Tips for Small Business Mailings with the Holidays Around the Corner

99 Days to Christmas 2014:
Postal Service Delivers Nine Holiday Prep Tips
for Small Business Mailings


Upstate New York – With the last week of summer still on the calendar, the holidays can seem far off.   But, postal officials note, small business owners, retailers and local hospitality industry are already gearing up.
Whether it is means drawing in new customers, thanking loyal patrons or – increasingly – shipping those online sales, America’s mailbox has become a small business co-worker for the holidays.  
With 99 days to Christmas to go, the Postal Service offers these nine tips for small businesses to prepare now for the busy days ahead:
1.     Create a free USPS.com account for easy, secure access to postal online services to send notifications, buy stamps, file claims or print custom forms without leaving work.  Set your language preferences to English, Spanish or Chinese.  
2.     Postal officials predict that about 3 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office this year and use Click-N-Ship to mail packages – 10 percent more than last year.  Register at USPS.com to easily create, print, and pay for shipping labels.
3.     Priority Mail Shoe BoxOrder free shipping supplies, such as the Priority Mail Shoe Box.  At 7-1/2" x 5-1/8" x 14-3/8," this is one of many boxes, padded envelopes or flat-rate packaging available for order at USPS.com.  Not sure?  Try a Priority Mail Flat Rate Variety Pack -- featuring one Small Flat Rate Box, two different Medium Flat Rate Boxes and one Large Flat Rate Box – to road-test sizes.  
4.     Planning an open house or Small Business Saturday special?  Trying coupons or a new menu?  Put easy, affordable direct mail to work. No costly permits or address lists are needed with the Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail. New users of Every Door Direct Mail are eligible to receive a coupon, online or at local post offices, worth $50 to $100 in postage on first time mailings now through Dec. 31
5.     Plan for international shipments, with delivery deadlines between Dec. 2 and Dec. 19 for holiday arrivals.  Every country has its own rules and regulations. Make sure your international mail gets delivered quickly and efficiently by learning USPS and country-specific regulations with Postal Explorer at USPS.com.
6.     Military mailing deadlines start as early as Nov. 8 to assure holiday arrivals.  Order supplies of the 12" x 12" x 5-1/2" Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Box at USPS.com.  Discounted postage applies for the APO/FPO flat rate box. 
7.     Review your contact lists.  Avoid unnecessary costs and possible delays by keeping your mailing lists accurate, including the spellings of customer and street names.  Crosscheck lists for costly2014 Poinsettiaduplicates.   Use a ZIP Code tool to confirm ZIP +4 codes. 
8.     Keep a supply of Priority Mail Express packaging on hand for customers that a gift delivered on a Sunday or holiday, available at USPS.com.  Priority Mail Express service is provided 365 days a year.
9.     Satisfied clients or top customers?  Investors, suppliers, family, friends?   Thanksgiving is a great time to send thanks with a personal card, note or offer by mail.   Add a cheery touch with a holiday stamp.  Books of Holiday Poinsettia stamps are available at USPS.com with more contemporary and traditional stamp designs coming to post offices throughout October. 
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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