100 Day Challenge – Random Acts Of Kindness

Scatter Kindness

Note the semi-hidden hummingbird

Amazing Random Acts of Kindness. 

You are about to embark on an amazing journey through some heartfelt, thoughtful, creative and joyful random acts of kindness.  Each Act will be described by the challenge participant in their own words.  You will be able to feel the joy it brought to both the participant as well and the recipient.

Here is how it started:

On October 15, 2013 I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave myself a 100 Day Challenge. Each day for 100 days I asked a different person to do just one random act of kindness and then tell me about it. Simple enough, right? There were no rule, no expectations, just do something that would bring a smile to someone else.

I asked 16 men and 84 women if they would participate.  For the most part,  I asked only once and did very little follow-up or reminders.   The response was amazing.  I hope you enjoy following this blog to see what Random Acts of Kindness my family, friends and colleagues came up with.

To my surprise, many participants thanked me for including them in this challenge.  The THANK YOU goes to each one of you that took on your own challenge to make a difference.

THANK YOU for making the world a better place!

Today is the last day of this challenge, tomorrow the ripple effect begins. Enjoy! To view all 100 Random Acts click on the archive to the right of this post for January 2014, February 2014, March 2014 and April 2014.

If you would like to follow this journey, check back or subscribe over on the right column to receive email notifications.

Have a Flan-tastic Day and Scatter some Kindness,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I was not completely comfortable doing this challenge.  I  felt like I was imposing on their busy lives and didn’t want anyone to feel obligated. 

 

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Sometimes EDDM is not the best choice

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I recently had a customer that was considering enlarging their envelope to qualify for EDDM.  The quantity was approx 50,000 pieces covering 6-7 different zip codes going to eastern US states. Click here for EDDM quick reference.

Why I believe this was not the best idea.

1.  Additional cost for larger custom envelope

2.  Additional printing to add City, State and Zip to each group on each magazine

3.  Shipping 50,000 pieces to each local post office.

Leaving the mailing in a #10 envelope but mailing it as a regular saturation mailing was more cost-effective.

Sometimes EDDM is a good idea and sometimes it is not.  Ask your local USPS bulk mail representative or a reputable mailing service.

Have a Flan-tastic day,

Donna Flanagin

www.mybulkmail.com

Random me: Creating three new Flanagin Fairy costumes for the 2013 Popcorn Parade.

Business Reply Mail and IMB Barcode

Retiring postnet barcode

New IMB barcode

The USPS has announced that the postnet barcode will no longer get automation postage rates as of 1/28/2013.  To continue to get automation rates you will have to use the new IMB (Intelligent Mail Barcode).

If you currently have a business reply account, you need to update your templates with the new IMB barcode before 1/28/13.  I encourage you to do this as soon as possible to avoid the rush that will surely happen come January. 

Contact your local post office and speak with the your Business Reply associate.

Have a wonder-filled day:

Donna Flanagin

Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service (Click here)

Random me: Ponder what life would be like without water.

RECENT LETTER TO MY BANK….on how they can save money.

 

Look familiar?

The following is a letter I recently sent to my bank.  Let’s see if they are interested in saving money?

Dear Dan:

     I am not soliciting business, I am just passing useful information. Because mailing is what I do for a living, I thought I would pass on this suggestion.

      There is a way for the bank to save money on their monthly statement mailings.  If you fold your statements into a 6 x 9 envelope instead of the 9 x 12 you can mail 2 ounces now for 42.4 cents. The second ounce is FREE.   You are now paying 93.2 cents.  That is a 50.8 cent savings on every statement that is 2 ounces or under.  By my mailing experience, I would guess that is the majority of your mailing.  Yes, you do have to fold the statements but I think that might be worth far less than 50 cents to you.

       This is something new that just started on January 22 of this year.  The post office included the 2nd oz for FREE on standard size mail if you’re using first class presort and you are!

      Also the cost of a 6 x 9 envelope will be cheaper than the cost of the 9 x 12 so you will save again.  This reduced postage is not available on a 9 x 12 size.

         If you have any questions, just call. 

 Warm Regards,

 Donna Flanagin (click here to go to my website) (click here to go to EDDM blog)

It’s official

Can you read this?

It’s official, receive a 3% postage discount when you apply a QR Code to your direct mail during July and August 2011.

Every little bit helps.

We can help you.

Prepare in advance.

Get the facts here. http://delivermagazine.com/mobilebarcodepromotion/

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Tell me a secret, I will keep it.

Bulk Mail Service Tip #1 – Another Way to Save Postage

 

Don’t pay too much

Here’s another easy way to save on postage. Co-mingle your metered mail.

What is co-mingled mail?  Your mail is put with other mail and presorted before it goes to the post office, because of that process it costs less to mail.  Simple and easy.  Fill out two easy forms one time, meter at a lower rate and deliver to us, save postage.

True story:

Yesterday I received a newsletter mailed by a local non-profit.  They metered 64 cents postage.  

If they would allow us to co-mingle this mail they could have saved 22.6 cents per piece. 

Doing it yourself is not always the best decision.

If you meter your mail, if you have over 100 pieces and if you want to save postage, please contact us first.  (click here)

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:   Learned to type on a manual typewriter.  What’s a manual typewriter you say?

Listen Up Non-Profits

Keeping it simple……

I had a non-profit customer today make the decision not to apply for non-profit status at the post office because she said they don’t mail often enough.

My suggestion to her was to apply anyway, it’s FREE.  IF YOU DIRECT MAIL, YOU SHOULD APPLY.

There is only a cost if you want your own permit, if you use a mail service you do not need your own permit.

Authorization number and permit number are two different things.

There is a lot of money to be saved in postage if you can qualify with the USPS as a non-profit organization.

I’m making it easy, link to application (Click Here)

Your authorization number can be used anywhere in the U.S. regardless of where you apply.

You must mail 200 pieces or 50 pounds of bulk mail per mailing.

No, you do not have to mail to only one zip code, you can mix it up any way you want.

You must mail at least once every 2 years to keep your authorization active.

You may not lend your authorization to another organization.

More questions? Contact me.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I have a horrible singing voice and that makes me sad.  I would love to be able to sing (beautifully).

Is five day delivery in the future for the post office?

 

Do you think customer service is a high priority at the post office?

I think we all will agree that the post office does a phenomenal job of delivering mail.  Put a letter in the mail one day, and it ends up in the hands of the recipient the next, sometimes even with the wrong or insufficient address.  Think about that.  Millions of pieces of mail moved all across the country every day with precise accuracy.

I think we also know they are in a financial crisis.

They are proposing 5 day delivery, already removed many corner blue mail boxes, and are consolidating or closing many post offices while simultaneously telling us customer service is important to them.

Customer service is not measured by what you say but by what you do.

Why not try upsetting the apple cart?

Can you imagine this television commercial by the post office professing their commitment to customer service?

“We are going to institute 7 day delivery, with all post offices being open 9 – 5,  7 days a week and if there is ever a line longer than 5 people, we will open another window.  We promise you will be greeted with a smile and we will find a solution to your mail needs.”

Radical?  Yes.

Impossible?  Maybe.

“If your goal isn’t impossible, you’re not reaching high enough”… jeff noel.

What do you think the post office could do to improve their customer service?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  The post office is essentially my business partner.  I live with their decisions.

Acknowledging the Children

Family Heirloom Chest

A customer walks in the door with a rambunctious child in tow, what do you do?  Does your company have procedures on how to handle unruly children and are there plenty of explicate signs letting the parents know what their child can and can’t do?

How does that look through the eyes of your customer?

We do not have a lot of children that visit our site, but when they do we make sure they feel special.

We have a treasure chest filled with trinkets.  Each visiting child is allowed to choose one treasure from the chest that usually keeps them occupied during their visit.  We also have coloring pages and offer to take their picture for our VIP Gallery.

It is a very inexpensive way to make a statement and build a relationship.

Children matter.

How do you acknowledge visiting children in your business?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Hummingbirds make me smile and hold a special place in my heart.

365 Thank Yous

Thank yous to our company

Send one thank you every day for 365 days.

Ever consider doing that?

John Kralik did.

Changed an attitude, changed a life.

Helping change the world?

365 Thank Yous by John Kralik.

What if a business did this?

Guess who published this book?

Hyperion a division of the Disney Company.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  My first house cost $27,250 back in 1974.  It was a really nice house too 🙂

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