10 Items You Didn’t Know Were Illegal to Mail via USPS

10 Items You Didn’t Know Were Illegal to Mail via USPS

From…Change of Address.org If you are shipping articles across international borders, you may not realize that each country has a list of prohibited items that you cannot send in the mail to those countries. Guns, ammunition, hazardous substances and illegal narcotics are a pretty common standard for most countries, but many of the items listed below might take you by surprise. Unused Envelopes. You got that correct. If you are mailing into Sri Lanka, do not send envelopes inside your envelopes. And don’t send blank stationery, or pens, pencils, chalk or erasers. I have a feeling that the government there doesn’t want your correspondence to receive a response. Chessboards. I’m not sure if the American soldiers in Afghanistan are playing chess or not, but you cannot mail chessboards into Afghanistan. Absolutely prohibited! Playing cards. This item has made it onto the lists of several countries. And, no, it is not OK to send them one card at a time. A deck of cards, is a deck of cards, no matter how many envelopes it takes to send it in. Musical greeting cards. Sorry friends, but if you sent a musical birthday card to your relatives in Cuba or Quatar, it probably got confiscated before it reached them. Birthday and holiday greetings must be of a silent nature. No cute little tunes playing while you read your card. Unused postage stamps. This is actually a very common item. Many countries prohibit the mailing of unused postage stamps within your correspondence. Apparently, they want to make sure each individual buys their postage stamps locally. There is no gifting of postage, at...
Project of the Month: 2-Color Remittance Envelope

Project of the Month: 2-Color Remittance Envelope

When it comes to their fundraising efforts, Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge doesn’t horse around. They use an effective, easy-to-use remittance perforated remittance envelope. For the last 4 years, the versatile envelope below has gone out with over 12 campaigns.  “This envelope has caught donors’ eyes with our ability to put photos of our animals directly onto the return remittance envelope,” says Healing Hearts’ Executive Director Theresa Dootson. The self-contained return information and self-addressed envelope combination makes it a convenient and cost effective way for our donors to give money to our organization to help fund our programs.  Once we started using this type of envelope, our ability to capture credit card information for donations increased ten-fold which increased our overall program funding.” A Simple Approach Incorporates Best Practices With this envelope, Healing Hearts supporters can: Easily select or fill in a dollar amount. Choose to send a check or donate via charge card. Opt for a one time or monthly donation. See options to mail their donation by perfing off the form or choose to donate online. Find relevant information about the non-profit status of the organization. Learn about matching gifts and inquire at their places of business. …All that relevant information and detail right on a brief yet effective fundraising tool! For more on remittance envelopes see the “Good Remittance” article in this newsletter. And, be sure to read our Customer Spotlight to learn more about Arizona-based Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge, a no-kill animal facility dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of a variety of domestic companion and farm animals. *For Position Only: Blue...
Quick Response Codes

Quick Response Codes

Is it a maze? Is it retro art? Is it a secret code? Well, the latter actually comes closest. But it’s no secret that we’ve all been seeing these odd looking black and white patterned squares popping up all over the place. They’re called Quick Response codes (QR codes) and they are the next wave of info-packed, scanner-friendly codes. These black and white boxes of digital information offer great potential for both digital and print direct marketing, complementing each other.   QR codes have a variety of practical uses in print advertising and are very useful as response mechanism for direct mail. By definition, a QR code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smart phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, a URL, or other data. Initially, these codes were used in the automotive industry for tracking vehicle parts by manufacturers. Then other companies and industries began to see how QR codes might be applied elsewhere.  Currently the most widespread use for QR codes is in the telecom industry, with mobile phones and smartphones (i.e., Androids and I-Phones) driving their popularity.  When scanned by a compatible phone, a QR code will command the phone to perform an array of tasks within its capabilities. While Tokyo-based Denso Wave Inc. owns the patent rights for QR codes, they have chosen not to exercise them and so the use of QR codes is free of any license. Enhance Your Direct Mail with QR Codes Use...
Core Values: Getting Right to the Core…

Core Values: Getting Right to the Core…

New Core Values for Envelopes.com Last month when discussing his New Year’s Resolutions, Seth Newman, president of Envelopes.com noted, “We have also established our company’s core values and they are Head and Heart, Find a Way, Continually Improve, Pride in Presentation, and Ask the question.” We wanted to share more details on these guiding principles with you and provide a little background on how everyone here at Envelopes.com is embracing them and putting them into action. It is our goal is to enhance our day-to-day business practices and, of course, our customers’ experiences. Core Values #1… Head and Heart We want a fresh start to each and every day and believe that if you have your head and heart in the game the best possible decisions will be made to improve the internal operations and satisfy the customer. Core Values #2… Find a Way It is part of our daily ritual to maneuver around “stucks” and have a long lasting solution in place to help deal with future challenges Core Values #3… Continually Improve We don’t just run through the motions of completing a job.  Everyone always has their thinking cap on to keep Envelopes.com progressive in today’s market and prepare for tomorrow’s feats. Core Values #4… Pride in Presentation Everything we do must be presentable because it represents the company and who we are as a team.  We take this seriously at Envelopes.com including warehouse cleanliness, shipment preparation (inside & out), dress code, phone and email etiquette, website design and promotional materials, and so much more. Core Values #5… Ask the Question True statement: There is no bad...
Postal Increases in April?

Postal Increases in April?

The United States Postal Service has proposed a rate increase for First Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Media Mail services effective April 17, 2011. Additionally, the USPS will introduce Single-Piece Commercial Base and Commercial Plus Prices for First Class Packages, and has announced changes for First Class International service as well. The proposed new rates reflect a 1.7 % increase on average. They must be approved by the Postal Regulatory Committee but it is quite likely this will go through as the proposed increases are within the allowable annual increase of 1.7%. Here’s what the proposed increases all boil down to… First Class Letters 1 oz. ounce First Class Letters will remain at 44 cents 1 oz. First Class Flats will remain at 88 cents PROPOSED: Each additional ounce (or half ounce for 3.5 ounce letters) will cost an extra 20 cents (up from the current 17 cents) First Class Packages PROPOSED: Retail rates will start at $1.71 (up from $1.22) Media Mail PROPOSED: Rates will start at $2.41 (up from $2.38) Parcel Post PROPOSED: Rates will start at $5.10 (up from $4.90) First Class International Service PROPOSED: Letter prices will increase for Country Price Groups 1 and 2 by an average of 6 cents PROPOSED: Flat prices will change for all country groups by an average of 53 cents PROPOSED: Package prices will change for all country groups by an average of 78 cents NEW…Commercial Base Rates This NEW rate class will be available only to those using online postage and is designed to save these shippers 15 cents per mail piece. These new rates start at $1.56....