Updated 2012 Postal Rates Chart

6 Apr

First Class postal rate chart is now available for download. Please feel free to share. And, if you need some help with your next design, print, addressing, or mailing project, visit our home page to find out how we can help! Call or e-mail anytime.]]>

An envelope in-hand is worth two e-mails

5 Jan

piece in the DMAW newsletter:

In the end, the researchers found three significant differences in perception: 1. Direct mail generates a deeper emotional response in the emotional centers of the brain. 2. The brain sees physical mail as more “real” than digital mail. 3. The areas of the brain connected to memory and introspection stayed engaged longer with direct mail.

USPS Rescue Plan: Junk Mail

6 Oct

piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. Interesting observation:

Only 1.4% of households made a purchase, opened a checking account, or otherwise responded in 2010 to advertising mail sent to potential new customers, according to the Direct Marketing Association, a trade group. That’s down from 1.7% in 2005.
I’d argue that the less people use First Class mail, the less they’ll respond to standard (bulk) mail. When you go to your mailbox, if you don’t have a reasonable expectation of receiving something personal, why would you even bother opening mail other than bills? First Class mail is potentially more effective than ever for getting your message to any given recipient – exactly because fewer people are using it. ]]>

How to set up your data file

20 Apr

So, let’s start with file formats. Here at The Elegant Envelope, we’re pretty flexible; we can take your file in a whole range of formats:

  • Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • Comma delimited (.csv)
  • Tab delimited (.tab, .txt)
  • WordPerfect
  • Plain text (.txt)
If you are not using one of those file formats, chances are your software can either save your file as one of them, or “export” to them.  If you run into trouble with this, please give us a call and we’ll see if we can talk you through it.  (301) 926-6931 Now let’s talk about how the data is set up in your file. Since Excel and Word are the most popular formats, we’ll look at them in detail. Excel offers a lot of flexibility in managing data.  You can set up a file like this: Sample data file in Excel In this format, the full names are separated into their component parts (prefix, first, middle, last, suffix), as are the city, state, and zip code.   You don’t need to break everything up this much, but doing so will allow you sort the file into alpha order by last name, or even in zip code order. If you’ve set up your file to have the full name in one column and/or the City, State, Zipcode in one column, we can work with that too.  The rule of thumb is: as long as everything that needs to print on a separate line is in a separate column, we should be fine  (i.e., don’t put the name and street address all in one column, etc).  Here’s a sample of what that might look like: The downside to setting up your file like this is that you won’t easily be able to sort in alpha order by last name.  If you sort by the Full Name column, it will sort by whatever the first words are in each cell.  (In these cases, the prefixes)  But we can certainly take this file and address your envelopes with it. What if there’s an inner envelope? How do you incorporate that into your Excel file?  Very simple: just add a column that’s formatted for how you’d like the inner envelope to read.  I’ll add one to the sample above: Managing data in Microsoft Word is a little more clunky, but it’s simple and workable. For our purposes, the best way to set up your data in Word is to enter, as you’d like it to read, one long single column.  It would look something like this: If you have inner envelopes to address, you’d have to create a separate file in Word and send them both to us. If you have any questions about this, again please do give us a call.  (301) 926-6931  We’re here to help!  ]]>

Get ready for new postage rates!

6 Apr

postage rates are going up.  Since the vast majority of the work we do here at The Elegant Envelope is First Class (retail) mail, that’s what this post will focus on. The good news is: if you’re just sending out a 1 ounce letter, you won’t know the difference. It will still mail at $.44.  However, the price for each additional ounce is going up to $.20.  So you’re 2 ounce invitation letter package that we’ve been mailing at $.61 will now mail at $.64. Postcards will go from $.28 each to $.29 each. You can find more detail here – and look for our full guide to the new rates, coming soon.      ]]>