Direct Mail

How to Send Mail to Canada from USA

By 26 February 2024April 15th, 2024No Comments
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How To Mail To Canada And Ensure Efficient Communication For Your Business?

Marty McFly's shoes in Back To The Future are one of the coolest gadgets ever imagined by a human. The idea was so good that Nike decided to make it a reality with its power-lacing sneakers. Unfortunately, they only made a handful of those. But imagine how easy life would be if we never had to tie our shoelaces again.

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The idea of Marty McFly sneakers is so good that we can not help but wonder what else in life we could make easier with technology. And if we were to ask this question to marketers, they would probably point out that most digital marketing efforts are already automatic. But what about offline marketing or communication efforts like direct mail?

Direct mail is always challenging for marketers because of the time and effort they invest in it. Most often find the whole process confusing, even sending domestic mail. And sending mail from the US to Canada is out of the question because they are unsure how to do it.

But, worry not. Here we discuss how to mail to Canada manually and in the Marty McFly style (automation). 86% of employees already trust that automation can help them perform their tasks better. In this article, we put that stat to test by discussing how you can send mail to Canada using a manual and automated process.

How To Mail To Canada?

If you are reading this article on how to mail letters to Canada, you are likely new to direct mail. The first thing you must consider for sending a business letter to Canada is to choose a postal service provider.

As you know, the marketing cost today is as high as always. Hence, most businesses tend to go for a cost-effective option for sending their mailer. And when it comes to sending mail from the US to Canada, USPS offers the most reliable and cost-effective postal services.

Furthermore, USPS offers various postal services to meet your deadlines and, more importantly, your marketing/communication budget. Of course, an even better option would be to use an advanced direct mail automation tool like PostGrid for business mailing to Canada.

There is little scope for optimization if you decide to send business mail in bulk by yourself. You must do everything from printing, enveloping, applying the postage, and mailing it yourself. With an automated system like PostGrid, sending your letters without disrupting your workflow becomes much more accessible.

For instance, PostGrid helped a leading healthcare company automate its manual mail processing with HIPAA compliance. And the best part is that the entire integration process did not take more than an hour because the client was using Salesforce CRM.

The ready-to-apply PostGrid integration for Salesforce made the process significantly easier for the client. As a result, our client could automatically send mailpieces depending on a triggering action. Additionally, the client saved more than 700 hours on manual document processing.

How To Mail Letters To Canada Via USPS?

It is relatively easy for businesses to send mail to Canada from the US because both countries have a strong relationship and excellent postal service capabilities. And that is all it takes to ensure efficient business communication for your company from the US to Canada.

As far as the mailing process is concerned, you have nothing to worry about because the sending process is the same as any other mail. Of course, not EVERYTHING is the same here because mailing to Canada is still an international shipment. Hence, you will have to consider the additional shipping costs.

And yes, the international shipping rates apply to every mailing to Canada from the US. The distance does not matter here. So, even if you live on the US – Canada border and send a letter to an address 1 mile away, it is still international mail. And as you guess, this also means you must pay the international shipping rates if the letter has to cross the border.

How To Mail To Canada By Yourself: Step-By-Step Process

Sending business mailers to your customers or partners in Canada is relatively easy. Of course, it is a whole different story for bulk mailing. However, the process for mailing letters to Canada remains the same. Here is the step-by-step process you must follow to send your business mail internationally, including to Canada.

Step 1: Check If Your Letter In Mailable

The items you can deliver to an address inside a country can vary according to the rules and regulations of that country. Canada also has these regulations, but we will discuss them later. For now, all you need to know is that you must adhere to these regulations for mailing a letter to Canada.

Sometimes, mailing from the US to Canada may also require customs forms. However, that should not be a concern for your business mailings if you are merely sending standard correspondence or nonnegotiable documents. On the other hand, you can not include trading cards, stickers, etc., in your mailer.

Step 2: Pick An Envelope Or Postcard

Once you ensure that your business letter is mailable, you can pick a suitable envelope for it. Of course, you don't need an envelope if you are sending a postcard. Whether you use a letter or an envelope, you must ensure that it has the right size and shape for mailing to Canada.

Similar to domestic mail, your mailing to Canada should also have a rectangular shape. You also need to ensure the quality of the paper because the envelope needs to survive the journey to Canada. The preferable dimensions for your mailers to Canada are as follows.

Maximum Length 11-1/2″
Maximum Height 6-1/8″
Maximum Thickness 1/4″

To give you a better idea of the dimensional limit of your mailing to Canada, consider the size of a standard No. 10 envelope. The standard dimensions of a No. 10 envelope are 9-1/2″ long x 4-1/8″ high. It is also worth noting that you can fold your letter for international mail if it does not exceed the specified thickness.

Nonmachinable Mail

Suppose your mailing to Canada does not go through USPS's mail processing machine. In that case, you may have to pay an extra $0.39 for sending the mail. Envelopes that are lumpy/rigid or have strings, clasps, or buttons are typically nonmachinable. Furthermore, you may have to pay a similar extra fee for square or vertical envelopes.

Step 3: Address Your Business Mail

Now that you know that your letter is eligible for mail and that you have the appropriate envelope, it is time to address your correspondence. The mailing address format is perhaps the most crucial factor for your international mail.

To be safe, we advise you to follow the same address format for sending mail from US to Canada. But don't worry, the address format is nothing too complex that you can not understand.

Unlike international mail to countries like Japan and Russia, you don't have to be concerned with the language barrier. Here are some basic pointers for addressing your mail to Canada from the USA.

  • Write/print the full address neatly using capital letters.
  • Use a permanent marker or pen for packages.
  • Avoid the use of commas or periods in the delivery address.

How To Write The Sender Address For Your Business Mail To Canada?

The sender or return address is obviously vital to your mail to Canada. Like Thanos's infinity gauntlet needs all the infinity stones, your mailer must also have all the necessary components. Here are some things you need to know about providing the sender address on your international business mail to Canada.

  • Always place the sender or return address in the envelope's upper left corner.
  • Neatly provide the sender/return address components on separate lines.

You should include the following address components in the sender/return address for mailing to Canada.

  • Your full name
  • The suite/apartment number
  • The complete street address
  • Name of the city
  • Name of the state
  • ZIP+4 code
  • Country

How To Write The Delivery Address For Your Business Mail To Canada?

Now, we move on to the delivery address of your mail to Canada. The position of delivery address is at the center of the envelope or package. Of course, we don't have to tell you that the delivery address is the most crucial part of your business mailer.

It is the ‘soul' stone of the gauntlet, and you should ensure its accuracy. Any significant mistake in the delivery address can cause the postal service provider to return your mail. Globally, the rate of inbox placement was around 83% in 2019. That still leaves over a 10% chance of misplacing your mailing to Canada.

Hence, it might be a good idea to invest in an address verification service to ensure the deliverability of your mail. You can use PostGrid's address verification service to verify your international addresses and standardize them for speedy delivery.

When mailing to Canada, ensure you include the following details in the delivery address on separate lines.

  • Full name of the recipient
  • Full street address
  • Name of the city
  • Name of the state
  • Name of the subdistrict (province, county, etc.)
  • Postal code
  • Country

Example Of Canadian Address Format

You already know the theoretical part of writing the delivery address for sending mail to Canada from the USA. But, we know you can understand the whole thing better with an example. So, here is an example of what a Canadian postal address should look like

Mr. Tyrion Lannister
1408 Westeros Street
VANCOUVER V5K 1R3
Canada

The following table breaks down the Canadian address example below into separate components according to the address line.

Address Line Address Component Address Example
First line Name of the recipient Mr. Tyrion Lannister
Second Line Street address 1408 Westeros Street
Third Line Name of city/state and postal code VANCOUVER V5K 1R3
Fourth Line Name of the country Canada

Step 4: Calculate Your Postage And Apply It

USPS offers various postal mail services with varying delivery speeds and postages. In other words, the postage for mailing a letter to Canada can change depending on multiple aspects, such as

  • Weight of the mailer
  • Size/shape of the mailer
  • Price group
  • Postal service

You can use any weight measuring device to check the weight of your mailing to Canada and ensure it is within the allowable limit. Most people or businesses use a postal or kitchen scale to weigh their mailers. However, you could also measure the weight of your mailer at the Post Office counter.

First-Class International Postage

Most businesses opt for USPS's First-Class Mail service to send letters to Canada. The postage for mailing a letter to Canada starts at $1.20. For this price, you can send a letter that weighs up to 3 ounces deliverable to any address in Canada.

As for the delivery times, the USPS First-Class mail service typically takes anywhere between five to ten days to mail to Canada.

Global First Class Forever Stamps

A Global First Class Forever Stamp currently costs $1.40. It is the most convenient way to apply international postage to any of your business mailers, regardless of their destination. You can use the same for mailing a letter to Canada. Place the stamp(s) in the top-right corner of the envelope. In a postcard, you can find a designated place for sticking the postage stamp.

Make sure to apply 3 Global First Class Forever Stamps to cover your postage for mailing letters to Canada. However, it is worth noting that this postage only covers the initial 1 ounce of your business mail. Additionally, it also covers the basic postage fees.

Suppose your mailing to Canada goes over the weight limit mentioned above. In that case, USPS would ask you to put up another $0.53 in postage for every additional ounce beyond the weight limit.

Finally, you must also place the letter securely inside a standard envelope. You may have to pay additional postage if you do not use a standard envelope for mailing to Canada. And the additional postage may be applicable even if your mailer meets the USPS weight limit.

If USPS cannot process your mailpiece using their equipment, you must pay an additional $0.21 postage.

Where To Buy Postage For Your Mailing To Canada?

You can buy the postage for mailing to Canada from different sources, including the postal store. You can also buy the postage for your international mail online, including add-ons for your heavier or oversized envelopes.

Similarly, you can buy postage for mailing letters to Canada from your local post office and self-service kiosks. And if that doesn't work, you can always go to an Approved Postal Provider, such as a drug or grocery store.

Extra Services

In addition to the standard postage, you can opt for USPS's extra services. Some examples of additional services for sending mail to Canada from USA, such as

  • Insurance
  • Signature services
  • Proof of delivery
  • And more.

But, like John Constantine says, “there is always a catch.” In other words, every extra service comes with an additional fee. In addition to that, the different services do not always apply to all products. Hence, it is better to check the availability of extra services for your mail to Canada. Following are some familiar additional services companies opt for in their business mail.

Registered Mail

Opting for the Registered Mail service lets you get a sign from the recipient confirming the delivery or delivery attempt. It is a great way to ensure accurate and fast shipping of important documents.

Furthermore, USPS handles Registered Mail separately from the other mailing from the US to Canada. USPS also keeps a mailing receipt for your business mailers, and you have the option to access the record of delivery from USPS.

Return Receipt 

On average, direct mail campaigns' return rates can be between 0.5 to 2%. Although the number isn't huge, keeping track of direct mail deliverability is still essential. It is available as an add-on along with the Registered Mail service for your mailing to Canada.

Step 5: Send Your Mail

At this point, you already have the letter inside the envelope with the necessary postage. Now, all that's left for you is to mail it. There are different ways to send your business letters. Choose a delivery method that is convenient and suitable for your business needs.

Keep The Letter Inside Your Mailbox

The most convenient and fastest way to mail a letter to Canada is to keep the business mailer inside the mailbox. USPS will collect the mail directly from your mailbox and deliver it. If sending mail got any more accessible, you would be able to teleport the mail instantly to the recipient. Maybe one day you could put the mailer inside the mailbox and say something cool like “beam me Scotty” for teleporting your mail.

But until that day comes, mailbox pick-up is your best bet for conveniently mailing letters to Canada. It is also worth noting that this method has some constrictions, and you must consider the time USPS takes to collect the mail. In addition to that, your mailbox can only house so many mailers, so it is not suitable for bulk mailing.

Drop The Mail In A Blue Collection Box

Another option you can consider for delivering your business mail is to drop them in a blue collection box. USPS even allows you to locate blue collection boxes in your area using their Find USPS Locations tool. Here also, the collection time is a factor you must consider before mailing a letter to Canada.

Additionally, you can't use the collection box for mailing to Canada if it exceeds the USPS dimension limit. For instance, if your package weighs over 10 ounces or its thickness exceeds 1/2″, you can not put it inside a collection box. Instead, you have to hand it over to a USPS employee at the Post Office.

Post Office Lobby Drop

If you are looking for a fail-safe way of mailing letters to Canada, your best hand deliver them at the Post Office. Post Office lobby drop is often preferable for business bulk mail as you can hand them over directly to the USPS. It also means that there are no delays or sitting around waiting for the USPS to collect the mail.

How To Mail To Canada Using Direct Mail Automation: Step-By-Step Process

As you can see, manually sending your letters involves many time-consuming processes that can delay your mailing. Even figuring out the suitable postage and proper size envelopes for your letters can delay your mailing to Canada. A direct mail automation system like PostGrid enables you to automate the entire process.

Here is how you can send your business mailers using PostGrid's direct mail automation software using our web interface.

Step 1: Sign Up/Sign In

The first thing you need to do for mailing letters to Canada is to sign up/sign in to your PostGrid account.

Step 2: Go To The Letters/Postcard Section In The Dashboard

As you sign in to your PostGrid account, you can see the dashboard on the left side of the screen. Click on the “Letters” or “Postcards” section depending on the type of mailpiece you intend on mailing to Canada. You will then see a button that says “Create Letter,” click on it.

Step 3: Create Your Letter

The magic of automation starts to kick in from this stage. Here, you get to create the business letter you want to send. You can begin by writing a short description of the mailing to Canada. You can later use this description to identify your mailing campaign.

Upload Recipients

Up next, you can upload the recipients for your mail. You can either select individual recipients or upload a CSV file containing the address details. It allows you to target everyone for your bulk mail campaigns quickly. After that, you can provide the sender details, or in other words, the return address for your mailing to Canada. 

Select/Upload A Template

Now, you can select a template for the letter you want to send. However, you can also see that there is an option for you to upload a PDF file as your template.

Select Mailing Services And Envelope Type

Towards the end of the section, you can opt for a return envelope and extra services for mailing to Canada. You can also select the envelope type and the mailing service/class for your mailers.

Step 4: Mail Your Letters

Once you finish creating your letter, you can proceed to make the payment and send the letter to your target audience.

Restrictions In Mailing To Canada

Some restrictions are in place to control what you can mail to Canada via postal service. For instance, sending flammable or chemical products via mail requires special customs clearance. Similarly, packages that weigh over 150 pounds may need freight designations.

Apart from these restrictions, there are some prohibited items that you can not include in your mailing to Canada. With some restricted items, there is no exception. In other words, you can't send them via mail. Here are some of the prohibited items you can NOT ship to Canada.

  • Airsoft guns
  • Paintball markers
  • Baby walker
  • Anything made in Iran

Violating any of these restrictions could result in the confiscation of your mailing to Canada. Besides this, some items come under the internationally prohibited items list that USPS does not accept, such as

  • Aerosols
  • Explosives
  • Air Bags
  • Nail Polish
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Dry Ice
  • Ammunition
  • Cigarettes
  • Gasoline
  • Hemp-based products 
  • Marijuana 
  • Poisons

You can't send any items in the above list from the US to any other country.

Conclusion

Business organizations have a difficult time the first time they set up a mailing process. Manually setting up the mailing process for your business is challenging to say the least. It is advisable to start small if you are new to direct mail and wish to mail letters to Canada manually. 

But, if you are willing to invest in a robust direct mail automation tool like PostGrid, the whole process becomes significantly easier. Fully automated solutions like PostGrid do all the heavy lifting for you. Everything from selecting the correct postage to the envelope size is automatic with a tool like PostGrid.

That's not all. Bulk mailing becomes a child's play because PostGrid can integrate directly with your CRM and personalize your letters. As a result, mailing to Canada becomes significantly faster and more efficient for your business. 

On top of it all, you can also access the bulk mailing discounts from USPS. Hence, you can minimize the expense of mailing to Canada. Conversely, PostGrid brings you a much higher ROI than an error-prone manual mailing process.

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