Today, Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. had a Thanksgiving luncheon. That got me to thinking about the many things that I have to be thankful for. Our company has had some very serious illness, within our families and with some of my customers, I am thankful that they are doing so much better. I am thankful for my great work family who backs me up every day and makes it fun to come to work. We truly care about each other and sometimes that is rare in the work place. I am thankful for the great customers that we have and for the business that comes our way.
I am thankful for my family and the support that I have gotten from them since Ken passed away two years ago. God has blessed me in so many ways that I hope that I remember that each and every day and not just at Thanksgiving. May you have a bless Thanksgiving.
Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days
The Postal Service predicts that Monday, Dec. 19, will be the busiest mailing and shipping day for holiday packages, letters and cards. Thursday, Dec. 22, is expected to be the busiest delivery day for holiday packages, cards and letters. The Postal Service anticipates nearly 30 million packages will be delivered on the peak delivery day alone.
Skip the Trip and Ship Online
Dec. 19 will also be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com that day alone. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com — the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier.
2016 Christmas Shipping Deadlines
The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:
· Nov. 7 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground
· Dec. 9 – APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail
· Dec. 15 – USPS Retail Ground
· Dec. 20 – First Class Mail
· Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
· Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Would you like to have a custom Christmas card, something that gets your companies message out? At Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. we can design, print and mail custom Christmas cards. For non-profit organizations that want to use a Christmas card as an appeal and put a donation envelope in the card, this is a great way to thank your donors. Call me at 865 584-2265 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently, I had a customer request a ball park, I won’t hold you to it, estimate. It was quite complicated and required die cutting. To get an accurate estimate on die cutting, we must have the image because we have to have a die made. For those of you who are not familiar with die cutting, it is where an image or shape is cut into the paper. For instance, if you wanted a heart cut out in the middle of your brochure, that would be a die cut. A die must be made in the shape of the image or shape and then used to cut the image into the paper. I could not get an accurate estimate on the die or the die cutting without the image so I sent them a guesstimate.
To get a good estimate, the printer must have all of the facts about the job, such as size, how many colors of ink, does it print on both sides and does it fold etc. If it is a printed piece that is going to mail, we like to have the mailing list so that we can clean it up and get an accurate count on the quantity to be mailed. If you don’t know enough about printing to know what to give the printer, call you account representative, me, and I will walk you through it and ask the questions that need be answered to get an accurate estimate. Call me at 865 584-2265 or email me at email@example.com
It is true, we do want to please our customers. We want to make your deadlines, give you excellent customer and keep you as a customer for life. However, to make this all happen, the customers understanding of the process is essential. Here are some things that have to happen before it goes to the Post Office.
Design – We design a lot of the things we mail but not always. If being designed by the customer, we have to check all the specifications to make sure that it meets USPS postal specification. We do not charge for checking our customers artwork because we want it to be right and get the lowest possible postage. We proof the artwork back to the customer, just to make sure that nothing has happened to the files in transition.
Printing – the mailing most likely will have more than one component such as a letter, a #10 envelope, a reply envelope and a reply card. All components have to be printed and then sent to the mail room. If the letter is personalized it will be laser printed on the letterhead and if we are automating with our NeoPost DS-1200 we will apply a bar-code to the back of the letter so that when it goes through the inserting equipment the correct address that matches the personalized letter will be applied to the envelope.
Mailing – The list is cleaned up and a FREE NCOAlink update is done, to achieve the lowest postage possible. Not having the correct postal specification before the printing could seriously affect the amount of postage paid. After the pieces have all been put together then the mailing goes into trays and banded and is taken to the USPS.
Depending on how large the mailing is this can take several days. It is very important for the customer to allow us enough time to accomplish all of the processes that must be done. Planning ahead will make for both a happy customer and a happy printer/mailer. At Burns Mailing & Printing we can help with budget planning and time planning for your next mailing. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865 584-2265
You have decided to do a direct mail campaign, do you know where to start? Every campaign should start with a mailing list that has been run through list hygiene. So you have 20,000 customers in your database and you think that you want to mail to all of them. How about the ones that have moved and the ones who are on your list more than once. Do you have husband and wife on the list but you only want one to go to each household? I have had customers tell me that they have spent hours taking out duplicates and working on their list. You really don’t have to do that. Our software can take out duplicates and list only one per household, if desired, in minutes. Do you know what an NCOAlink update is? This is the National Change of Address database maintained by the United States Postal Service. We are licensed to have access to the NCOA database. For our customers, we run a FREE NCOAlink update on every list that we mail. If someone has moved and their forwarding request has not expired, we can provide their new address. The NCOAlink update also takes out addresses that are deliverable for various reasons. The addresses that cannot be cleaned up are sent back to us and codes are assigned so that we know why the address cannot be cleaned up. We send those to our customer, on request, so that they can take them out of their database. The USPS requires that a list be cleaned up before doing an automated mailing. This is not required on straight first class.
The list is cleaned up and the 20,000 customers that you thought you had are now down to 18,000 because you had 2000 bad addresses. This is good news because you are not paying to print, paying mailing labor and postage on 2000 addresses that were never going to be delivered.
Now that you know how many you are mailing, you should proceed with getting a printing estimate, a mailing labor estimate and if you send the list to us, we can give you postage to the penny. Now you know exactly how much your mailing campaign is going to cost. After you know the cost you are ready to design the mailing. We prefer our customers to let us design to insure that all USPS specifications are met. However, if we are not designing the mailing piece we would like to check it over before printing to see if it meets the USPS requirements. The weight of the paper can affect the mailing so it is best to let us advise you on paper before finalizing the campaign.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love to travel. It doesn’t matter where (as long as it is not dangerous) and I don’t usually pick the places that I visit because I go with my daughter and her family. They say “do you want” and I say yes before they can finish telling me where we are going. I love learning about the culture, the food and the people. I usually have a travel book on the place I am going to visit and try to find out as much as I can about the region. Usually our trips are adventurous as I have white water rafter in Costa Rica and cave tubed in Belize. I did draw a line at zip lining.
My granddaughter recently got married in Minneapolis and I had never been to MN. One of the things I did not know was that MN is known for growing wild rice. I discovered this when I had the wild rice and chicken soup that was served in every restaurant that we ate. Just to make sure that I liked it as much as I first thought, I had it four times. Yesterday I got on line and ordered some MN wild rice and got a recipe. I am going to make some at home and see if I do as well as they do in MN. Food is big on our agenda when traveling, because my daughter, Joy, is a foodie. She researches restaurants and we eat at places where she knows the food will be great. Our next big adventure will be to Seville Spain, which is famous for its flamenco dancers. That is one adventure that I probably won’t be participating in but who knows. I do love adventures.
I greatly appreciate the sacrifice of our women and men in the military, both in the past and in the present. Let us honor our Veterans on November the 11th. Not just the veterans but also their families who also make a sacrifice for our country.