How Are Stamps Made?

March 10th, 2017 Comments off

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Last year, 12 billion postage stamps were sold to customers across the United States. These billions of stamps bear a wide variety of images, ranging from seashells and coastal birds to Jimi Hendrix and Wonder Woman. Ever wonder how images are selected for use on postage stamps? Ever hope that your art could appear someday on a postage stamp?

Sending in a Proposal

The first thing to know is that stamp proposals are reviewed in confidential meetings by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC). Appointed by the Postmaster General, members of the committee include authors, designers, historians, and philatelists. The good news is that the CSAC is open to suggestions! A general guideline is that potential subjects should reflect, commemorate and celebrate the American experience—think monuments like the Gateway Arch in St. Louis or subjects like the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.

Proposals must be mailed in and are ultimately approved by the Postmaster General. Need further steps on how to send in a proposal? Check this out: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/csac/process.htm

If you’re a professional designer, artist, illustrator or photographer, and want to work with the Stamp Development Team design staff, this link may interest you: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/csac/artwork.htm. The design staff accepts portfolios of your professional work, but do not send an actual stamp design proposal.

 Custom Stamps

The review process for approving new USPS postage stamps is thorough, so if your idea or artwork is approved, it can take a few years to see it on a USPS postage stamp.

Don’t want to wait that long? Stamps.com offers two products that may interest you! With Custom NetStamps, you can add your image or artwork to them and add postage of various denominations, either all at once or on demand, by feeding them through your printer. Custom NetStamps combine the flexibility and functionality of our popular NetStamps product.

Our PhotoStamps are our personalized postage product. They are shipped to you with the postage already printed on them, so all you have to do is peel and stick! They are great for special occasions such as weddings or holidays, and make great gifts.

For further information on Custom NetStamps and PhotoStamps, check out this link:

https://stamps.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/409/kw/Custom%20NetStamps

Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

Free Guide: How to Send Certified Mail

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

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Do you need to send something important, and need a way to know when it safely arrives at its destination? Using USPS Certified Mail provides both proof of mailing and proof of receipt to help ensure your important mailpieces, including confidential documents, arrive at their intended destinations. Certified Mail comes in handy when you need to send communications containing sensitive information, and is often used for correspondence from law offices, accountants, debtors, creditors, and medical professionals.

If you want to learn the ins and outs of using this special USPS service, check out Stamps.com’s new downloadable eBook, “How to Send Certified Mail.” This comprehensive guide will help you understand how to securely send important items using USPS.

download-PDF

This guide answers the following questions:

  • What is Certified Mail?
  • How much does Certified Mail cost?
  • How long does it take to deliver Certified Mail?
  • What is a Return Receipt and how do I use it?
  • How do I track Certified Mail delivery?
  • How do I use Certified Mail with Stamps.com?
  • Plus much more
Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

Save 3 Cents Printing First Class Mail Letters Online

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off

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Since its introduction in 2014, Metered Mail rates have offered businesses of all sizes a way to save using Online Postage. Metered Mail rates apply to First-Class Mail® Letter postage printed through USPS licensed software (such as Stamps.com) or using a postage meter. Online Postage costs the USPS significantly less than traditional postage stamps, and the savings are passed on to customers through Metered Mail rates.

 

Metered Mail Savings Are Bigger Than Ever – Save 3 Cents on Every Letter!

With the recent 2017 USPS Postage Rate changes that started on January 22, 2017, single-piece letter senders can save even more using Meter Mail as opposed to retail (or Post Office) rates. The Metered Mail rate for one-ounce First-Class Mail® Letters has dropped from $0.465 to $0.46, while the retail rate has increased from $0.47 to $0.49. These new rates save businesses $0.03, or six percent, on one-ounce First-Class Mail® Letters when using Online Postage. 2017 marks the first time ever that the Metered Mail savings have exceeded $0.01. For businesses looking to reduce postage cost, there has never been a better time to switch to Online Postage.

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New Metered Mail Rates Are Built In To Stamps.com

Stamps.com customers automatically receive the new discounted Metered Mail rate. When printing Online Postage for First-Class Mail® Letters, customers can select the Metered Mail rate or manually enter a stamp amount. In addition to Metered Mail, Stamps.com has also been updated with every USPS Postage Rate for 2017.

Categories: Letter Mailing Tags:

Celebrate Halloween in style with Stamps.com

October 28th, 2016 Comments off

SDC Blog HalloweenThis year, Halloween falls on a Monday, but don’t let that get you down. Halloween can still be celebrated in style with Stamps.com’s mailing and shipping features!

Halloween NetStamps!
Throwing a Halloween party? Just want to say “Boo!” to a friend? We offer 15 different NetStamps Halloween designs ranging from pumpkin heads to zombies! The best thing about NetStamps is that you can print them at various denominations, one at a time, or a whole sheet in one print. They don’t carry a date, so they can be used at any time as long as the rate is current.  It’s scary how easy they are to use!

Custom Envelopes: Frighteningly Easy  
If you want to send a Halloween postcard or letter, you can print postage on various envelopes, including sizes #9, #11 and #12. You can also use our Custom Layout Designer to create custom envelopes and postcards of non-standard sizes. Click on “Envelopes” in the left navigation bar of your Stamps.com account and look for the envelope icon next to the “Printing On” drop-down list.

With the Stamps.com software, you can also add return address and postage graphics to your envelopes, so if you have a spooky image you want to use, just look for the “Graphic” icon above the “Return Address” text field. If you want to include a graphic next to the postage in the top right corner of your postage label, just look for the “Delivery Address” text field. Select the “Include Graphic” check box, and then click “Browse” to locate a graphic file from your computer.

Easily Sell and Send Halloween Costumes and Accessories 
Do you sell or make costumes? Do you have props or accessories you want to send to a friend or loved one? Stamps.com makes it easy to ship items like masks, hats, jackets and wigs. Under our “Packages” section, you can select one of our “Shipping Label” options. You can easily print a trackable label on plain paper or on one of our self-adhesive labels, such as the 4 1/4″ x 6 3/4″ shipping labels (SDC-1200).

Halloween props come in all shapes and sizes, from pirate hooks to plastic Statue of Liberty torches. Luckily, USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes accommodate most oddly shaped items, and you can order free USPS boxes and other supplies at the Stamps.com Store! With Stamps.com, you can print barcoded shipping labels for Flat Rate boxes and receive the discounted Commercial Base rate.

Have your own box or tube? No problem! In our software, just select “Package/Thick Envelope” as your mailpiece and print out a barcoded shipping label. You’ll still receive the discounted Commercial Base rate!

Keeping Your Stamps.com Address Book Current

August 11th, 2016 Comments off

SDC Blog Address BookBefore you send direct mail pieces to your customers, take a moment to think about your address data. Is all your contact information accurate and up-to-date?

Here are a few tips to help maintain data integrity when it comes to your address book:

1. Check for deliverability.Make sure addresses are deliverable before you manually enter or import them into your address book. Complete an audit of your database every year and include salutation information to understand who your customers are and target them better.

2. Remove duplicate addresses.You don’t want to send the same mail piece to the same address several times. Not only is it a waste of money and resources, but also your customers are less likely to be excited to receive the same communication several times.

3. Use ancillary endorsements on First-Class Mail®. This practice will tremendously help your mailing operations and save your business a lot of money in the long run. This free service (“Address Service Requested” is included on your mail piece) lets you know if the recipient has moved and gives you the opportunity to resend your message to the correct address.

Easily Maintain Your Address Book in Stamps.com 
Stamps.com has a built-in Address Book that enables you to store and manage customer addresses. You can manually add addresses or import them into Stamps.com from an address book like Act, QuickBooks or Outlook. All addresses will pass through the USPS Address Matching System, ensuring that your addresses are deliverable. Stamps.com also gives you the option of sorting through addresses in your address book so you can only choose to print postage for a certain group of customers depending on your business need. Stamps.com also has a useful “Group” feature that allows you to segment your customers based on their behavior. For example, you can send a thank you note or postcard to all customers who purchased your product or products in a certain month.

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