead, embrace the power of seeding, and unlock the full potential of your mailing campaigns with LetterStream.

Get to Know LetterStream’s Pricing to Send a Letter Online

A quality we really pride ourselves in over here at LetterStream is understanding that transparency is a key component when it comes to choosing a solution to print and mail out your letters, along with one that fits seamlessly into your budget.

Recently we received an excellent question from one of our valued customers. They were asking about the monthly and yearly costs associated with our services. Although our pricing is pretty simple, we figured it would be beneficial to break it down a bit more here on the blog for our current customers and potential new customers to help alleviate any confusion.

So, let’s dive into it.

Our Pricing Philosophy: Free Access, Only Pay for Mailings – What?!

We’re extremely proud to offer a straightforward pricing model for our services based on USPS mail prices. If you’re wondering about the price to send a letter through LetterStream, keep on reading.

Our basic services come with zero monthly or annual fees – that’s right, it’s absolutely FREE to access our website and experiment with all the mail-making features.

And no, this isn’t a joke, we promise. You only incur costs when you have a specific mailing job. So, if you don’t send mail in a given month, you won’t pay a dime. It’s really that simple.

Mailing Costs: Affordable and Customizable

Ok, let’s talk about the price of mailing a letter and the costs associated with it. When it comes to printing and mailing online, we keep the costs simple.

For instance, sending a one-page letter printed in black ink on 8.5″ x 11″ and mailed via USPS First-Class Mail starts at $1.13 each. Similarly, if you want to send Certified Mail via the USPS, those start at $7.34. You can also send USPS Certified Mail with an electronic mailing receipt for an added price. If you’re looking for super fast delivery that’s where FedEx 2Day comes into play and starts at only $13.50. We also have cheaper options where you can easily send a postcard that will cost you a mere $.78.

Basically, it’s a pay-as-you-go system, ensuring that you only pay for the mailings you send.

Try Before You Buy

LetterStream logo with the words free acount and everything you need for a print and mail job with a click here button

We encourage you to give our print and mail services a try – for free! Here’s an extra perk we forgot to mention. No credit card is needed to experience the full functionality of our website. It’s so simple to take advantage of our easy-to-use interface, explore the advanced features, and see if LetterStream meets your needs.

We purposefully designed our pricing model with simplicity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness in mind.

Additional Features

Now that we’ve covered our free pricing subscription (again mailing cost and service of sending a job only), let’s dive a little bit deeper. We take pride in offering more than just mailing services. Our platform is equipped with several additional features to enhance your experience when you sign up:

  • Trained AI Chatbot to answer questions 24/7. Although this one is available on our website in the bottom right-hand corner even if you aren’t a member.
  • Traditional help pages and videos are instantly available.
  • Multiple-user access.
  • Various user-access roles.
  • Reporting offered by user, department and job type.
  • Mailing jobs guaranteed to go out on time.
  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Different types of perforated/perf paper to select from.
  • Return envelope options.
  • Can accommodate all types of jobs, including Fist-Class Mail, Certified Mail, FedEx, Postcards, Registered Mail and Flats.
  • Easy-to-use ‘Search’ feature to find any job or recipient that you’ve mailed to.
  • And, of course, our extreme commitment to excellence to serve our customers.

For an added cost, here are some more advanced options that can be accessed:

  • Load a document of variable page count per recipient and we’ll sort it out for you.
  • Address List Cleanup to help reduce undeliverable mail.
  • Ability to send an email copy in addition to a letter for $0.20.

If you’re visiting us for the first time and want to get in on all the cool features we offer and to help you get your mailings out the door, then comment below for a new customer promo code to get $10 free added to your account to test out sending a letter online.

To learn more about Certified Mail prices, First-Class Mail prices and other services we offer, click here.

How to Proof Your Letters When Sending Mail Online

Here’s something fun for you to do on your next printing and mailing job, spend a few extra moments reviewing online proofs of your mail!

Ok, just kidding, that’s not actually the most fun thing at all. In fact, sometimes it’s downright painful for people, so much so that they just skip the process. But trust us it’s something you’ll want to start doing when you send mail online because your end product will then be sent out perfectly.

Take the time to review your letters

It’s really important to take the time to look over your proof before you zip through to checkout. In fact, it’s so important that just last year we spent some time making the link to view your proofs more prominent, in an effort to remind you to review the documents you uploaded before sending out your snail mail.

Right before you get to the checkout screen, on the right-hand side, there is a blue ‘View‘ button. This button appears next to each person you send mail to, allowing you to view each one. 

Fun fact: behind-the-scenes we like to call it the Little Blue Button. We started calling it that one day when talking about improving our process for it and the name has stuck ever since. 

Screenshots of the LetterStream online customer portal that showcases where the proof button is located.

Ok, back to it. Look, the truth is, we get it. When you’ve finished uploading your documents and are done with this portion of your work, getting the ‘Order Acceptance‘ email from LetterStream is exciting because you know your part of the process is over. It also means your mailing is moments away from cruising through LetterStream’s crazy, fast production facility. However, it’s important to note that just because you were quick to get that “order acceptance’ email, doesn’t mean you were quite ready to send it or that it was actually ready to go on your end. 

Truth is, we need some help from you to make certain your job is fully ready to print and mail.

Oops, mistakes were made

As much as we like talking to and helping our customers, we also like to save them time. Here are some popular and frequent emails our Customer Support team takes after a job has been mailed that showcase why it’s a good idea to check your proofs:

“Argh! I forgot to add my return envelope, it is too late to add it in now?”

“Oops! I forgot to specify that I wanted my flier printed in color. What do I do now?”

“Yikes, I forgot to run the letter past the CFO and mailed out the wrong prices!” 

As you know, we like to help our customers make the very best impression possible when using our online printing and mailing service, but we also like to go really, really fast, which everyone likes. If your mailing has mistakes in it, then that means we have to stop production on it and possibly even shred a job. In short, this just adds more time to the process. 

Things to look out for when viewing your proofs

different samples of proofs of letters that are to be mailed and printed by LetterStream. First-class letters and #10 envelopes included.

In order to avoid having to use our Chatbot on our website (although it is a great tool to utlize that’s availabe 24/7) or contact customer service to make changes to a job, here are some things that you might want to check for before the final submission that will be helpful to both you, the customer, and us here at LetterStream.

Ask yourself:

  • is my return address correct?
  • are all pages and envelopes included?
  • did I include the correct mailing list of addresses?
  • am I using the most up-to-date information?
  • are all dates/phone numbers on my documents correct?
  • are the amounts in the document correct and properly formatted?
  • do my addresses all seem to be properly formatted?
  • Did I make sure to choose the correct type of mailing, like USPS First-Class Mail, USPS Certified Mail or Certified Mail with Electronic Return Receipt for USPS tracking?

Many other items need to be examined for a perfect mailing, but the questions above might be a good place to start. Then maybe you can create a list of ‘things to double check’ when it comes to mailing a letter. 

After all, being a printing and mailing company, we like it as much as you do when your mail goes out fast and perfect! So, while the proofing task isn’t the most fun, it’s really is fun to know that you’ve just completed another perfect mailing online!

Join LetterStream at the 2024 Community Association Law Seminar

As the legal industry and law firms continue to evolve, professionals are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance their efficiency and client communication.

With that being said, LetterStream, a leading provider of printing and mailing services, is thrilled to announce that we will be attending the 2024 Community Association Law Seminar, taking place on February 14-17 in Las Vegas to help bring awareness to lawyers and law firms about more efficient ways to send out their mailings.

Simplied Communication for Lawyers

In the legal world, effective communication is paramount. Attorneys often find themselves inundated with crucial letters and documents that need to be sent to clients promptly. That’s where we come in! LetterStream specializes in simplifying this process by offering a streamlined and efficient platform for the printing and mailing of important correspondence that is secure and confidential!

Why We Are Attending

Our reason for attending the 2024 Community Association Law Seminar is to showcase our services that empower lawyers to focus on their legal expertise while leaving the task of printing and mailing in capable hands. By leveraging LetterStream’s services, legal professionals can enhance their client engagement strategies, ensuring that important information reaches clients in a timely and professional manner.

The Community Association Law Seminar is the premier conference for attorneys and insurance professionals who represent those in homeowner’s associations (HOA community management), property management, condominium communities, or housing cooperatives.

And guess what? We do a ton of printing and mailing jobs for homeowner’s associations. In fact, we also provide print and mail fulfillment to many software providers that serve community associations, so it makes sense for us to connect with HOA lawyers.

Networking Opportunities with LetterStream Experts

The Community Association Law Seminar provides an excellent opportunity for legal professionals and attorneys for HOAs to connect with the experts at LetterStream. Attendees can engage in one-on-one discussions, seek solutions, and gain insights into how LetterStream’s services can be help  meet their specific needs.

We can sit and discuss all of our mailing options including Certified Mailv (key for lawyers to have access to), Certified Mail with Electronic Return Receipt (USPS tracking and signature confirmation), USPS First-Class mailings, FedEx 2Day, Statements, postcards for marketing purposes and more. Or, you can just come hang out with us in our booth. We promise we’re fun to be around!

LetterStream’s Commitment to Legal Excellence

With a commitment to excellence and a proven track record of serving the legal community, LetterStream is dedicated to helping lawyers navigate the challenges of sending communications out easily and with minimal effort.

To learn more about the 2024 Community Association Law Seminar, click here

How to Send Certified Mail to a PO Box

As experts in the mail industry, we often encounter questions regarding Certified Mail, especially when it comes to sending them to P.O. Boxes. Well, we’re about to shed some light on the very popular question: Can you send Certified Mail to a PO Box?

The quick answer is yes, you can send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box, however, there are things to consider when doing so but we’ll talk more about that later.

Understanding and Tracking Certified Mail

Before getting into the specifics of sending to P.O. Boxes, let’s first understand what a Certified Mailing entails. It’s a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) providing senders with a level of assurance that their important documents have been sent, delivered or attempted for delivery. When sending mail via Certified you can also get a Green Card, also known as a Certified Mail Return Receipt or an Electronic Return Receipt (ERR) and get a copy of the signature of the recipient sent back to you.

Who Would Send a Certified Letter?

Sending a Certified letter is a popular choice for individuals and businesses dealing with crucial documents, legal papers, contracts, or sensitive information. It offers proof of mailing and delivery, which can be invaluable in various scenarios, such as legal proceedings, contract disputes, or important communications where a record of receipt is essential.

Can You Send Certified Mail to a P.O. Box?

Like we mentioned above, the answer is yes, you can send Certified Mail to a PO Box. However, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and successful delivery.

When addressing Certified letters to a P.O. Box, it is crucial to include the P.O. Box number in the address. This ensures that the postal service can accurately route the mail to the correct destination within the post office. The recipient’s name and the P.O. Box number is essential for a precise delivery.

It’s worth noting that Certified Mail sent to a P.O. Box requires the recipient to visit their local post office to retrieve the mail. Unlike regular mail, which is placed directly in the P.O. Box, Certified letters often involve a signature upon receipt (ERR), adding an extra layer of security and accountability. And if you’re wondering, “Does Certified Mail require a signature?” No, it does not but you can definitely choose it as an option for added tracking and security.

Certified Mail tracking is included. As a sender, you’ll receive a receipt with a unique tracking number. This tracking number allows you to monitor the delivery status, giving you peace of mind about the progress of your important documents or packages.

All-in-all, Certified Mail is a versatile and secure option for sending important items, and yes, it can be sent to a P.O. Box. By following the proper addressing guidelines and understanding the additional steps involved, you can ensure that your letter reaches its destination with precision and reliability.

Using LetterStream

To avoid unnecessary trips to the Post Office and to take the hassle out of sending any type of mail then use our website! Once you upload your job, we do the rest for you, including printing, inserting and mailing your letters. When sending USPS Certified Mail online through LetterStream, the Certified Mail cost starts at $7.34, which includes the Certified Mail fees and then goes up depending on the add-on services and type of envelope you’d like to use.

Is it Time For a New Mailroom?

In an ever-changing world, the importance of looking for ways to improve our current situation is key. When we strive to make our lives better, our relationships better, our environments better and our jobs better, well…it tends to make everything better, generally speaking. This applies to all areas of life, including the workplace.

On that note, let’s get a little bit more specific about the workplace and jump into talking about improving your current mailroom situation, shall we? In fact, let’s get even more specific and break it down to talking about your in-house mailroom. Meaning, as a business or company you internally print and send out letters to your customers. Maybe you’re an HOA (homeowners association) who needs to mail out important information to your community. Maybe you’re a law firm that needs to mail letters to clients. You get the idea.

So how does talking about your current in-house mailroom relate to improving your current situation? Good question. Running your own in-house mailing can come with a lot of responsibilities, time and struggles if we’re being honest. It comes with added roles within the organization that probably have nothing to do with your product or service. Remember someone internally has to do the physical work of printing and mailing the letters.

If you are managing, dealing with or struggling with your in-house mailroom, we have some ideas to help you find a better solution for it.

Mail is mission-critical

First off, let’s call it what it is. A mailroom is mission-critical, meaning it’s very important…just like your internet access is super important. However, your company didn’t build its own internet company to get internet access into the building, did they? No, your company found another company that offered that service and said “Here, you handle this, while we handle what we are experts at.”

So, the question is, “What’s up with your mailroom?” “Why do you have one?” “Is there a visible career path beyond the mailroom?” Basically, why have an internal place to do mailings when you can have a company that specializes in it do it for you?

Your first thought might be that you have a mailroom because again, mail is mission-critical and it must go out ASAP. To that, we completely agree. However, why do YOU have a mailroom? You said MAIL is critical and MAIL must go out but, you didn’t say your mailroom is mission-critical, did you?

On that note, let’s get you introduced to the mailing industry experts. Hi, we’re LetterStream, a print and mail online service that a large number of companies are turning to in order to free up their time spent on mailing jobs.

Freeing up time away from handling their company mailings, people are able to find new jobs with their current employer, doing truly mission-critical work within the company; mission-critical work that provides growth an opportunity beyond being the chief of the mailroom.

The Mailroom Manager

So, how can they do that? Well, let’s unpack the roles and responsibilities of a Mailroom Manager because these roles can essentially all go away.

Mailroom Manager Roles and Responsibilities

  • Keeping informed of new and emerging printing and mailing technologies.
  •  Creating connections in the printing and mailing industry to know where to purchase equipment and supplies.
  •  Negotiating with vendors each year who constantly want to increase their prices.
  •  Reviewing contracts every couple of years on printers, folders, tabbers, inserters, and postage meters, to name a few.
  •  Staffing your department with people to make sure that the mission-critical mail can always go out.
  •  Managing people and processes each and every day to keep employees productive, accurate and motivated.
  •  Dealing with suboptimal equipment that struggles to produce in the key moments when you are counting on it the most.
  •  Arguing with service vendors who don’t show up when expected or who don’t solve the problem that you’re dealing with.
  •  Justifying the office space your team needs to store supplies, stage equipment, and create a mailroom that can produce the mail volume when it is needed.
  •  Being called into meetings to discuss what went wrong when one of your internal customers didn’t give you the instructions you needed to be successful.
  •  Driving to the Post Office to drop off mail, get supplies or have a face-to-face meeting about why, despite everything being done perfectly, the mail clerk decided to reject your mailing.
  •  Studying the latest, and ever-changing Domestic Mail Manual, to know what you can and can’t continue to do and how you need to make sure your postage meters and rate charts and price structures are all updated.
  •  And finally not getting the credit for the heroic effort you put forth day after day. And let’s face it, mail is extremely important and you are so good at your job, that you may be too valuable for anyone to move you out of that role.

Your new non-mailing job

It might be time to take those skills that you are developing and find a way to participate in your organization in areas that are both mission-critical AND a core product or service that your company needs. But how do you do that when you are needed to get the mail out? It’s easy! You find someone who can do your job as well as you can. May we propose that the answer is to send the mail to a mailroom that is turn-key and ready to go?

Consider an expert print and mail company

There are probably several good printing and mailing companies around who’d love to take on your mail projects. While we might propose any decent mailing company can help take the responsibilities off of your plate, it’s actually an excellent mailing company that would also keep you from being sucked back into your current situation. Meaning, that many companies bring print and mail back in-house because their former vendor couldn’t perform.

But trust us, there are plenty of high-performing print and mail vendors, so before being tempted to believe you are the only company that can make mail correctly, you owe it to yourself to look around.

On that note, our shameless plug is to contact us, LetterStream. Actually, you don’t even need to contact us. Just go to LetterStream.com and use the promo code “MyNewMailroom2023” to get $10 of free mail to test out what LetterStream can do for you. We send everything from First-Class Mail, Certified Mail with an Electronic Return Receipt (USPS tracking and signature), Registered Mail and even FedEx letters to invoices and postcard printing and mailing.

Trust us, we will be fast. We will be accurate. We will be committed to supporting you never having to utilize print and mail services internally ever again.

A Guide to 1099 Deadlines and How to Mail 1099s

As tax season approaches, businesses and freelancers are gearing up to fulfill their annual responsibility of issuing 1099 forms to recipients. Let’s explore the crucial deadlines for mailing out 1099s and we’ll provide some insights on the best practices for a smooth and timely distribution process.

Understanding 1099 Forms

Before delving into the deadlines, let’s briefly review what 1099 forms are. The 1099 series includes various forms that report income, other than wages, salaries, and tips. Businesses use different types of 1099s to report various types of income, such as interest, dividends, or nonemployee compensation.

Filing Deadlines to Send 1099

1. January 31: Deadline for Providing Recipients with 1099s

The clock starts ticking on January 1, and businesses have until January 31 to furnish 1099 forms to recipients. This deadline is non-negotiable and applies to all types of 1099s, including 1099-NEC for nonemployee compensation. Failure to meet this deadline or if a company fails to file it may result in penalties, so it’s crucial to ensure timely distribution.

2. February 28 (March 31 if filing electronically): IRS Filing Deadline

After providing recipients with their copies, businesses must submit the 1099 information to the IRS. The deadline for filing paper forms with the IRS is February 28, while electronic filers get an extended deadline until March 31. Keep in mind that this deadline is distinct from the recipient distribution deadline.

Mailing Out 1099s: Best Practices

If you’re wondering how to send a 1099 to someone, here it is. Let’s discuss the best practices for mailing out 1099 forms efficiently:

1. Gather Accurate Information

Before embarking on the mailing process of sending 1099 to contractor, ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information for each recipient. This includes their legal name, address, and taxpayer identification number TIN. Mistakes in recipient information can lead to complications and delays.

2. Choose the Right Delivery Method

When it comes to mailing out 1099s, businesses have two primary options: traditional mail and electronic delivery. Traditional mail involves sending physical copies via postal services, while electronic delivery allows recipients to access their forms digitally. Carefully consider the preferences of your recipients and the security measures associated with each method.

3. Use Secure Mailing Practices

If opting for traditional mail, prioritize secure mailing practices. Use envelopes that conceal the contents and consider using Certified Mail or Registered Mail for added security. This ensures that the forms reach their destination safely and confidentially. you can load these into your LetterStream portal, which is a secure account, and then we handle the rest.

4. Communicate Clearly with Recipients

In addition to providing the required forms, consider including a cover letter or accompanying documentation that outlines the purpose of the 1099 and any additional information recipients may need. Clear communication helps recipients understand the importance of the document and how to use it when filing their taxes.

5. Stay Informed About Changes

Tax regulations can change, affecting the requirements for 1099 reporting. Stay informed about any updates or changes in tax laws to ensure compliance. This proactive approach helps businesses adapt their processes accordingly and avoid last-minute complications.

On a side note, some way wonder, “Do I send a 1099 to an LLC?” If it falls under partnership tax or single-member LLC then yes, you send the LLC a 1099 form.

Navigating the intricacies of tax season and meeting 1099 deadlines is essential. By understanding the key dates and implementing best practices for mailing out 1099s, businesses can streamline the process, mitigate risks, and contribute to a successful tax season for both themselves and their recipients. Remember, timely and accurate 1099 distribution is not only a legal obligation but also a demonstration of professionalism and reliability in the eyes of your clients and contractors.

The USPS postage rate increase just took place. Learn more about it here.

What You Need to Know About the January 21, 2024 USPS Postage Increase

Well, it seems to be that time of year again. The time when the United States Postal Service (USPS) has a postage rate increase. If you’re feeling like this is happening a lot, well, you’re not wrong. The Postal Service raised their prices twice in 20212022 and 2023 and now we’re starting off 2024 with another USPS postage increase.

2024 USPS Postage Price Increase

Effective January 21, 2024, the cost of mailing letters, packages, and other USPS services will climb slightly across the board. While the average increase sits at a modest 4.3%, it’s still cause for pause, especially for businesses and high-volume senders.

Here’s a Breakdown of the Key Changes for the Postage Rate Increase in 2024:

  • First-Class postage increase for letters (1 oz.) is going up from $0.66 up to $0.68 cents
  • Certified Mail Postage is going from $4.35 up to $4.40
  • Certified Mail | Add-On Electronic Return Receipt price is going from $2.20 up to $2.32
  • Certified Mail | Add-On Green Card price is going from $3.55 up to $3.65
  • International Letters (1 oz.) are going from $1.50 up to $1.55
  • Domestic Postcards are going from $0.51 up, to $0.53
  • International Postcards are going from $1.50 up to $1.55
  • Registered Mail is going from $20.25 up to $20.75
  • Registered Mail | Add-On Electronic Return Receipt price is going from $5.65 up to $5.80
  • Extra Ounces (Letters) staying at $0.24
  • Extra Ounces (Flats) staying at $0.24
  • First-Class Mail Forever Stamp is $0.68

How to Handle the USPS Postage Increase?

These adjustments, while seemingly small, can accumulate over time, impacting both individuals and businesses. So, what can you do to navigate the new United States Postal Service postage increase?

Shop around: Not everything has to be sent via USPS. You may want to look at other options, such as FedEx 2Day to send a letter. You might be surprised at the fact that there’s another service with a faster delivery option.

Embrace technology: Leverage online shipping tools and platforms to compare rates, Make your life easier and more convenient and track your letters efficiently. Remember, time is money and removing the hassle of making trips to the Post Office to send your letter or to buy stamps is something to embrace on its own! Hi! LetterStream here. This is exactly what we do!

The 2024 USPS postage increase is a reality, but it doesn’t have to derail your mailing habits. By being informed and adaptable, you can adjust your strategies, find smarter solutions, and keep your letters moving without breaking the bank. Remember, a little planning and resourcefulness can go a long way in the ever-evolving world of postage.

LetterStream Is on Your Side!

For customers familiar with our process, you know we do raise our prices each time the USPS raises their rates.  But our increase is only the amount needed to cover the added postage costs. So, while your bill might look a little higher, the extra money is only going to the United States Postal Service.  LetterStream seldom raises our prices and works hard to keep your prices locked in for the long haul so that your mailing budget is consistent and predictable. If you want to send First-Class Mail, Certified Mail, postcards, or FedEx envelopes for any of your secure and important documents just remember that we’re on your side!

Keep in mind, if you’re looking for an electronic way to send your statements, we provide an email delivery service (eDoc Delivery), which allows you to send your documents via email directly through your LetterStream account. This can be done in place of real mail or in addition to your snail mail. If you’d like more information or if you’d like to add this product to your account, please feel free to send us an email at support@letterstream.com.

Now it’s your turn: How will these changes affect your mailing habits? Are you already preparing for the next postage increase? Share your thoughts and cost-saving tips in the comments below! Let’s help each other navigate the new postage landscape together.

Click here to review the USPS 2024 postage rate press release and click here to download the complete list of 2024 USPS postage rate changes.

Just a friendly reminder about a little pro tip we have: if you would like to get the old pricing but don’t want to send your mailing out before the effective Jan 21, 2024 date, you can always use our schedule job option to schedule your job to be mailed on a future date! That way you’ll still get the current (old pricing) but it won’t go out until the date you choose.

New Hope for the USPS Mailbox

I was at a trade show at the end of last year and had lots of enjoyable conversations with partners, customers and potential customers. But the one I chuckled the most about was the conversation I had at the luncheon with a man who was about 25 years old. Without realizing it, he basically made an argument when it came to sending mail to a mailbox and how it isn’t a necessity anymore.

Now, not that there is anything wrong with his age, but I realize that some of the younger generation doesn’t go to their mailbox or the Post Office mailbox nearly as often as prior generations. Some may have never been to a mailbox at all (which is a crazy thought), but it is a reality. Many now get their information through paperless communication, such as emails or even through online platforms like Instagram and TikTok. For some, there just isn’t a need to walk to the mailbox anymore.

But back to my conversation. There were about eight people sitting around a large round table and we were talking about what each of us did. When it was my time to share that I work at an online printing and mailing company, the young man’s boss said “We don’t use mail. Instead of sending snail mail, we send everything electronically.”

I responded, “Well done! So, you don’t have envelopes in the office or a postage meter?”

He reflected a moment and then said, “Well, we do have a postage meter, envelopes, and specialty paper but we don’t use them for anything.”

At which point, another colleague of theirs responded with, “Well, we do send a few letters through the United States Postal Service using First-Class Mail.”

His boss inquired directly to him about it and he then responded with, “We do have about 10 people in one community that want letters mailed, and 20 in another. And sometimes people reach out to us and ask that we mail something to them.”

Hmmm interesting….so sometimes they do send mail. It can be easy to forget that just because we live in a digital world that that doesn’t mean a lot of people still don’t like to receive important information via the USPS.

No more Postage Machines

While this wasn’t the key concept of my story, it allowed me to discuss how LetterStream frees up clients from the expenses that come along with mailing letters. This includes the actual postage machines, machine leases, machine service calls, postage machine desks, and floor space. Not to mention the other expenses that accompany sending mail, like different envelope sizes and toner. Plus let’s not forget to factor in the time it takes to make trips to the office supply store, stamps, training your employees…you know where I’m going with this.

Email Inboxes Overflowing

And back to the story…again. At some point, I was blown away to hear one of the nice gentlemen I was talking to say his email inbox is so full of emails that he can hardly get anything done. He said he gets hundreds of emails per day.

Of course, this made my mind start to ponder. I started thinking about the old adage- if everything is important, then nothing is. How can someone process hundreds of emails per day, and how can you designate the time you need for the important ones without being distracted by all the new emails that just keep coming day after day?

In short, how does one get in front of people easier than through an overflowing email inbox?

The Answer is Simple, Send a Letter to a Mailbox

After mulling over this entire conversation and then about what was said regarding email, my mind began to spin its own story and here is what it came up with:

“If you want to get the attention of someone and actually have them see what you are offering then it would make sense to put a real piece of mail in the mailbox. They will walk to their mailbox and grab their mail (for those that it applies to), they will walk back, flip through their mail pieces possibly separating them into different stacks. The key would be to make your mailing stand out so they will be intrigued to open it. And if it’s intriguing to open, then mission accomplished with getting in front of someone without ending up in the trash of an email account with every other promotional item.”

Ok, so obviously that’s not exactly what was said by the potential customer but you get the gist of where my mind went with that. He did, however, point out some truth that mail is a totally different medium than email. It calls for special handling and can even linger for days waiting for the right moment when it can be sorted, processed, and acted upon. There’s no denying that. However, sending USPS mail, whether it be First-Class Mail or Certified Mail, may actually catch the attention of the recipient in a way that email can’t anymore.

All-in-all the point of this story is: Maybe it’s time to start focusing on getting your message out there with the help of the mailbox in 2024.

If you decide you or your company want to send mail the old-school way, be sure to check out our 2024 USPS Postal Holiday calendar to not only see when your local Post Office is closed but also when we’re open and mailing.

-The Letterman