The other day I read an interesting story about a local charity that uses an Internet service called LetterStream to produce and send fund-raising letters and postcards to their mailing list via postal mail.
They also use the same website to mail physical “Thank You” postcards to everyone who makes a donation.
In my opinion that’s a lot more personal (and effective) than thanking the donors via email.
This charity’s mailing list contains over 30,000 names and addresses, and they can create the letter or postcard online and mail it out to all of them in a matter of minutes.
What’s more, they can send out those 30,000+ letters or postcards without having to deal with the hassles involved with printing them or even having to visit the post office.
But what’s most surprising of all is the cost: They pay just 60 cents per postcard and 94 cents per letter to have them printed and mailed – and that includes the postage!
That’s probably cheaper than it would cost them to buy the paper products (postcards, stationary and envelopes) themselves and mail them from their local post office.
According to the charity in question, their average donation is over $100 so you can see how cost-effective this fund-raising method is for them. And I’m sure this service could benefit other types of organizations as well.
Bottom line: While email, text messaging and instant messaging have taken over much of the US Postal Service’s market share, there are still occasions when there’s simply no substitute for physical correspondence. And there’s no easier or cheaper way to deliver them to your recipients’ mailboxes than using LetterStream.
By the way, you don’t have to send out postcards and letters in bulk to use LetterStream’s services. You can send out smaller quantities as well (although the cost per postcard/letter will be a little higher).
Bonus tip: This post explains why you should cancel all of your unused email accounts.
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