What Is a Mail Service Provider (MSP)?
Certified mail service providers offer various solutions to help you prepare and present ready-made letters and packages. Applies when you want to send a letter.
Traditionally individuals and institutions sent letters and parcels by hand through private messengers. Over time, the system improved and sending letters became faster and safer.
The first mail service in the U.S dates back to the 16th century in Pennsylvania. Old Boston Post Road is one of the oldest routes 1 to date. By the 18th century, the Post Office Department invested in numerous stagecoaches for letter and parcel transport.
Since then, the industry has continued to expand and forge ahead by leveraging traditional means and digital technologies in the mail industry. Today, USPS not only delivers letters and packages within a few hours but also authorizes other mail service providers to deliver mail, newspapers, parcels, and other deliverables across all the states.
How to Prepare Your Letter for Dispatch
Mail service providers have specific regulations for sending letters and parcels. There are standard ways to address your envelope, and there are rules to follow when choosing the type of packaging for your mail piece.
What Is a letter?
It is a written communication conveyed from one individual to another. A letter can also be typed or printed and is sent in an envelope by courier or messenger.
Step 1. Choose The Envelope
It is wise to choose an envelope that is appropriate for your mail-piece. Standard sizes that fit through the computerized mail-processing unit cost less than bulky alternatives.
Couriers will charge more for the envelopes that don’t go through the electronic processing equipment. These include letters that have clasps, strings, buttons, or ones that are lumpy and rigid.
Envelope Types and Shapes
Are you wondering why the shape of your envelope matters? As mentioned earlier, the shape issue is one of the various regulations for your mail item to qualify for the letter prices. Other requirements include the following; –
- Use envelopes made of paper material only.
- Your mail item is eligible for letter prices if the envelope is rectangular.
Your mail item does not qualify for letter rates if the envelope is larger than the mail-piece
- Large rectangular envelopes are entitled to flat-rate prices.
Step 2. Address Your Letter
You must ensure that you have written or printed your return address and the recipients mailing details in the appropriate spots on the envelope. More so, it is preferable to have pre-printed envelopes if you send monthly or annual letters to regular clients.
Do you sometimes wonder what happened to the perfect penmanship you had in high school? You are not alone; the emergence of technology now allows businesses to print out almost any form of communication.
Your letter is likely to be delayed if your writing is unclear. More so, if you place the addresses in the wrong sections, your mail-pieces may not get delivered.
- It is standard procedure for all addresses to appear printed in uppercase.
- Use a pen or a good permanent marker for hand-written addresses.
- Include the Zip Code where it is applicable.
It is ideal for you to write the recipient’s address details at the bottom center of the envelope. Each of the following elements must appear on separate lines.
- Full names of individuals or the company.
- Exact street address, apartment, or suite number (Where possible).
- Name of the city, state, and Zip Code.
Sometimes the apartment number may not fit on a single line. You should complete it on the following line above the city, state, and Zip Code.
When addressing the envelope, you should indicate the sender’s address and data in the top-left corner of the envelope. The information must include the following details; –
- The certified names of the sender or company.
- The street address and apartment number (Where applicable).
- City, State, and Zip Code.
Step 3. Choose A Mail Carrier and Apply Postage
Selecting a mail carrier depends on the speed at which you want your letter to be delivered. More so, different charges apply for every service. However, the price depends on the weight of your letter and the mail class service you choose.
For example, the USPS ground service first-class mail letter (1 oz) costs $0.5 and $0.20 for an additional ounce. This courier takes 2-5 business days to deliver letters in this mail category.
Step 4. send a letter
Sending letters to your preferred destination depends on your mail courier. With USPS, your letter can be picked up or dropped off at designated locations.
However, some EDDM service providers can print and send out letters on behalf of companies that send numerous mail items. For example, cooperatives that send monthly statements and Annual general meeting notifications to shareholders.
What Is Priority Mail?
Priority mail is one of the mail services offered by USPS that provides you with an option to send letters depending on the weight and dimensions. You can send a letter and packages via priority mail retail/commercial or priority mail flat rate.
Customers calculate priority retail/commercial rates using the weight, dimension, and destination of your package.
Priority mail flat rate allows you to send domestic packages up to 70lbs at the same price.
Priority Mail Features
- You can send a letter and packages from Monday through Saturday. Furthermore, the company delivers your mail items within six working days.
- More so, sending your mail item on Saturday does not incur an extra cost for delivery.
- You can send priority mail letters and packages by handing the items to your regular mail service delivery or from any local Post Office.
- USPS extra tools include tracking at no further cost.
- Your letter can be forwarded or returned at no extra cost.
Types Of Priority Mail Commercial Services
USPS offers various types of priority mail commercial services include the following; –
Commercial Base Prices
This service is for commercial clients at cut-down prices. The discount is for customers who use approved information-based indicia (IBI) postage meters.
Commercial Plus Prices
Commercial plus prices to send a letter/package are accessible to clients who already qualify for base prices at a lower-than-normal rate. You can use this service when you meet the specified mail volume criteria or have a customer contract with USPS.
Commercial Plus Cubic pricing
This service is for customers who meet the requirements of the commercial base plus including specific mail volume standards.
Commercial Base and Commercial Plus
This option allows you to use Regional Rate boxes A and B. Box A has top and side loading options with a max weight of 5 pounds. Box B has a top and side loading option with a 20-pound maximum weight.
How to Prepare Your Package for Dispatch
Sending domestic packages starts with selecting the ideal packaging. Some couriers will package your mail items at a small fee. It is critical to consider the safety of your mail contents when choosing the packaging material.
What Is a Package?
It is a parcel that does not meet the requirements to fit in the letter-sized or flat-size mail categories. Whereas letters are encased in envelopes, packages are commonly loaded in mailing containers such as boxes.
USPS commercial packages must measure at least 3” high x 6” long x 1/4” thick. A package should weigh 70 pounds maximum and not exceed 108” in length and girth. Excluding Retail Ground or Parcel Select.
Step 1. Pick Your Box
You can save on additional costs by sticking to the standard sizes. Packages that do not meet the required specifications have further costs attached.
- Reusable boxes must not have seeable old logos, shipping labels, and other addresses.
- Use a sturdy box or carton that allows you to add some soft material to protect delicate mail items from changing position.
- It is common for packages not to total above 108” in length and girth. You will save on extra charges by sticking to the standard-sized packaging.
Step 2. Pack Your Box
You can take your mail items to the packaging experts at your courier service if you are unsure how to pack your box the right way. But should you decide to load your box, ensure that your contents are secured and that the package arrives without damages.
- Use a 2” wide packing tape to seal the flaps of your box and ensure that it closes evenly on all sides.
- Avoid using string, cord, or twine because they interfere with the mail processing equipment.
- It is advisable to include a packing slip with the recipient’s address inside the box.
- Do not include restricted items in your box, and remember to consult the prohibited items list.
Step 3. Address Your Package
The address structure for a box is similar to that of envelopes. The most important aspect of addressing your package is to print clear address labels. More so, remember to use ink that doesn’t blur or spread on the address label.
- Use a permanent marker to write the addresses. Alternatively, you may opt for a printed mailing label.
- Place both sender and recipient address details on the longer side of the box.
Step 4. Choose a Mail Carrier (also when you want to send a letter)
How best to send your mail depends on various aspects such as size, weight, and how fast you want your package to reach the recipient.
Mail service providers offer clients different package delivery services. These mail sending options depend on speeds, sizes, and extras which include insurance and tracking.
However, some of the general details that you must look into when choosing a mail service include the following: –
- Mail items, including size and weight.
Step 5. Apply Postage and Send a Letter or Package
Different MSPs charge differently based on speed and destination. Use the rating tool provided by your preferred carrier to calculate rates. This information can guide you to select a service that suits your timelines and budget.
USPS uses stamps or printed postage that you place in the top-right corner of your package. Other couriers provide you with tools to create printable shipping labels from your computer.
Your package is ready to be sent a letter to your destination after you comply with the postage requirements.
Mailing Tips to Send a Letter
Are you wondering if your mail item has arrived at the correct recipient destination?
Mail service providers offer tracking solutions for domestic priority letters/packages at no extra charge. You receive a tracking number that allows you to receive updates either by text or email message.
Write, print, or type your recipient’s name clearly in dark ink. Make sure your writing does not look like a doctor’s prescription. It is helpful to include the recipient’s organization name where applicable. Furthermore, you must indicate your return address to let the carrier and recipient know where the mail item originates.
Which Is the Quickest Way to Send a Letter and Package
Sometimes individuals and businesses have letters or parcels to deliver within a few hours. These include mail items such as legal mail, medical equipment, or flight tickets. If you have any of these needs, you certainly want a mail courier and service that meets more than your expectations.
Priority Mail Express
Priority Mail Express is one of the quickest ways to send a letter from your home or office to any part of the U.S. More so, it is less costly for overnight delivery service to a majority of U.S addresses and post office box numbers.
Today To Next-Day Guarantee
If you send your mail via USPS today, the company can deliver it by 6.00 PM same-day or next-day. More so, the priority mail express has a money-back guarantee attached to it. However, this overnight service is only available to and from urban locations, but it takes two days in rural destinations.
Priority Mail Express Pricing
This service offers you a flat rate for the packages you send to any state weighing between 0-70 lbs. More so, you can send your parcel from post office facilities, your home or office spaces.
Why Choose Priority Mail Express?
- You can send a letter or your urgent mail on Sunday and holidays at an extra fee.
- Customers can send letters and packages without going to the post office locations. More so, USPS offers free package pickup at your residence or business space.
- Your package is secure. You can include insurance and tracking services when you send your package with USPS.
- Mailing price covers proof of delivery impression record.
Various couriers help to print, prepare and package your mail items for dispatch to your desired recipients. Companies with limited logistic resources such as hospitals and attorneys can rely on courier services to handle their day-to-day letter and package dispatch.
Not all items qualify for sending through the mail. USPS has specific rules for mailing prohibited items. Before preparing your package contents, you need to consult the mail service provider for advice concerning restricted materials.
Today, sending letters and packages is easy and fast. Mail service providers offer various services for individuals and companies to send mail pieces such as the priority mail express. This service allows you to send a letter or your packages without leaving your home or office.