Monday, August 29, 2016

"Email Address Or Postage Stamp - They Both Count"

When we choose to communicate in writing with strategic partners, business acquaintances we have just met, clients we are working with, or potential clients we are interested in serving, we essentially have two choices: a written letter or card and an email.

It could be our personal preference as to which one is used, it could be the preference of the person to whom we are sending it, it could be the expediency of it and how quickly we need it to get there, or it could have something to do with the generation in which we went to school.

Regardless, there is one huge similarity that applies to both: misspell the address line in an email and nothing happens or omit the stamp or use an insufficient amount on what is being mailed and similarly nothing happens.

Take the email address, It is so important to get it right, but so much can happen to make it wrong. Use a comma before the extension (com, net, org, etc.) and it just sits there in cyberspace with no chance of ever being delivered. There is no address that uses a comma before the domain extension.

Forget to use the at sign ("@"). Just type the recipient's name or their domain name without properly using their name (actual or email name) and domain name with the at sign in between.

If the address is a name with repeating consonants or one with numbers, transpose a number or leave off one of the letters in a pair and see what happens - not much.

Get the extension wrong as in using .com when it's really .net, and who knows where the message will be sent? Maybe that address actually exists and we'll never know that it went to the wrong person or place.

All that is before we ever get to the subject line - another place we can face challenges due the many words and phrases we can use that are practically guaranteed to get it flagged as spam by various email filters - or the message itself.

Turning to the message written on paper and mailed with a stamp, there are similar issues that we might encounter. Regardless of what message goes on the piece of paper or notecard that is placed inside the envelope, or if just a postcard is used by itself, it doesn't get to its intended recipient without that little piece of paper known as a stamp attached to it.

Of course the proper and complete address certainly helps, but that stamp has to be there.

Many years ago, the post office would merely collect from the recipient the required or deficient postage. It was called "postage due." Now the mail is simply returned to the sender and never delivered where it was intended to go.


It's really amazing the power that that little piece of paper has - a square or sometimes rectangular object with adhesive on the back that no longer requires licking it to get it to stick.

Sometimes there is a monetary amount printed on the face of the stamp - from a few cents to several dollars, depending on what is required for what is being mailed and how it is sent. Over the years, the amount needed for each use has increased dramatically except for a "once-in-a-lifetime" rollback that occurred earlier this year. No one ever recalls a reduction in stamp prices prior to this.

It turns out the stamp is pretty important - as is the address on the envelop or the one on the email message.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.