Ten Things I’ve Learned From Mail-Outs


Josh Bowman has licked his share of envelopes, applied his share of stamps, and affixed his share of labels. Here are some of the things he has learned from putting together mailings.

  1. When you are organizing a mailing for a non-profit organization, be careful which volunteers you ask to help you out. It can take hours to put these things together, during which time you might end up having to listen to your volunteer natter on about cats, prison life, or personal health issues.
  2. When sealing envelopes, you can use a glue stick and seal 8-10 at a time. Just put the open envelopes with the front of the envelope on the table, so that the sticky part of the envelopes are all side by side. Then just run the glue stick over all the sticky parts and seal. Yay! Alternately, use a sponge and some water; that works too.
  3. Take an extra second to ensure the labels and stamps you affix are straight on the envelope. People notice. Trust me.
  4. There is something zen when you get into the groove of doing mail-outs. Whether it’s folding letters or stuffing CDs, there is something calming about repetition.
  5. Listen to music. get an iPod, or an MP3 player, or a Walkman, and some headphones.
  6. People still respond to mail. I know, it seems strange.
  7. The order in which items go in the letters matters. What will the recipient look at first? How will they open the letter? What faces the front, what faces the back?
  8. Make sure that if letters, labels, and other forms have to be alphabetized, you keep the order the same for everything you print out. It seems obvious, but I’ve screwed it up before and it adds hours and hours to the mailing.
  9. For large mailings, go to a good mailing house (get a referral). It’s worth the expense.
  10. Postage machines are super helpful, but it’s still nice to receive a letter with a live stamp once in a while.

—Photo bettybl/Flickr

About Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman is a professional fundraiser, story-teller, comedian, and blogger. He has worked and consulted in Vancouver, New York, and now Toronto for almost a decade. Josh improvises around Toronto, including regular shows with Opening Night Theatre, and also blogs for the Huffington Post. You can email Josh here.. If you want to know more about Josh, check this post and this post out first.

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