LetterStream Joins ACA International – Visit Us At The Expo This Week!

ACAinternationalLogo


LetterStream
‘s ability to send First-Class and Certified Mail with ease, one-at-a-time and in bulk, is attracting the attention of credit departments and collection agencies.

ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is a not-for-profit trade association for professional businesses and individuals in the credit and collection industry.

By establishing an affiliate membership with ACA, LetterStream will have a greater presence in the collection and credit market and can highlight their unique solutions in the field.

Sending Certified Mail during a collection process can be a time consuming process. However, with LetterStream’s easy-to-use website, Certified Mail can often be created and mailed the same day. In addition, online tracking and signature reporting tools provide easy access to the important documents that prove the mailing followed proper collection practices.

For industry collection software and service bureaus that send large quantities of mail from various departments, LetterStream’s API allows automatic transmitting of letter data directly to LetterStream for printing and mailing. This process makes all the work involved in printing and mailing completely disappear.

Visit LetterStream at the ACA International Spring Forum and Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona this week.

2013 Spring Forum & Expo
March 20-22, 2013
Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale, Ariz.

 

Easy HOA Annual Meeting Notice Mailings

annual meeting notices

For Community Managers and Property Management Companies, annual meeting mailings are some of the most complex document sets that need to be mailed to homeowners.

The notice of annual meeting can include a variety of the following documents: cover letter, meeting agenda, draft budget, absentee ballot, community newsletter, ballot instructions, proxy, bios (biographical information) of candidates, community survey, stamped return envelope, and/or secret ballot envelope.

In addition to the different document types, most community managers ask that the proxy be printed on a colored sheet of paper, and the ballot on another. Sometimes there are special instructions from board members to print on both sides of the sheet of paper for some documents, and only print on one side for others.

For those of you who are responsible for the annual meeting packet for your HOA, you know just how crazy these mailings can get. However, for those of you who are already using LetterStream to create your annual meeting announcement, you can attest to just how fast and easy the process has become.

On the LetterStream website you can do the following:

  • Specify paper size and paper color per document
  • Specify 1-sided or 2-sided (simplex/duplex) printing per page
  • Specify black and white or full color printing per sheet
  • Include a return envelope with or without the homeowners return address pre-printed on it
  • Include a secret ballot envelope

What makes this process so easy is that most of the options are simply check boxes that need to be clicked to activate the options.

So whether your HOA annual meeting notices can go out in a standard size business envelope (#10), or require a large flat packet envelope, your mailing can be created online in a flash. If you are a bit skeptical, log in to www.letterstream.com and experiment with our mailing tools to see for yourself.

Your mailing can be created online without so much as a phone call or credit card swipe, and if you don’t like the online proofs, simply delete the job! (You’ll only have to pay for a job if you decide you want us to print and mail it).

How Can I Look Up a Zip Code?

Map with push pin

If you are trying to find the correct zip code for an address, the United States Postal Service (USPS) website has a quick and easy tool that you can use for free.

However, if you are trying to find the correct postal zip code for multiple addresses in a list, you might want to review our address correction tools. In addition to assigning zip codes to multiple records at a time, our address correction software will fix misspelled city names and improper state abbreviations, as well as standardize the street directions and road names.

If you really want to clean up a mailing list, you might consider using our advanced address list correction tool, which will provide the address someone has moved to (provided they have filled out a change of address card online or at the post office).

Visit LetterStream.com to send first-class and Certified Mail utilizing our advanced address correction tools.

Struggling To Keep Up With USPS Postal Regulations?

USPS DMM Domestic Manual

Ever wonder if trying to keep up with the ever-changes rules of the United States Postal Service (USPS) is worth it? Well in their defense, they are trying hard to come up with new and better ways to process mail in order to control their costs.

However, that means a lot of changes to postal regulations. Here’s a few new Post Office rules pertaining to mailings that went into effect in January 2013.

Postage Rate Increase – A whole multitude of price increases went into effect. These price changes impacted First-Class Mail, Certified Mail, Standard Mail and about every other kind of mail.

Tabbing Rules – The size of tabs required for sending out tabbed material changed, making many tabs unusable and requiring acquisitions of new equipment.

Intelligent Mail Barcode – The Postnet barcode has been phased out for getting postal discounts. Now the new multi-dimensional barcode is needed to speed USPS mail processing.

Address Correction – In late December the USPS cancelled the FASTforward program.

We know that more changes are yet to come as the USPS will continually need to change and innovate.

If you are beginning to wonder if you should try to keep up or just simply outsource your mail projects, LetterStream might be worth considering.

We’ve got over ten years of experience making people happy and removing the headaches of mailing.

How Can You Send Mail on Postal Holidays?

USPS Post Office Sign

LetterStream can send your mail even when the post office is closed for a holiday. This might be hard to believe, but it is true! The United States Postal Service (USPS) will accept our mail at the post office on some postal holidays even though the front doors are locked.

The holidays that the USPS accepts and processes our mail include Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day), President’s Day, Veteran’s Day and Columbus Day.

Our mailing process is a bit different than putting a letter in your personal mailbox or dropping letters in the big blue USPS mailboxes. In fact, we even skip the front counter of the local post office and go directly to the USPS Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU).

BMEU’s process large quantities of mail each day and are basically the main drop point of large mailers across the country. In order to accommodate the large mailing volume, BMEU’s maintain a slightly different holiday schedule than the retail operations of the postal service. This allows larger mailers to keep their mail traveling through the postal system when most other organizations cannot.

So feel free to use LetterStream.com to create first-class mail, postcards, standard-mail and non-profit mail, even on holidays.

The only catch is that on holidays when we take mail to the post office, we are only able to mail Certified Letters if we have more than 200 of them (that is nearly always the case, but it is something to keep in mind anyway).

We recommend creating your certified letters anytime you have them–most holidays we do have enough to meet the postal minimum.

USPS to Cancel Saturday Mail Delivery

Just Announced on the AP this morning:

“Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs” (*see link to full article below)

According to the article, the United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to drop Saturday delivery of letters the week of August 5th, 2013 in an attempt to save the Postal Service $2 billion annually.

USPS mail truck

This change should have no impact on the way LetterStream prints and mails letters and correspondence for our customers. It should be noted that without Saturday delivery of mail, homeowner, consumers and recipients may receive their statements or other documents a day later than usual.

In the grand scheme of things we believe the impact will be minimal for the following reasons:

  1. Most of the “time sensitivities” and legal regulations of mail relate to when the mail piece is actually mailed, not when it is received.
  2. Most mail pieces that require a recipient to act in some way allow an appropriate number of days for the recipient to respond.
  3. Most businesses don’t pick up their mail on Saturdays anyway.

However, to reduce any impact this announcement may have, we encourage you to load your jobs to the LetterStream website earlier in the work week and schedule your mailings with this information in mind.

For those not currently using LetterStream for printing and mailing, we believe our services can cut time out of your current mailing process, thus negating the impact of changes to mail delivery.

To keep informed of this and other USPS changes, consider subscribing to our blog by entering your email address in the form provided to the right.

The full AP story can be found here:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/postal-service-cut-saturday-mail-trim-costs

 

USPS First-Class Postage Increasing on Jan. 27th, 2013

usps rate increase

It’s official. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is increasing postage rates on many of their services, including First-Class postage. The changes are set to take effect on January 27, 2013.

The following is a snippet from a USPS press release:

The price for First-Class Mail single-piece letters will increase by just a penny when prices change in Jan. The new 46 cent Forever stamps will allow customers to mail letters to any location in the United States. Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of price changes.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 27, 2013 include:

  • Letters (1oz.) — 1-cent increase to 46 cents
  • Letters additional ounces — unchanged at 20 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1oz.) — $1.10
  • Postcards — 1-cent increase to 33 cents

*Source: USPS.com  http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2012/pr12_114.htm

Visit LetterStream.com today to create your First-Class mailing before the new postage rates go into effect. We are always available to help walk you through the process–it just takes a few minutes!

Mailing W-2s, 1099s, and/or Charitable Giving Statements?

Tax Forms with Glasses

It’s January, which means it’s time to send out 1099‘s, W-2‘s, Charitable Giving/Contribution Statements and other tax related documents for the current tax year.

If you are still trying to figure out how to get your documents mailed without mandatory all-night stuffing parties, we might be the right people to call.

With our hi-tech production facility and knowledgeable staff (friendly staff, too), we can take the burden out of printing, folding, stuffing, licking, stamping and mailing your critical documents.

Call us today and get some expert assistance no matter how many (or how few) documents you have.

Toys for Tots Update

Toys for Tots

We had a great time at the Toys for Tots drop in North Scottsdale this year. LetterStream’s toy giving was up quite a bit from last year.

I am continually amazed at the generosity of our teamThanks guys!

However, due to the wet-est cold-est day in Scottsdale, the total number of toys retrieved by the Marines was only about 12 jumbo boxes full. But those who dared to experience our winter wonderland heard great holiday tunes, were warmed by hot chili, and were greeted by Santa.

For you locals, be sure to put this event on your list of to-dos for next year. It’s a wonderful family outing and it benefits kids who appreciate a few more gifts under the tree.

*Picture provided by dasFOTOhaus.com. (More pictures of the event can be found on their website.)