FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Next steps after installation
cloudPOST Overview
Create your letter
Sending
Address Validation Options
Costs
Technical
Environment


System Requirements:

Microsoft Windows XP with service pack 2 or Windows Vista. Windows XP may require a free Microsoft .NET update (available here). If this is not found on your PC the cloudPOST Driver setup process will prompt you to download and install it. Once the .NET Framework is installed you will need to run the cloudPOST Driver setup again to complete the installation. There is now also a 64-bit version of the Driver available.

Security information:

As soon as you press "Send it cloudPOST" within the cloudPOST Driver, your letter will be securely encrypted by the software. This means that your letter cannot be read by others whilst in transit and will be printed automatically and securely at the cloudPOST print facility closest to the destination address.

Next steps after installation

Portal:

1. Login and start sending by following the simple steps (see User Guide for more information).

Driver:

1. Prepare your document(s) in your usual word processing or accounting software
2. Print your document, but select cloudPOST from the printer list, instead of your usual printer
3. The Driver window opens, allowing you to preview your letter before you send it
4. When you are ready to send your letter, "Send It cloudPOST" (see User Guide for more information).

cloudPOST overview

How can it save me time?

Your business no longer has to spend time printing, folding and addressing all your correspondence.

How can it save me money?

Printing, folding, envelopes and Royal Mail delivery are all included in the price of sending a letter cloudPOST, which is more or less the same cost as a second class stamp.

How is it printed?

We print your letter on quality paper, using state of the art digital printers.

What can I send?

You can send up to 8 sheets of double-sided A4 paper (16 sides). These could be letters, statements, invoices or marketing material.

Why not send an email?

cloudPOST provides the impact of a letter with the ease of an email. People are more likely to read and respond to a letter than an email.

How do I pay?

You upload credit to your account using a credit or debit card. For larger amounts, you can also send payments offline if you are a corporate user. If you are a corporate user and wish to use this service then please email operations@cloudsmartuk.com. Each time you send a letter, the cost of the letter is deducted from your balance.

Is there a limit to the amount of credit I can upload?

No, although we prefer higher amounts to be sent offline.

Do you collect my mail?

No. You send your mail to us by pressing 'print' in your usual software and selecting cloudPOST from the printer list.

I am not a company, can I still use the service?


Anyone can send a letter cloudPOST, however, if you are a low volume user, we are unable to respond to technical support requests. There is no minimum or maximum volume.

I am an organisation with many different employees, can I have different accounts?

Yes. Please email us at operations@cloudsmartuk.com.

Why is my post delivered by Royal Mail?

Because Royal Mail have an incomparable service for door to door delivery and are remarkably efficient at delivering the final mile.

I have received a letter sent with the service, what does this mean for me?

This means that whoever sent the letter to you is using the cloudPOST service and has saved money on their mailing. They have also reduced the carbon emissions associated with sending you that letter by up to 80%.


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Create a Letter

How do I create a letter?

Just create your document in your normal way, no change.

Does it matter where on the page I put the address?

Yes. The address must be in the top left corner of the page, positioned so it will appear in the window of the envelope. Read more about address positioning.

What if I don't know the full address?

Your letter needs to include a full, accurate address, including the postcode however our service has a built-in address validation facility that will be able to automatically resolve most of the minor address corrections. Alternatively, you can check addresses using the Royal Mail's postcode checker.

Can I include colour?

Yes, you can choose colour or black-and-white.

Can I print double-sided?

Yes, you can choose to print single or double-sided. You can send up to 8 double-sided sheets (16 sides in total)

Can I sign my letter?

You can include a digital image of your signature, but you cannot physically sign the letter.

Can I have my letterhead on my mail?

Yes, you can include a digital version of your letterhead in your letter. There are detailed instructions on how to do that here. We print on state of the art printers, we are confident that your letter can look just as good as if it was printed onto your pre-printed letterhead stock.

What will my letters look like when they get there?

Your letter will appear just as if you had printed it in your office and posted it yourself, as long as you have positioned the address correctly. The only things we add are small codes near the address and at the bottom right of the page to help the sorting process. If your address is not listed in the Postcode Address File, we will endeavour to correct it if we can.

Can I include signatures and photos in the body of the letter?

Yes. As long as the address is positioned correctly your letter can contain any imagery. When including images please ensure that the resolution is no more than 300dots per inch (dpi) in order to maintain a file size that can be processed quickly and still maintain excellent clarity.

What size paper do you use?

We print on A4 paper. We fold it in half to A5 size and put it in a C5 envelope.

What weight of paper do you use?

We print on a minimum of 90gsm paper.

Can I select the colour / type of paper?


No, at the moment we print on white A4 paper folded in half. We hope to offer a wider range of paper stock in the future.

Can I select the colour / type of envelope?

No, at the moment we use white C5 (half A4) envelopes. We hope to offer a choice of envelopes in the future. The envelope looks like this.

How many pages can I send within my letter?

Up to 8 pages (16 sides) of paper. This limit is set by the number of sheets that will safely fit into the envelopes that we use.

Do I need to write the letter online?


No. Write your letter in the normal way in your usual software, press print and select "Send it cloudPOST" from the list of printers. Alternatively, you can upload a letter to our web portal

Do I have to scan in my letter?

No. Write your letter in the normal way in your usual software, press print and select "Send it cloudPOST" from the list of printers. Alternatively, you can upload a letter to our web portal

Will it work with any software?

Yes. Write your letter in the normal way in your usual software, make sure the address is positioned correctly, press print and select "Send it cloudPOST" from the list of printers. Alternatively, you can upload a letter to our web portal.


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Sending

If I don't have word processing software can I write a letter using your software?

Not at this stage, although future versions of the cloudPOST Portal will allow you to prepare letters online.

Can I send a letter from my laptop, or a computer if I'm abroad?

Yes. You can use the cloudPOST Driver on any Windows computer (running XP SP2 or later, Vista or Windows 7). Or you can log into the cloudPOST web Portal and upload a letter there.

Can I add an insert to my mailing?


Only if your insert is A4 folded in half, and the total number of sheets in your letter is 8 or fewer. At the moment, we don't offer other paper sizes or fold types, although this will be available in the future.

Do all letters have to be folded?


Yes. Folding your letters allows us to offer you the lowest postage prices. We fold and insert your letters into C5 envelopes (half of A4). Keeping them as A4 would mean they would fall into a high price bracket for delivery by Royal Mail.

How long does it take to set up?


The cloudPOST Driver can be installed in a few minutes and you are ready to send as many letters as you want once you've uploaded credit. We estimate that the entire process from registration to successful sending of your first letter takes around 30 minutes.

Can I send a letter to any address?

You can send a letter to any UK address, we don't currently offer international delivery.

Can I send a letter to a foreign address?


Not yet, we hope to offer international delivery in the future.

Can I send a letter to the UK from overseas?

Yes. You can send a letter from anywhere in the world to any UK address.

Can I send a mail merge document?

Yes. You can send a mail merge document using the cloudPOST Driver, or the Portal. See our help section for more information.

How many letters can I send?

As many as you like, there is no minimum or maximum volume.

Is there a limit to the size of file I can send?

Yes. In order for your document to be processed quickly we strongly recommend that each side of a document should not be larger than 400kb. There are a number of practical reasons for this, around security and processing and there should never really be a reason for the files to be very big. If you are sending imagery within the document, please make sure that the resolution of the images is not unnecessarily high. If you are inserting pictures into a Word document from a file on your computer then you can reduce the size of your document considerably by saving these as lower resolution images before inserting them into your letter.

How long does it take to process my letter?


Around 30 seconds, however do not be concerned if this process takes slightly longer as factors such as time of day and file size can make a difference.

Is there a cut off time for printing?

No. You can print at any time of day or night, even at weekends.

Can I recall my letter after sending it?

No. Once you have previewed it, and sent it, you cannot recall it (just like if you put it in a post box).

How do you check the address?


We check the address with Royal Mail while the preview of your letter is being generated. This helps increase the accuracy of your mailing and allows us to offer the very lowest postal prices

Can I send letters to a BFPO (British Forces Post Office) address?


Not yet, we are working on it.


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Address Validation Options

What are the extra address validation options?

There are extra options for handling your addresses which allow you to ignore address corrections and force through invalid addresses, provided that the address has a valid postcode.

When should I use these options?


We recommend that you only use these options if you have an accurate address source and have already followed our instructions on correctly formatting your addresses. If you have done this and a lot of your addresses are not being recognised, or if our system is changing the addresses in a detrimental way, then you should try out this feature.

How does the 'ignore address corrections' option work?


Our system checks every address and, if possible, will try to improve any problematic addresses to allow an exact match to a known address in the Royal Mail database. Sometimes this can have some unexpected results, especially for some more complex addresses. Provided that the address is a fairly close match, using the ignore address corrections option will stop any changes being made to the original address.

In short - choose this option if you do not want us to make changes to your addresses.

How does the 'force invalid addresses' option work?

Provided that the address that you supply has a valid postcode, this option will skip all validation and not make any changes to your address.


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Costs

How much does using cloudPOST cost?

You pay only for the post you send. Whichever method you use to send your letters a single sided black and white letter costs just 45p+VAT with an extra 4p+VAT for each extra side. A single page colour letter is 52p+VAT with an extra 8p+VAT for each extra side. Additional paper is charged at 2p+VAT per sheet for both colour and mono.

How much can I save?


This will depend slightly on your current posting process. It costs about 50p - 80p to print, fold, and frank a letter manually. Much more if you are walking to the Post Office to buy stamps or spending time collating and folding letters. See here for detailed cost breakdown.

Is there a subscription fee?

There is no subscription or membership fee with cloudPOST, you just pay for the post that you send.

What special deals are available, can I get a discounted rate if I set up a large credit balance in advance?

If you are sending more than 1,000 items a month, please email sales@cloudPOST.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and we can talk about prices.

How can you charge such competitive prices?

We replace expensive and inefficient transport and logistics with cutting edge technology.

What is included in the price?

All stationery, printing, fulfilment and delivery.

Why is there an extra charge for these options?

Our competitive pricing relies on us providing a high percentage of accurate addresses to the Royal Mail. This is guaranteed only when addresses are validated by our system, so we cannot offer as low prices for addresses which do not exactly match what's in the Royal Mail's Postcode Address File.


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Technical

What is a printer driver?

A printer driver is a piece of software that converts the data to be printed to the form specific to a printer. The purpose of printer drivers is to allow applications to do printing without being aware of the technical details of each printer model.

When I downloaded the Driver a window popped up asking me about the security certificate of the software. What does this mean?

This pop-up is part of the security process carried out by Windows. If you receive one or more security warnings asking if you want to continue the download, click "yes" in each case.

How long does it take to download and install the software?

The software is approximately 4.5Mb in size, and takes about five minutes to download and install.

Is the software simple to install and set up?


Yes - just download it from here and follow the instructions on the screen. Please press RUN when the download starts.

What operating system does it run on?


To run the cloudPOST Driver you need to be using Windows XP (SP2 or later), Vista or WIndows 7.

Does the Driver work on 64-bit versions of Windows?


Yes - There is a new version now available for download that supports 64-bit version of Windows.

Is there a Mac version?

There is not a Mac version of the Driver, however, Mac users can use the Portal to upload a document and send it from there.

My postcode is not recognised, why?

If you are certain the postcode is valid, please contact us for assistance.

Why does my address need to be in a specific place?

So that it will appear in the window of the envelope, and so that our software can find and read the address accurately. Click here for details of the best position to put the address.

My address has been covered over, why?

When you press print we remove the address, reformat it to make sorting as efficient as possible and then replace it. This makes sure that your address can be read clearly by Royal Mail. You should make sure that there is no other text within the windowed area as this will be removed. See here for detailed advice on correctly positioning the address.

The date on the letter has been tagged onto the start / end of the address. Why?

You need to leave a blank space around the address. Anything in the address area might be misread as part of the address. See here for detailed instructions on how to correctly position the address in your letter.

What is the blank space on the lower right of my letter template?


This space is left blank so that we can put a small code on the paper. This code is used to ensure that all pages within your letter are collated accurately and enclosed together.

Why is there a code on my letter?


This is used in the sorting of your letter and means we can offer the lowest possible postage prices.

Can I share my account?


Yes, you can share an account, and multiple users can be logged into an account at the same time.

Can I share the cloudPOST Driver?

Yes.

May I try to reverse engineer the cloudPOST Driver?

No. All rights are reserved and we would really rather you did not.

How much does the software cost?

The software is free. You only pay for the post you send.

If I can use it online, why should I download the Driver?

Sending individual letters can be faster using the Driver and in addition to this you do not have to save your documents anywhere, simply print from your usual software.

Can I buy the cloudPOST Driver?


The Driver is free to use but is not for sale.

Does it work on Windows XP?


Yes, as long as you have an up-to-date version of Windows XP (service pack 2 or later).

Does it work on Vista or Windows 7?


Yes.

I have pressed "print" but nothing seems to be happening?

Check that the cloudPOST Driver window hasn't opened up behind your other windows.

How do I know my letter has been sent?

A message will appear on the Driver telling you that your letter has been sent successfully. You also have the option to request an email confirmation when your letter is sent.

Do I have to limit the length of the address?


The address must have fewer than 7 lines including name and postcode.

Why do I have to limit the length of the?address?

This is down to the size of the envelope window and the way in which Royal Mail sort the mail for final delivery. If the recipient has a particularly long address, you can remove the County to save some space (county is not used by Royal Mail for sorting).

I don�t know the postcode, what can I do?


Future releases of the cloudPOST Driver will include a postcode checker built-in, but for now you can check the postcode using the Royal Mail's postcode finder.

I wish to stop using the service, what do I need to do?

When using cloudPOST you only pay for the post you send, there are no membership or subscription fees. You can stop and start sending letters whenever you wish.


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Environment

Is this a more environmentally friendly way to send letters, and how does it reduce emissions?

We replace trucks with technology, reducing the impact of transporting letters around the country. Your letters will be printed at the secure cloudPOST print centre located closest to the destination address, making delivery faster, cutting costs and the carbon footprint. Sending a letter cloudPOST will reduce the carbon footprint of your letter significantly.

How is it greener?

cloudPOST has a network of high end digital printers located strategically around the country. These experienced and secure facilities are used to reduce the impact and cost of transporting mail around the country.

How much greener is it?


Carbon Planet, a carbon auditing firm, has concluded that based on various letter weights and journeys the cloudPOST system can reduce carbon emissions by at least 80%. When international mailings and an equivalent service to 1st Class is offered, this rises to around 95%.

Do you use recycled paper?

No, although we hope to offer this as a choice in the future.

Can I have more info on the green credentials?

Yes, here is a summary of the environmental benefits of cloudPOST.

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