As postal rates go up, the task of invoicing your customers can get expensive quick. One way to save money is to print your invoices on postcards. You not only save money on postage (when using a 5.5″ x 4.25″ postcard), but you also save time and money by not having to fold and stuff your invoices into envelopes.

For QuickBooks users, it is a relatively simple matter to create an invoice template that can be printed on blank postcards.

** Note the screen shots and instructions that follow were created with QuickBooks Enterprise Manufacturing and Wholesale 2008 version, but there shouldn’t be many differences. You WILL need a printer that is capable of printing many sheets per page (e.g. each sheet of paper will have four pages on it)

Step 1

Open a new invoice, and click on the customize button in the upper right hand corner (see below).

Step1 - using QuickBooks to print invoices on postcards

an alternate way to get to where we need to be is to go to the lists menu and click on templates. When the list of templates comes up, click on the one that you wish to work with (it will be highlighted black after you click it), then click on the templates button at the bottom left hand corner, and choose “edit template” (see below).

STEP 2

Click the “manage templates” button. When the manage templates screen appears, click on the template name you are working with and click the “copy” button in the lower left hand corner.

STEP 3

You will now be working with the copy you just made. Rename your template using the field in the upper right hand corner, and click OK.

STEP 4

Click on the “additional customization” button. This will bring up the screen where you can add columns, etc. Once here, click on the “print” tab. You will make two changes here: choose the “Use specified printer settings below for this invoice”, then change the orientation to “landscape”. Keep the paper size 8.5″ x 11″. Once you’re done, click “layout designer”.

STEP 5

Here is where you’ll layout your postcard to your liking. Important: Make sure you layout your design to cover the entire 11″ x 8 1/2″ sheet. There are only 5 things that we can suggest here (see image below for corresponding letter):

A. Leave room in the upper right corner for the stamp.

B. Have a copy of the due date and total amount owed on the right hand side (in case your postcard has a tear off stub that your customer can mail back to you like these)

C. Shrink your main portion of the invoice to the left hand side of the postcard.

D. Place a copy of the bill to address in the lower right hand corner of the postcard. This is so the postal scanners will be able to properly scan your customer’s address and get it delivered there.

E. Leave a 5/8″ margin at the bottom of each postcard. Sometimes the Post Office places a sticker with a bar code at the bottom. If you leave that margin available, then you won’t lose any information.

Once you’ve designed your template, you should have something that went from this:

To this:

Printing your invoices using this method you won’t be printing your invoices out one at a time, you will instead be batch printing them. When putting your invoices in, make sure that the “to be printed” checkbox is checked on each invoice.

*** These next instructions will not have any screen shots with them as they are general instructions for printers and every printer will be different.

When it comes time to print your invoices, go into the properties of your printer and find the option that lets you determine how many pages fit on a sheet of paper. Change this option to “4”. Once that is done, print out your invoices!



Blank, Printable Recycled Postcards

by Raki Wright | Last Updated June 2, 2008

In an effort to address the growing need for recycled products, Burris Computer Forms is pleased to announce an environmentally friendly addition to its Four-of-a-Kind Postcard™ line. This new product in the Burris line of blank, printable postcards is made from 30% recycled paper, which provides users the ability to print postcards in-house and still “go green.”

The postcards made from 30% recycled paper content are available on blank, white 8 ½ x 11 sheets perforated twice, for easy separating. This new product in its line of blank, printable postcards can be printed in-house on users’ own PCs, using laser or inkjet printers, or copiers.

The advantages of printing postcards in-house include fast turnaround, low cost, control of the project, and ability to print a few, or thousands, quickly and cost-effectively. Companies, churches, other non-profits, and individuals use Four-of-a-Kind Postcards™ as an easy, convenient, cost-effective way to deliver a message.



Website Paper Weight Equivalency Chart

by Raki Wright | Last Updated May 23, 2008

Burris Computer Forms announces a new tool on its website which can be used to cross reference paper weights in gsm, bond, text/book, cover, bristol, index, and tag.

The paper weight equivalency chart references the terminology a user may be more familiar with in their industry. Oftentimes paper manufacturers specify their papers’ weights in different measurements. With Burris’ new paper weight equivalency tool, users can easily find what papers their printer will handle, regardless of the way the weight is expressed.

The chart compares different paper weights to gsm or g/m2, grams per square meter — the metric measure of the density of paper, a measure often quote by printer manufacturers. Other paper measurements depend on the basis size from which to calculate its variable weight, which requires background knowledge of what size paper is used in each scenario.

A widget (a downloadable interactive tool) is available for use on any website or desktop.



What Paper Will My Printer Handle? Website Tool

by Raki Wright | Last Updated May 16, 2008
The tool allows users to view information about their printer including the maximum paper weight handled through the standard tray and bypass tray. Users can learn more about their printers and purchasing paper for it. The “What Paper Will My Printer Handle?” tool will be especially helpful to anyone who is printing on paper heavier than regular copy paper, specifically those who wish to print heavy brochures, note cards, or postcards.

 

A new chart is also available to help users compare paper weights. A widget (a downloadable interactive tool) is available for use on any website or desktop.

 



How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 5

by Raki Wright | Last Updated August 24, 2007

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 1

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 2

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 3

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 4

Mail Entry Overview:

Discount mail must be taken to your Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU). You must keep all documents and receipts for 1 year from each mailing date. Locate your BMEU at http://pe.usps.com/

This is the same office where you apply for your mailing permit, obtain and submit postage statements, and pay for your postage. The staff are a great resource for all your business mail questions. They will generally be able to answer questions about sorting, barcoding, rates, dimensions, mail piece design, and more because they verify that your mail meets these guidelines.
When you enter the office, tell the staff you have a mailing to send. They will take a sample (about 10-20 pieces) of your mailing to weigh, which will determine the weight of an individual mailing piece. Then, your postage statement and CASS Summary Report will be reviewed to compare how many pieces you stated were in the mailing. This will be compared to the weight they obtain for your full mailing. The barcoding scanner will also be used to ensure your barcodes can be read by the machinery. Your paperwork will be completed, postage paid for, and receipt issued.

I hope your BMEU is as nice and helpful as ours.



Mortgage marketing using postcards #2

by Raki Wright | Last Updated August 23, 2007

Here’s a great article on using postcards in marketing a financial service company that will save you money:

Mortgage marketing using postcards



How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 4

by Raki Wright | Last Updated August 17, 2007

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 1

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 2

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 3

Preparation Overview:

Use quality addresses.
Using a reputable database service whose goal is to help you reach your mailing objectives is key. When selecting one, be sure to ask these questions:
Is this a purchase or rental? What time period?
How often is your data updated?
Is there a guarantee on quality and address deliverability?
How often is the data cleaned and matched with the USPS National Change of Address (NCOA), ZIP+4 and Delivery Sequence File to standardize and keep the addresses accurate?
What format is the data in?
If purchasing labels, are the addresses properly formatted in ZIP+4 format with a barcode to ensure USPS scan ability?
If purchasing labels, are they in zip code order (useful in discount mailings)?
What data is included in the listing?
What is the record count and cost (based on your search criteria)?
Is there a market research report and/or preview available before purchasing?
Did the sales representative compare the SIC codes and/or descriptive codes to ensure accurate comparison?
Are there any additional fees beyond the per record fee?

Verify addresses with USPS using PC postage technology.
The mail pieces will be delivered faster if the addresses are complete and have been verified through the Post Office’s Zip Code verification system. A CASS Certification Report will be required by the post office to standardize and correct the addresses to include the ZIP+4 codes. This will minimize time-intensive, manual corrections to your database. Also, you will avoid the exorbitant postage cost of re-mailing these pieces. Printing the barcode above the mailing address is also helpful so the post office’s machines have room for any necessary markings.

Always test print on plain paper.
Avoid wasted card stock and postage before printing your entire mailing. If there are any changes to make, you will be able to do so prior to your full print.



How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 3

by Raki Wright | Last Updated August 10, 2007

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 1

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 2

Choosing a Mailing Service
We chose First Class. See pages 27-28 of “An Introduction to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations” and rate charts for all options.

Choosing a Postage Payment Method
We have used PC postage technology (prints postage directly on mail piece) and permit imprint (prints permit information directly on piece). See pages 14-15 of “An Introduction to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations” for all options. The permit application fee was $175 and the annual fee was $175. Permit imprint postage is paid for at the time of mailing, which is taken to the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) at your local post office. Dazzle Express states that permit box printing is not available for label or postcard printing. However, you can create a text box with the permit information using Dazzle Designer (included in Dazzle Express). Specifications on the permit information that must be included is here: http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/604.htm#wp1113553.



How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 2

by Raki Wright | Last Updated August 3, 2007

Read How We Saved At Least 15% on Postage: Part 1

What are you mailing?

It is important to consider which papers will work properly in your printer. We mailed Burris Four-of-a-Kind Premium Heavy Matte Postcards. You can see page 3 of “An Introduction to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations” for all mailpiece options. We printed our message using Microsoft Publisher (printing 4 at a time, on one sheet). The template we used to create our postcard can be downloaded for free Microsoft Publisher. The postage/content side was printed using Dazzle Designer (printing 4 at a time, on one sheet). Be sure to do a test print of which way to load paper, before printing your entire mailing.

Shapes, dimensions, address placement, and bar code placement matter. For help, consult the Mailpiece Design Analyst in your area https://ribbs.usps.gov/mda/mda.cfm and pages 16-17 of “An Introduction to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations“.



Postcard Marketing for Financial Service Companies

by Raki Wright | Last Updated July 31, 2007

Here’s a great article on using postcards in marketing a financial service company that will save you money:

http://ezinearticles.com/?6-Postcard-Marketing-Tips-That-Can-Improve-Your-Mortgage-Business&id=645108