Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Certified mail is a service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides you with added security and assurance. This service offers proof of either a letter or package being both mailed and delivered. It is usually used when you have important or time-sensitive documents to be sent.
There are a few basic options when it comes to certified mail. They include:
- Certified Mail – You will be provided with a tracking number so you can go online and check to make sure it was delivered.
- Certified Mail with Return Receipt – This option has a green card that the customer signs. The card will then be mailed back to the sender for their records.
- Certified Mail with Electronic Return Receipt – This is when you are also provided with a copy of the receipt in PDF format, available online for up to 10 years.
- Certified Mail with Return Receipt and Restricted Delivery – This ensures that the only person who can sign for the item is the person whose name is found on the letter or package. The other forms of certified mail only require someone at that address sign for the item.
Prove You Sent It
There are times when you may need to provide documentation of a delivery. It could be for legal reasons, for example, or for an item you sold on eBay. Showing proof that you sent the item will usually work well in your favor.
eBay is a perfect example of why you should use certified mail. Because the service consists of independent buyers and sellers, almost everyone relies on user ratings and reviews to determine if they want to do business with that person.
If you mail out a package and it gets lost in transit, eBay will ask you for proof that you sent it. If you don’t have proof, they will usually refund the buyer’s money and take it out of your account. The buyer could be lying about not getting it for all you know, but it doesn’t matter without proof.
In the event that an item gets lost, people may get annoyed and leave you a bad review and rating. It happens… but it doesn’t have to. Paying the extra money to be able to track that package is worth it to avoid a potential headache.
Optional Return Receipt
Some people opt to spend extra money on getting a return receipt. This will show the person’s signature and information on when the package was delivered. A new feature the Postal Service started offering is electronic receipts.
The USPS decided to do this because it is more cost effective and reliable. Electronic receipts are less likely to be lost and because they no longer take up any physical space, are available to customers for up to 10 years.
For many small businesses, it can be very important for them to keep records of all transactions. This is a good option to have to help make it easier for them to run their company. With all your tracking receipts electronically stored for you by the USPS for up to 10 years, it is one less thing for you to have to worry about.
For small business owners, it is always important to satisfy your customers’ needs and prove to them that you value their business. Taking the extra step of sending important documents to your client via certified mail shows how serious you are about your company.
It’s also a way of letting your customer see that you care about their privacy. Items sent through certified mail are much more secure. This can help you build long-lasting relationships with your clients.
A Sense of Urgency
Letters and packages that you are required to sign for are usually opened immediately. This might be good for people who are worried that their letter may just get tossed aside and forgotten about.
Common Postage Mistakes
When sending out mail, having the incorrect amount of postage on your letter or package could cause it to be returned, resulting in loss of time and money. For documents that are time-sensitive, you can rely on certified mail to ensure it gets delivered.
Postal workers can guide you through the steps if needed. Learning even more certified mail tips can help prevent any future errors from occurring.
Using the United States Postal Service’s website, you can check up on your certified mail using the provided tracking number. This feature has the capability of telling you where the item is located right now, expected delivery date, as well as other post offices that already handled the package on its way to the final destination.
Another reason why this feature is nice is because it gives you peace of mind. When on tight deadlines, you are probably already stressed. The last thing you want to worry about is mail getting lost. Certified mail can eliminate this concern.
P.O. Boxes and Not Being Home
For those unaware, certified mail and packages can be sent to a P.O. Box. A notification is placed inside the P.O. Box to inform the owner that they have a package at the main desk. When they go to pick it up is when they will sign for it.
Another concern is people not being home or available to answer the door. Generally, the post office will only leave one or two notices at your home before requiring you to come to the USPS facility to sign for it and pick it up. This makes sense, as a lot of people work during the day.
Even though certified mail costs more than regular mail, you can expect to save some money because of the reliable service. With first-class mail possibly getting lost, you don’t want to have to worry about losing customers and clients as a result.
Now that you know about the benefits of certified mail, you’ll probably be more likely to use it for yourself or your small business in the future. The benefits are worth the extra cost. You will be glad to have such a convenient service around the next time you need to mail an important item.