Getting Started with Snail Mail — Steps, Tips and Advantages
Even today when technology has taken over the world, snail mail continues to exist. Many companies prefer sending important documents, invoices, statements, and letters through snail mail. It is still primarily used for business and legal correspondence.
Emails are fast and convenient, but they are spammed more. With an overflowing inbox, we tend to ignore emails easily.
On the contrary, snail mail is attention-grabbing. Furthermore, it is capable of keeping recipients hooked and encourages them to respond.
Snail mail is also called direct mail. It has the adjective “snail” because it is slower as compared to emails. Yet, snail mail still works better than emails in today’s time.
Earlier, sending snail mail was quite time-consuming and hectic. Everything was done manually by the company’s staff. But now, you can send snail mail online by using a centralized solution. It is cost-effective, fast, and convenient. Also, your staff can get rid of stuffing envelopes and affixing stamps every time they want to mail something.
PostGrid’s print and mail API takes the heavy lifting off your shoulders. You can get everything done in an automated way and increase productivity. Get your print and mail activities streamlined online.
In this blog, we will discuss how to send snail mail in depth. You can refer to this guide and nail your snail-mailing efforts.
Do Businesses and Individuals Still Use Snail Mail?
Looking back into the past, snail mail was the only option available before any digital communication channels existed. Individuals would write to their loved ones. Companies used snail mail to carry out their business communications.
So, do people still send mail? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. After all, people love to get mail. In 2019, the USPS delivered 143 billion mail pieces to 160 million mailing addresses. There are 31,000 operational post offices across the country.
The number continues to grow every day. After the covid outbreak, more people have started using the postal services. The agency is all set to break its own records.
This demand surge demonstrates that people like sending and receiving mail. 59% of US customers have stated that they enjoy receiving mail from businesses.
Talking about businesses, they need a solid correspondence channel to deliver their messages. Also, they want something that creates good relationships. Again, direct mail can do all those things.
Snail mail can be sent for several purposes. Find some of them below:
- Students use snail mail to send out college applications.
- Gym members use physical mail to renew or cancel memberships. In fact, there are many services that need you to send snail mail for subscribing.
- It is mandated to send some legal documents, tax forms, and letters by post.
- People send cover letters, resumes, and resignations via snail mail.
- Companies send onboarding kits to their new employees and customers through the mail.
- Contract agreements, renewals, and more can be sent to customers.
- For relationship building, businesses print and mail thank-you letters and postcards. Some also send holiday greetings via mail.
- Details about new product launches, press meets, giveaways, discount sales, and more can be announced through the mail.
The reasons why people prefer snail mail over other channels are:
- It is personal in nature. It can form emotional connections between the sender and the receiver.
- Snail mail is eye-catching with the power to impress recipients instantly.
- It is tangible. People can see and touch it.
- It is long-lasting. Most people tend to keep it in their house for several days.
Snail mail is so well-liked by people that many of them have created communities to send mail back and forth. Platforms like PenPal World, PostPals, and PostCrossing allow you to send and receive mail from strangers. Thus, snail mail is fun, exciting, and connects people instantly.
5 Steps to Send Snail Mail
1. Draft Your Mail Pieces
The first step is to get all your mail items drafted. For example, if you want to print and mail invoices, you need to draft personalized invoices. Further, you have to name these files and save them on your work computer.
Try to avoid mistakes like forgetting to replace the client name and invoice amounts.
2. Print and Stuff Them in Envelopes
Print all your mail items and sort them carefully. Select the right type of envelope for stuffing them.
There are many factors to consider while selecting the right envelope type, and they are:
- Mail intent
For sending anything to faraway destinations, use a sturdy envelope. It can protect your mail contents from being damaged in transit. Do the same thing for heavy-weighted paper stock. Otherwise, your envelope can tear easily.
For professional mail, use envelopes that are either white, grey, or dark blue in color.
3. Address Your Envelopes
There are two types of addresses that you should write on your envelopes. The first and most important one is the mailing address. The second is your own address, also called the return address. It helps the postal workers send undelivered mail back to you.
4. Affix the Right Postage
You can either look up rates online or visit the nearest post office. It can be confusing to calculate postage, so it is better you visit the post office.
You can forego these efforts if you send a snail mail letter online. All-inclusive rates are already available for you.
There are three options for you to mail something:
- Locate a USPS mailbox and drop off your mail items in it.
- Visit your local post office and submit your items there.
- Drop your mail in your own mailbox. The postal worker assigned to your route will pick them off there.
Tips to Send Snail Mail
Include Correct Information and Double Check Everything
Make sure to double-check all the details. Proofread names, mailing addresses, and other important information. Wrong ZIP codes, misspellings, and inaccurate spacing can cause failed and lost mail.
PostGrid’s address validation API can help you to verify addresses beforehand. So, you can send snail mail online with precision.
Use clear, legible handwriting to write mailing addresses on envelopes and labels. Postal workers need clarity about the exact mailing address to sort mail. Moreover, the USPS sorting machines can’t read addresses if they are unclear.
It is better to print mailing addresses rather than write them down.
Consider sending your mail through express mail for faster and safer delivery. You can also opt for Certified Mail and Registered Mail options to send important mail.
Include CTA and Offers
Include an upfront CTA to complete the purpose of your mail. Recipients should be aware of what they are expected to do next. For marketing snail mail, mention relevant offers that can drive better responses.
How to Structure Addresses Properly?
It doesn’t matter if you choose to send snail mail online for free or not. For secured and guaranteed deliveries, write addresses in the right format.
- The first line is the attention line. Write the concerned person’s full name.
- The company name should be placed on the second line. It is better to use the name written right outside the recipient’s office.
- If you need to mail to an individual, you can skip the company name line altogether.
- The third line contains the delivery address. Write the apartment/suite/floor number along with the street address.
- The last line has the city name, state abbreviation, and ZIP code.
- Write all your addresses in capital letters.
- Don’t use any punctuation marks and use at least a 10-point font.
- There should be one space between the city name and the state abbreviation.
- Use two spaces between the state abbreviation and ZIP code.
Find below an example of the USPS-approved format:
PREMIER GLOBAL LTD
852 BEYER RD
TEXAS CITY TX 77461
How to Write a Snail Mail Letter?
- Mention your complete contact details in formal letters. They should include your full name, email address, mailing address, and phone number with the extension code.
- Write the date either at the start or end of the letter.
- Include the recipient’s contact information.
- Write the subject line summarizing the purpose of your letter.
- Begin your letter with a greeting. For example, “Dear Mr. Charles” or “Dear Sir.”
- Next up is the introductory paragraph. It should be followed by the body of your letter and a concluding sentence.
- Insert your signature at the end of your letter.
Snail Mail Costs
The snail mail costs depend on:
- Weight and size of your paper stock
- Envelope choice
- Mail class
- Campaign size, etc.
You can cut down costs by doing your design and copywriting in-house. Plus, you can save a lot if you select a lighter paper stock option that fits within the approved dimensions.
Priority Mail usually costs more than First-Class Mail. So, you can design your items to fit with the First-Class Mail dimensions to save more.
- The First-Class Mail postcards may cost you around $0.36
- Letters can cost you $0.55 per piece
- Packages can cost around $3.01 per item
- First-Class Mail International letters cost $1.20 per piece.
Priority Mail rates are quite higher and start at $7.16 per piece. The prices for Priority Mail Express are even higher and start at $22.75 per piece.
By using automation, you can avail yourself of discounted rates to send snail mail online. PostGrid’s print and mail automation API can help you keep your costs low significantly.
Disadvantages of Snail Mail
The process of sending snail mail manually can be stressful in the following ways:
- Selecting the right envelope.
- Following the right address format as prescribed by the USPS.
- Writing the right mailing address.
- Printing a lot of letters and postcards on a regular printer.
- Purchasing sorting equipment for high-volume mail.
- Folding letters and stuffing them into envelopes.
- Sealing the envelopes properly.
- Affixing the right postage.
- Taking your mail items to the post office and standing in queues.
These things can make you think things like “Should I send information online or snail mail?” Though it seems difficult, there is a smart alternative. You can bypass all complications if you send a snail mail card online.
It is easier for individuals to print and mail a few letters. But it can get complicated when it comes to business mailings. Companies do not always have the time to plan direct mail campaigns.
They need to print and mail to a lot of people. Also, they need to find details from a CRM to complete the process. Only online snail mail can help them pull these tasks.
Manually, it is very difficult to keep records of sent mail. You cannot track campaign responses accurately and there is always confusion.
How to Turn Your Disadvantages into Advantages?
Your best bet is to send snail mail cards online. It can solve the issues related to snail mail. With PostGrid, snail mail is no longer slow or hectic.
Imagine not having to do anything manually. You can outsource everything from design to mailing. PostGrid’s automated direct mail API can help you get huge postal discounts. It can also enable you to track mail items in real-time.
You can choose from our in-built templates and design anything. Moreover, you can send a mail with handwritten messages for added impact. The list goes on.
You no longer need to go to the post office and fill any USPS forms. PostGrid offers print and mail solutions in all-inclusive packages that fit your business.
If you don’t know how to send snail mail online, PostGrid can help you. Our automated direct mail solutions are meant to assist you in your print and mail processes.
With PostGrid, you can verify your mailing lists in minutes. You can also get your design and printing done right from your own system. No minimum monthly fees or installation charges are involved.
Sending snail mail can be tedious, boring, and monotonous. But, PostGrid is here to change that. You can get started without any commitments or advance payments, which makes it the most efficient, convenient, and affordable way to send snail mail online.