Q. What if I change my mind after paying and approving? Can I cancel or delete my job?
A. Yes! However, you must contact us ASAP with your un-approval request! If we have already begun printing and inserting, it may be possible to pull your job from the outgoing mail, but this may incur a surcharge for labor and materials, which can add up to the total cost of your job, but no more. Example: If the job was approved on a Tuesday with a mailing date of Thursday, you can safely contact us on Tuesday or Wednesday before 6 p.m. CST to un-approve your job within minutes for a full refund to your meter. However, by 9 a.m. CST on Thursday, your job may have already been printed, and pulling it involves multiple steps that will take additional time.
Q. How do I delete a job that I didn’t send and do not need anymore?
A. After you log-in and are on the main home screen, find the “Drafts” area. Select the small trash can icon next to the job number you wish to delete and confirm.
Q. I can’t review the digital proof of my mailing on the first step of the approval process.
A. Ensure your browser setting allows popups from prod.postalocity.com. After you change your settings and refresh your screen, you should be allowed to proof your job.
Q. I see a typo in the digital proof of my mail piece. Do I need to start over with the process?
A. You don’t need to start completely over. It’s really a simple matter of process and re-upload and process again. If the visual proof in Postalocity shows you are just a little off in alignment, or you need to make a text change, simply go back to your creation program and make the change there. Then save it again, delete the PDF that’s currently in the job, and re-upload the corrected one, then reprocess the job. With this approach, editing should be fast and easy until the proof looks right.
Q. My job status says “attached”. What does that mean?
A. Great question! It is an operational status, meaning it will soon be in print production.
Q. What is the physical quality of Postalocity mail pieces?
A. We use 60 pound paper, compared to thinner 20 pound paper commonly used in the office. Our trifold and bifold self-mailers are on 110 pound index. The images are photo quality and striking as long as the images you use to design your mail piece are high resolution.
Q. How confidential and secure is Postalocity?
A. The moment your document is uploaded, it is immediately encrypted. It is then moved into Postalocity behind the security walls of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has far stronger security than most of us could ever achieve. It is unencrypted at the printer, and after being printed, the system automatically deletes the file. Every piece of paper is printed upside down and barcoded. The papers are accumulated by page numbers contained in the barcodes until a mail piece is complete. They are then inserted and sealed into your custom envelope. All of this is fully automated. With barcodes on every piece, no piece of paper can be missed, double-fed, or otherwise misappropriated without the system notifying us. After printed, the system then automatically deletes that print file. An unencrypted file of your document is never available to any human, unless of course it should become necessary for our I.T. or help staff to intervene on any problems. All of this is fully automated and video recorded. There is no human interaction except for moving paper from machine to machine, and operation of the machines. With every job mailed, you have options in the system to print affidavits of mailing along with reports that could be used in proof-of-mailing needs, including a full list of all recipients by name and address. We also support Electronic Certified mail, as might be required on some of your pieces
Q. Can you provide proof my document was mailed?
A. Yes! Just not the expected way, with a traditional postal service round stamp. Log in to your account and click “Search” at the top of the page, then click “Jobs”. Click on the desired job you would like an affidavit or receipt for. On the right side of the screen, under the header “Pricing and Counts”, there are three options: 1) Receipt for Paid Job (includes the job name, job ID, mail date, piece count, date approved, total price, and price per piece), 2) Download Mailing Affidavit (includes signed letter with job details), and 3) Download Mailing Affidavit Details (includes all certified addresses and batching information). If one of these 3 options doesn’t suffice please contact us.
Q. Can I get a receipt for the funds we added to our meter?
A. Yes! We email these to you automatically using the email address you use to log in to your account. If you did not receive it, please check your spam folder. If you do not find it, please contact us! Or you can logi n and click “Search” and then click “Jobs” at the top of the page and select the job you would like a receipt for. On the right side of the screen, under the header “Pricing and Counts”, select “Receipt for Paid Job.”
Q. Is an estimate possible without configuring a job?
A. Yes. If you have something unusual, please contact us and we will discuss in greater detail. However, by the time we discuss these details (while hoping we understood it correctly), and create an estimate, it would have been much faster and far more accurate to upload the job and let Postalocity tell you precisely what it will cost without having to commit to the job. Furthermore, if you intend to become a regular user, we will permit you to forecast what you think you might mail in your first year and we can set you up with earned price discounts even before you’ve earned them. No commitments, no penalty if you don’t hit your projection. After the first year, reality will take over and adjust your true volume discount. We will have a committed customer, so no harm if it was overstated. But within Postalocity, no, there is no mechanism for making estimates without knowing what the job entails (configured and submitted).
Q. Can I upload a test job to check current addresses with the USPS?
A. Absolutely! You must first meet a few legal requirements before you can see those results. 1) Your test job has to include more than 100 addresses to qualify for NCOA (National Change of Address) processing. 2) You need to request and confirm a PAF. You can request a PAF within your account settings, underneath your default return address.
Q. Can there be multiple pages in a tri-fold brochure mailer?
A. Postalocity handles only one page for bi-fold and tri-fold brochure mailers. There is no way to accumulate, fold, and tab them with automation for more than one page.
Q. What is a PAF?
A. Processing Acknowledgement Form (PAF) is optional for Postalocity users, but it can be very beneficial. Filing a PAF allows us to show you the most current information for the customers/members in your large group mailings, enabling you to keep your records up-to-date so that no one misses out on your mailings. The PAF unlocks access to NCOALink®, a secure dataset of approximately 160 million permanent change-of-address (COA) records consisting of names and addresses of individuals, families, and businesses who submitted a change-of-address to the USPS within the last 48 months.
The Privacy Act of 1974 requires companies like Postalocity, who wish to show COA records to their customers, to file a PAF for each customer prior to processing their mailings. A PAF that is signed and confirmed by both parties is valid for one calendar year and will be kept on file with the USPS, BCC Software, and Postalocity. Your Postalocity PAF can be renewed yearly, and is completely free of charge.
Important Note: The USPS has additional requirements for checking your job against the NCOALink database. Your mailing must contain at least 100 pieces with unique addresses obtained legally (e.g. from current or prospective clients/members, or a registered list broker) for the purpose of mailing letters, invoices, news, forms or other mail without malicious intent. Finally, you may not try to create or maintain “new movers’ lists” with this NCOA Link information.
Q. What does the notification “NCOA PAF Expired” mean and how to resolve it?
A. Go to: postalocity.com/paf-form/ and complete the PAF form. Within 24 hours of submitting the form, you will receive an email from email@example.com with a link enclosed. Please click on that link and follow steps 1-4 to verify your contact information, then select “Confirm.”
Q. Why is the recipient’s address on the letter different than the address on the envelope?
A. By submitting a PAF form, Postalocity will automatically update the address on the envelope to match the most up-to-date address the USPS has on file. You can download these updated addresses during or after the job has been mailed.
Q. How does Postalocity update the recipient address on the envelope? Can I get that list?
A. Postalocity uses a reputable, third-party address verification vendor that updates its database directly from the USPS every two weeks. Each time you click “Start Processing”, Postalocity connects with this service and compares your addresses with the database. It checks for proper formatting, address changes, misspellings, and missing information. If your mailing has less than 100 recipients, processing will not check for change-of-address, but it will generate a properly formatted address know as a “CASS Certified” address. If you send over 100 mail pieces then you will receive a National Change of Address (NCOA) list via email as long as you have a PAF signed. You can choose not to update addresses in your mailing, but we do recommend downloading the list of address updates for your records.
Q. How do I download the list of updated address changes?
A. Click “Search” and then click “Jobs” at the top of the page and select the job you would like updated address information for. All pieces in the “Moves” category will be in a spreadsheet you can download (if you have a completed the PAF.) For manual changes, click “Report of All Manual Changes to this Job” if you chose to correct the addresses in our system prior to mailing. Likewise, if you want to see all the pieces in the “Low Chance of Delivery”, “Very Low Chance of Delivery”, and “Extremely Low Chance of Delivery” categories, simply click the labeled boxes and the download option is located at the top of the page.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
A. We accept direct EFT wire transfer, ACH transfer, PayPal, checks, money orders, and also credit cards.
Q. Do we need to have our own postal permit to use the service?
A. You never need your own permits. Your mail will use our permits.
Q. How do I create a certified letter?
A. We have created a full video tutorial on this subject, click HERE to watch it.
Q. How do I track my certified letter sent through Postalocity?
A. If you select “Electronic Signature” in your settings, you will get an email from the USPS when your piece is delivered (costs extra). If no signature is requested, you can find tracking information once the mail piece has the job state of “Mailed.” If the job state is “Attached” you will not have access to a tracking number because the certified letter has not been scanned and processed into the postal system (processing occurs Mon – Fri, 8 am – 3 pm, CST).
Once the certified mail piece has been processed on the next business day, the tracking information can be found within that approved and mailed job. In this video we show you how to find your tracking information. Click “Search” and then click “Jobs” at the top of the screen, find your certified mail job, select it, then select the green “Tracking Information” button. The next screen will pull up a box labeled “Certified Information” located in the bottom right side of the screen. The Certified Information will populate and you can copy and paste the tracking information into the USPS website https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction_input to see live updates. More great information can be found on the Post Office’s website at: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Certified-Mail.
Q. Do I need to pay for certified postage to get tracking information for my letter?
A. In most cases you do not, as long as the mail piece you are sending has a valid address that matches a standard address in the USPS system and it has 6 sheets or less to be mailed in a #10 (standard size) envelope. To know if your address matches a standard USPS address, after entering the address and processing the job, the address will be highlighted in green saying “Good Domestic Address.” If your mail piece meets these standards, our system will automatically print a special Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) below the address on the envelope. This IMB will be scanned by the USPS as it travels closer to its destination. Unfortunately the mail carrier doesn’t always scan those mail pieces correctly or for some other reason it is undeliverable, which occurs less than 5% of the time. The USPS sends Postalocity regular updates on scanned IMBs, and we automatically post these updates to the Mail Pieces page for each individual piece.
To find the IMB tracking number after you have mailed your job you can click “Search” and then click “Jobs” at the top of the screen, find the mail job you want information about, select it, then select the green “Tracking Information” button. The next screen will pull up a box labeled “Tracking Information” located in the bottom right side of the screen, which will tell you the most recent phase of your mail piece. The phase correlates to the information below.
- Phase 1 – Origin Processing – Distribution of originating mail
- Phase 2a – Destination MMP Processing – Mail that is processed at a destinating facility that has arrived from another processing plant or ADC labeled presort trays
- Phase 2b – Destination SCF Processing – Primary distribution of one or more 3-digit ZIP Code separations for a destinating plant from an origin plant or SCF labeled presort tray
- Phase 2c – Destination Primary Processing – Primary 5-digit distribution of incoming mail for local zones, delivery units, firms, box sections, and other local destinations
- Phase 3a – Destination Secondary Processing – Distribution of carrier route mail for local delivery units, firms, box sections, and other local destinations
- Phase 3b – Destination Box Mail Processing – Distribution of mail to PO Box sections or firms
- Phase 3c – Destination Sequenced Carrier Sortation – Sequenced distribution of carrier route mail for local delivery units, firms, box sections, and other local destinations
- Phase 4c – DeliveryHandling unit distributed to a carrier for delivery
Q. Can I upload and mail a PDF form that I filled in digitally?
A. Yes. Some PDF files are layered, and some are flat. “Layered” means it is made up of layers of text and images, and “flat” means it is just one big picture of pixels. How to easily tell the difference: on a layered PDF you can highlight text for copy and paste, but on a flat PDF you can’t highlight and select any text because it’s just one big picture.
The solution is easy. After you have filled out the form, flatten the PDF before uploading it to Postalocity. This can be done in various ways. If you have a program that has a “flatten image” option, you can try that, but we have seen remnant problems where these are not fully flattened, and problems remain. You can try it, then check it carefully in the Postalocity approval process to see that everything looks right.
The surefire way to flatten the image is print it to a printer, then scan it back in as a PDF file. Black and white works nicely; color scanning can leave a grayish background, but it will be flat in any case.
Now you can mail it easily through Postalocity, with one caveat: because it’s a flat image now, Postalocity cannot use a capture zone to read the address. All you have to do is manually enter the recipient address, and you’re good to go!
Q. Can I send international mail through Postalocity?
A: Yes! Postalocity is a great option for sending international mail! Since all postage is calculated before your job is approved, you never have to worry about underpaying or overpaying for international postage. Before you send your international mail, there are a few things we’d like you to know.
Postalocity is based in the United States, and sends mail through the USPS. So be aware of the following guidelines and restrictions:
- Always put the country at the bottom of the address block, and make sure that your letter is categorized as “International” on Postalocity’s address quality page. If the country name is not included or is incorrect, your mail may not be flagged as international, and will not be mailed with enough postage.
- Check for Temporary Service Disruptions: Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USPS has experienced temporary service disruptions with certain countries. You may see the full list HERE. This list is updated regularly.
- No Certified Mail: The USPS only operates on US soil, so the Certified Mail service is unavailable for international delivery addresses.
- Very Limited Tracking: The only tracking available for International mail is Priority International Mail Tracking. This option is costly, and is only available by upgrading to a Priority Flat.
- No Bi-fold and Tri-fold self-mailers: Specific physical properties of this type of mail prevent us from sending them internationally.
But we have great news for you if you are located outside the United States, and would like to send mail to a US address. Postalocity will not treat this as international mail, since we print and send mail from within the US. Many of our international customers who are sending mail to the US benefit from the lower postage cost and faster delivery time provided by Postalocity.
Brief Knowledge Share: Postalocity normally works with layered PDFs, so that it can read the addresses. Whenever you “save as PDF” from your source program, it is going to be layered. Normally this is something you don’t need to worry about, or even know about. You might find the option to “print to image”, and that can avoid the scanning back in of a printed piece. That will make a JPG or similar image file, which you’ll then need to convert back into a PDF.
Forms that you fill out digitally, like a tax form, for example, are layered, but what you type in is not part of the original .pdf. It’s saved as metadata. Postalocity will not be able to properly handle these types of .pdfs. Things will get misinterpreted and won’t print correctly. If you try, you will see the problems when you proofread during the approval process.