Stamps.com Blog

Stamps.com Blog

Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.

USPS Certified Mail FAQ

June 11th, 2018 Comments off

Certified Mail is a USPS service that gives mailers an official receipt providing poof the item was mailed. After the Certified Mail document is delivered, the mail carrier requires a signature from the recipient. Mailers using Certified Mail can also request a physical or electronic Return Receipt with the recipient’s signature. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the USPS service:

How long will it take for USPS to deliver my Certified Mail letter?

Delivery time depends on the mail class chosen to add the Certified Mail service to. If you are sending a First-Class Mail letter, delivery usually takes 2 to 5 business days. For Priority Mail, delivery is usually within 2-3 business days. However, USPS does not guarantee an exact delivery time for either First-Class Mail or Priority Mail.

Why would I use Certified Mail?

Mailers typically use certified mail when they need to provide proof that a mailpiece was sent and received. The most common uses of Certified Mail are to send tax returns, bank documents, and time-sensitive communications with debtors or creditors.

Do I have to be present at a Post Office to send Certified Mail?

No, as long as you affix the proper Certified Mail Forms and the correct amount of postage, you can have a USPS mail carrier pick up your Certified Mail mailpiece or drop it in a mailbox.

Can Certified Mail go to a P.O. Box?

Yes, when Certified Mail arrives at the delivery Post Office, the letter carrier will place a delivery notification inside the P.O. Box that instructs the person to present the delivery slip to the window clerk. Keep in mind that a recipient is under no legal obligation to sign the delivery slip regardless of where the mailpiece is delivered.

Can anyone at the mailing address sign for Certified Mail?

Yes, with standard Certified Mail anyone present at the mailing address can sign for the mailpiece. If you send a mailing with restricted Certified Mail, however, only the person who it is addressed to may sign for it.

Which name goes on the receipt, mine or the person I am mailing it to?

On the green and white “Certified Mail Receipt”, write the name of the person you are mailing the mailpiece to. Their address should be entered at the bottom.

If the Certified Mail is returned to sender as not deliverable, should the sender sign the green card?

No, the sender should not sign it. The fact that it was returned as undeliverable with the unsigned green card intact is proof that you tried to send it.

How can I use Certified Mail with Stamps.com?

  1. Connect to Stamps.com to print Certified Mail – Our software connects you to your Stamps.com account where you can print Certified Mail.
  2. Click on “Envelopes” from the left navigation bar.
  3. Select “Letters” as your Mailpiece type.
  4. Enter the weight of your mailpiece.
  5. Select your mail class – Keep in mind that only First-Class Mail and Priority Mail are options when you use a Certified Mail Form or Envelope.
  6. Choose additional services – At this point, you may select options such as Return Receipt and Restricted Delivery. Remember, depending on your chosen services, unused portions of the form may contain the word VOID when printed.
  7. Specify the required address information for your mailpiece.
  8. Select your printable choice – From the “Printing On” list, select Stamps.com’s pre-formatted Certified Mail Envelope or Form.
  9. Print – Load the form into your printer, then click “Print Postage.” We recommend you print a sample on a blank sheet of paper so you know the correct loading direction for the form. And remember, the method of affixing the Certified Mail Form to your mailpiece will depend on any additional services you selected in Step 8. Pay close attention to the directions printed on the form to ensure you affix it properly to your mailpiece.
Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

USPS International Weight Limits

May 31st, 2018 Comments off

Did you know that USPS weight limits vary by mail class and destination country? Check out the table below to determine how much your international package or letter can weigh:

 

Categories: Shipping Tags:

Big Ways to Improve Your Google Shopping Campaigns

May 21st, 2018 Comments off

Have you ever noticed those little picture ads near the top of a Google search page? Those are Google Shopping ads. They’re unique in what they can do – and great for increasing online sales. So, let’s run down a few ways to make the absolute most of a Google Shopping campaign.

Optimizing Your Google Shopping Data Feed

To begin your Google Shopping campaign, you’ll need to upload a data feed in CSV or XML format. Your data feed document should have all the info that appears on your ads: Price, Taxes, Title, Description, Product URL and Image URL. Depending on what kind of product you have, there may be optional fields you can add. For example, you can add color and size for apparel items.

Which additional details need to be added? Make sure your feed is optimized with all the relevant details. Imagine if someone asked if you wanted to buy a “Sweater”? The first thing you’d ask is… what kind? Then if you liked the description of the sweater, you’d want to know if they have it in your size.

The important thing to remember here is that unless the product info is part of your data feed, it won’t make it to your ad. Give your prospects everything they need to buy.

The Right Titles and Descriptions for Your Shopping Ads

Now, let’s look at a few ways to juice up your ad. Make sure to include relevant keywords in the title and description, which will help your product get matched to a query. It’s not enough to just list the model number, which will only attract people looking for that exact model. You’ll be losing out on a lot of potential customers.

Let’s play a little good product title/bad product title to get it right:

  • Bad product title – “Black Shoes”
  • Good product title – “Black High Heel Pumps – Size 8 – Women’s Shoes”

See how much more targeted the second option is? A good title has specific keywords like “high heels” and “pumps” to perfectly match anyone looking for a pair of shoes like that.

Next, be sure your description also has keywords, plus the selling points that would make someone want to buy. The description is where you can put your best selling points. Think of it this way… the title is the “what,” and the description is the “why.” Once someone clicks through, give them your best sales pitch to convince them to buy.

Successful Bidding Strategies for Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping works the same way as an auction. When a user types in a search like “floral throw pillows,” Google checks all of the prices bidders (retailers) are willing to pay. The highest bidders will win the opportunity to be shown to the consumer looking for “floral throw pillows.” That’s how the system works, now we’re going to give you some tips to make the system work for you.

Don’t Set the Same Bid Across Your Campaign

One of the biggest mistakes is to blanket the same bid across an entire campaign. Determine the bid by looking at the value and profit margin of each product.

Start with Best-Sellers

You’ll have enough variables to deal with when beginning a Google Shopping campaign. Start with your best products, where you have a strong competitive advantage. Some products with low profit margins may never make sense to include in your feed.

Use Custom Labels to Create Bid Groups

Custom labels can be applied to your data feed to create price groupings. Try putting higher converting products together, and giving them all higher bids. Put lower bids on the group of products that don’t convert as well.

Optimizing your campaign is a continual process, but following these tips will give you a big head start.

Categories: Small Business Marketing Tags:

Managing Returns While Maximizing Profits for E-Commerce

May 11th, 2018 Comments off

We’ve all seen an infomercial that promises to let you return an item if you’re at all unhappy with your purchase. “If for any reason you’re no longer satisfied with your Snuggie, simply return it for a full refund. No questions asked.”

Many e-commerce return policies are based on this philosophy of risk-reversal. If you take away the risk of purchasing with a generously crafted return policy, people will be more likely to buy … But wait there’s more!

There’s much more to this story, as uncovered by a recent report from researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Published in The Journal of Retailing, the report looks at the effects of return policy leniency on purchases and returns in retail.

While the effects of return policy on retail sales are fairly well known, less is understood about the factors that influence people to return — or not to return — a product they’ve purchased. This report answers important questions for retailers about how they can use their return policy to achieve better business results.

The 5 Essential Elements of Return Rates

What are the ways to minimize returns and increase online sales? The report looked at the five most important elements of return policies and how each affects the rate of returns and overall profitability. These five elements are:

1) Time Leniency
This is the time period during in which a return is accepted by the retailer. Is it a 30-day return policy, 60-day return policy?

2) Money Leniency
This is how much money the retailer refunds for a return. Do you provide a 100 percent money-back guarantee, charge a restocking fee, etc.

3) Effort Leniency
The amount of hassle for the consumer to complete a return. Does it involve filling out a form or presenting identification to complete a return?

4) Scope Leniency
These are the products covered by the return policy. Are sale items included?

5) Exchange Leniency
What consumers get for returning the good. Are they given cash, store credit or replacement goods?
Report Results: Ways to Reduce Returns & Increase Sales
If you want to increase sales, the study shows that hassle-free returns (effort leniency) and money-back guarantees (money leniency) are the best incentives for buyers.
To decrease the dreaded returns, your policies should decrease the return options (exchange leniency) and increase the return periods (time leniency). Interestingly, people are actually less likely to return a product they’ve had for a longer period of time. It’s been theorized that this phenomena occurs because people often become more attached to items the longer they have them in their possession. That translates to longer return policies actually working to lower return rates and improve profitability.

 

Crafting the Right Return Policy
How will you use the findings to help reduce returns? As the report shows, crafting the right return policy can help drive more online sales for your e-commerce business. It can also help you avoid more returns in the mail. Look at each of the five return policy dimensions against your own policy to find new opportunities to grow and become more profitable.

Categories: Ecommerce Shipping Tags:

How Google’s Search Console Tool Can Help Webmasters

May 4th, 2018 Comments off

Google Search Console is one of the best resources for webmasters out there — and it’s absolutely free. While many site owners and webmasters may currently use some of the tool’s features, they might not be taking full advantage of everything it offers. If you are in charge of your company’s website, you can maximize its marketing potential by becoming a Google Search Console expert.

What is the Google Search Console?

When your website is not working as it should, you risk losing potential clients and current customers. Identifying these issues quickly is key to ensuring your website ranks high in Google’s search rankings.

The Google Search Console helps identify certain technical issues that could impact your SEO rankings.  will send you notifications by email whenever there is a problem with your website. You can also monitor Google SEO rankings to make certain your site is at or near the top of the list of search returns. You can learn about spider crawl issues that can drag down your search rankings. This resource allows you to monitor, in real time, problems that can make your website a liability instead of a marketing asset.

3 Important Features to Use in Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers a number of features that allow you to identify potential issues and correct them quickly. The following are just a few of these tools:

1. Keyword Reports

You will have access to a report that tells you how many keyword searches on Google brought people  to your site. The report can be adjusted by month and the  information allows you to refine your SEO strategy to target specific keywords that will generate more profitable traffic to your website. You can adjust the reports to see important metrics such as impressions, click-through rate (CTR) and the average position of your site’s ranking for specific keywords.

You can also filter your data by device (i.e. mobile, tablet and desktop) and country to see if any traffic patterns exist.

2. Total Website Pages Indexed by Google

This data displays  the total number of indexed URLs (pages on your site) that Google has discovered and is showing in their search results.  These pages could be any page on your site, including pages that you do not want to show in Google.  If there are pages that are not indexed, a common problem with new content, the Google Search Console will provide options for site owners to add the URL to the Google search platform.  The system will also allow you to remove URLs or identify URLs that are being blocked by tools such as robots.txt or the XML sitemap.

3. Site Errors/Problems

Sometimes there are technical issues in the server that are preventing Google from properly indexing your website.  Google Search Console provides a “site error section” that alerts you to these technical issues and provides you with tips to correct the erros.. Google warns that a 100 percent error rate in any of the categories indicates your site is down or misconfigured. An error rate below 100 percent may indicate that the site is overloaded or not configured properly. In either case, the issues might be transient, but they will still require investigation. The Google Search Console helps you identify and address these issues quickly to minimize the impact on your client base.

The Google Search Console is an invaluable free tool that helps ensure your website’s success. Additionally, it makes your job much easier by continually providing the information you need to optimize your site’s search position

Categories: Small Business Marketing Tags:

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.