Sending and receiving certified mail is a common occurrence for businesses. The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers this service to senders who need to track and confirm the delivery of their mail pieces. Certified mail can also be used to send important documents that require a signature upon receipt.
When you are ready to send your certified mail, you will fill out a form that includes the recipient’s name and address and your return address. You will also need to include the date you wish for the piece to be delivered and pay the required fee. Once you have completed these first crucial steps, you will receive a green card that serves as proof of mailing and provides you with a tracking number.
While sending certified mail may seem like a simple process, there are a few things you should keep in mind before sending your mail piece. Here are seven things to consider before sending certified mail online.
- The Cost Of Tracking
The first crucial thing you need to consider is the tracking cost. Sending certified mail online requires postage that includes a tracking number to see when your letter was delivered and who signed for it. This service comes at an extra cost. So, be sure to factor that in when you are budgeting for your project.
Today, there are different tracking options you can choose from depending on how much information you want and how much you are planning on spending. The most basic tracking option will tell you when your letter was delivered, while more expensive options will give you real-time updates as your letter makes its way to the recipient.
Even though the United States Postal Service is a very reliable way to send mail, there are still instances of lost or damaged mail. So, if you will send something important, such as a contract or a check, you may want to consider using certified mail.
Certified mail includes insurance in case your mail is lost or damaged. The postal service will not cover lost or damaged mail unless you use certified mail. While the cost of certified mail is higher than regular mail, it may be worth it to insure your valuable items.
- How Will You Pay For Shipping?
When sending certified mail online, it is crucial to take the time to consider how you will pay for shipping. That is because there are typically three options available, each with its benefits and drawbacks. The first option is to use your credit card. It is convenient but costly if you do not have a good credit card rate.
Another way is by using a third-party service such as PayPal. It can be a good option if you do not want to use your credit card, but you must remember that you will likely be charged a fee for using this service. The third option is to use a shipping company’s credit card. It can be the most expensive option, but it can also be the most convenient. When choosing how to pay for shipping, weighing all your options is essential before deciding which one is best for you.
- How Quickly You Need Your Letter To Arrive
How fast do you need your letter to reach its destination? Time is of the essence when it comes to running a business successfully. The USPS offers three shipping speeds for certified mail: regular, priority, and overnight. Regular service is the cheapest option but the slowest, taking up to five days for delivery. Priority service is a bit more expensive but can get your letter there in two or three days. Overnight service is the most expensive option but will guarantee that your letter arrives the next day.
If you don’t have enough time to send your package, you may want to consider using an overnight service. However, regular or priority service will suffice if you can afford to wait a few extra days. Keep in mind that these transit times are estimates and not guarantees; depending on where you are sending your letter and how far it has to travel, it may take a day or two longer than expected.
- Are There Any Restrictions?
Before sending certified mail online, it is essential to check if there are any restrictions. That is because certain items are not allowed to be sent through the mail; if they are, they may incur additional fees. For example, items considered dangerous goods, such as flammable liquids or poisonous insects, cannot be sent through the mail.
In addition, certain items may require special packaging to be sent safely. For example, fragile ones such as glass or ceramicware must come with a durable packaging to prevent them from breaking during transit. By checking for restrictions before sending certified mail online, you can ensure that your package will arrive safely and without any delays.
- Do You Need A Return Receipt?
Although it’s not required, adding a return receipt to your certified mail can give you an extra layer of protection. A return receipt is a piece of paper that USPS will send back to you once your package has been delivered. This way, you’ll have proof that your package reached its destination (and when it was delivered).
If for some reason, the package you send doesn’t arrive or gets lost in transit, you can use the return receipt as evidence when filing a claim with USPS.
Remember that adding a return receipt will increase the cost of sending certified mail online, so it’s something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
- Cost Of The Envelope/Packaging You Will Need
Aside from the cost of tracking your package and insurance, you will also need to consider the cost of the envelope or packaging for your item. You can typically find these envelopes at your local post office or online. The price for these ranges depends on the size and weight of the envelope. For example, a small bubble mailer from The Postal Service store costs around USD$0.50.
Another option is to use your envelopes or packaging to lower your business expenses. However, you must ensure that it meets the USPS guidelines for certified mail. For example, the envelope must be sealed by machine and have the sender’s return address in the upper left-hand corner. The front of the envelope must also have the words ‘Certified Mail’ along with the tracking number.
Sending certified mail online is a great way to ensure that essential documents arrive on time and in one piece. By taking the time to consider these seven factors, you can rest assured that your package will arrive strictly as intended.