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5+ Reasons Your Business Needs A Virtual Mailbox

Businesses and individuals alike, will oftentimes contemplate if getting a virtual mailbox, is the right choice for them. Ever since the early 2000’s and the boom of the Internet, there has been an increase in demand for virtual addresses; platforms that will upload postal mail in a digital format. 

 

Some of the primary reasons why someone would want to sign up for a virtual mailbox service, differ depending on the size of the company and nature of operations. 

 

For small businesses, one of the primary reasons they want to leverage the use of virtual mailboxes, is due to the associated virtual address that comes with it. For larger companies & corporations however, registering a virtual mailbox is more than just about getting a fancy looking address or registering a new LLC with the State. For larger companies, it’s all about outsourcing mail & digitizing the mail room

 

Here are 5 reasons why your organization needs a virtual mailbox for business. 

Ribbon cutting for a new business

 

You Own A Small Business

 

When you decide to start a new company you will be required to not only file with the secretary of state, but also receive government mail pieces from that point on. What happens, especially in the case of startup online businesses, is the owner usually wants to run their business from home, without exposing that residential address online. 

 

Using your home address for the sake of a business registration, in addition to security risks, will create a wave of incoming mail (in addition to what you’re getting already.) Depending on the complexity of your operations, it will always be something getting in your way that takes your attention & time away from your job of running operations. 

 

Another reason to consider a virtual mailbox for your small business, is that showcasing a home address as the address of your business, will reflect negatively on you as a business owner. Everyone knows it’s more convenient and cheaper to use their home address for business purposes; but it does not look professional. If maintaining a professional look to your brand matters, then you should consider distancing home from business. 

 

Snail mail going into a computer and smart phone

 

You Need Streamlined Mail Management

 

As mentioned earlier, larger corporations tend to lean on virtual mailboxes for the sake of a more streamlined mail management system. When you consider payroll, maintaining physical storage and the headache of dealing with paper mail, you quickly realize why companies such as Shell & Netflix, look for a virtual mail processing experience. At the time of writing this blog, Covid-19 has also set in as a reality, with several areas of “offline” life going virtual, with the flip of a switch. 

 

Handing mail online is more than just avoiding to deal with paper however; a virtual mailbox platform will typically allow for several users to manage mail from a single account. Think of it as “seats.” Depending on the size of the company and the amount of mail you receive, you can have 1 or more people manage all mail virtually. And it can be some assistant remotely located from your corporate offices (if you have hired from abroad.) Finally, taking mail virtual from a corporate perspective, allows for business management & cloud storage tools to document important files and keep everything in one place. 

 

virtual check deposit

 

You Want To Complete Check Deposits Virtually

 

An often overlooked perk of using a virtual mailbox, is the added feature of an in-account check deposit. What that means is, you get to request some bank check be deposited to your bank of choice, from your desktop or smartphone device. Examples of companies that benefit from a feature like this, are property management companies. The amount of mail they need to deal with as well as checks, can sometimes become overwhelming for office staff to handle. Or simply, these firms would like to have their staff focus on activities such as showing units & maintaining high occupancy rates. 

 

Being able to deposit bank checks remotely, comes very handy if the person in charge is in an out of state location and it saves that employee several trips & time to the bank. 

 

Virtual addresses

 

You Want One Virtual Address For Life

 

Registering a virtual address, means that regardless of where you decide to relocate, your mailing address stays the same. Think about it; if you decided to move to some other office location, would you change your phone number?

 

Registering a virtual mailing address is similar to getting a phone line; you are not location dependent and can move anywhere without leaving your mail behind. The alternative is keeping track of all mail correspondence and contacts that will need to be updated on your address switch (that includes online directories, your website, Google etc.)

 

Maintaining a permanent address shows consistency as well; if the nature of your business is such that you need to move occasionally, then being able to show that you are staying put in one location will only help the image of your brand. 

 

Google postcard verification

 

You Need A Physical Address For Marketing & Google Verification Purposes

 

When you have an online business or a business that does not require a physical location, it is very tempting to use a home address. However, as mentioned before, doing so puts you into so many liability and privacy risks that really do not make it worth it at all. Another reason you may want to distance your home from your online business, is for the purpose of marketing and getting the Google postcard. If you are trying to rank on Google Maps, as your marketing advisors probably recommend, getting a Google Postcard sent and verifying your Google My Business listing is an essential part to ranking on Google Maps.

 

You do not need to actively operate out of that address location, since you have the option of selecting Google’s “phone driven business” option. It’s basically one of the ways of setting up your Google My Business account, so that customers do not actually drive to your location (which would be virtual) but still get to see that you are local to their city. After completing a Google Map verification, most likely you will also be picked up by a bunch of other directories online in their effort to push your brand forward into a larger audience. Using a home address in cases like that, means that your location (residence) will be seen by a lot more people than you would like, online. Therefore using a virtual address for your business, can come in handy with protecting your home while marketing your business online effectively.

 

A map with the zoning of a city

 

Complying To Address Zoning Laws

 

Zoning is a process via which land is divided into zones in which certain land uses are allowed or prohibited. Other factors like the sizes & placement of buildings may also be regulated. Essentially, areas of land are divided into zones as a technique of land-use planning which is a tool for urban planning.

 

One of the biggest problems a local business will run into, in using a personal home address as their business address, is the zoning laws that are in effect for your county. There are certain parts of your county that are designated as residential or business. What that means is, you cannot operate a business within a residential district and vice versa. Therefore, if you happen to be located in a “residence only” area and you are trying to register a business with that address, it probably won’t be as easy as you’d think.

 

Something to keep in mind, is that zoning laws change all the time. And especially if you live in a city with no current zoning in place (e.g Houston) this could be subject to change. So you may find yourself a few years down the road, where it wasn’t a problem having a business in a particular side of town, but then due to a change in zoning laws you have to deal with a series of legal battles.

 

Physical mailboxes

 

It’s Faster To Get A Virtual Address Than A PO Box

 

When you consider your alternative options in dealing with the registration of your business and the address requirements that follow, you are only left with a PO Box. But signing up for a PO Box is not exactly an instantaneous type of process. First you will need to fill out paperwork,  as well as select the people that are authorized to access your box and of course pick up your keys. Getting a PO Box also means you need to stay on top of mail, so it does not reach the box capacity.

 

When you get a virtual mailbox instead, you are able to receive mail, pretty much right after sign up has occurred. And then you have mail clerks who work on your behalf to sort through the junk mail and only deliver mail that is important to you. Additional perks of course include the fact that you do not need to head to the post office every week, but you can rather check all your mail online with the click of a button.

 

physical mailboxes at a postal center

 

Virtual Mailboxes Are Cheaper Than Physical Mailboxes

 

Think about it; all your mail is stored in the cloud which means that the postal center does not need to save all your files physically nor have that many physical mailboxes. That results in lower lease expenses which extend to lower prices for you as a consumer. In short, getting a virtual mailbox is a cheaper alternative to a physical mailbox (usually half the price) and the cancellation terms are usually more favorable to you as well without any cancellation penalties or fees.

 

Depending on what company you decide to work with, you can select from a variety of virtual mailbox terms and extend the subscription once your term is up. A typical physical mailbox will ask you to sign a contract on a longer term agreement; something that you cannot opt out of as easily. The other advantage of course, is that everything can be done virtually from anywhere in the world and you do not need to walk into any physical office to sign these agreements. You will be sent an electronic agreement (think docu-sign) and you’re good to go. Some companies do not even require an agreement. You just sign up from their website and that’s it!

 

People networking online

 

Networking Opportunities With Virtual Mailboxes & Virtual Offices

 

Many companies that decide to sign up for a virtual mailbox for their mail, can easily opt in for a virtual office. These are co-working (or private) spaces that you can physically attend and book throughout the week, with an on site secretary to handle your calls while you’re away (and much more.) If you are in a particular industry that requires ongoing expansion of your network, getting a PO Box with the Post Office will only give you some life long friends with the clerks there. But when it comes to growing your business and interacting with other people, it won’t do much for it.

 

Some companies, have virtual offices and virtual mailboxes integrated as one. Although a virtual office may be a bit more expensive, it’s something you can easily upgrade or downgrade from at any time. This can be very helpful for people that are on the fence as to what type of a structure they want to their business (online versus in person or a combination of both.) You can sign up for a virtual mailbox, and if you see you want the in-person benefits, moving over to a virtual office is a piece of cake. But you would never be able to transfer from a physical mailbox to an in person office. And completing a change of address when you come to that realization to switch from physical mailbox to virtual office, can be quite the hassle (not to mention confusing to clients.)

 

an envelope in a postal mailbox

 

In Summary

 

The common point that connects all 5+ reasons for getting a virtual mailbox, is convenience. Being able to handle check deposits from your desktop or mobile device, having someone virtually manage mail on your behalf & the sense of 24/7 on demand access, just allows you to focus on things that matter to your organization.

 

The larger your company is, the more moving pieces and pressing issues that you need to focus your attention on. Mail should not be making your top 20 list of things that you need to look out for.

 

To learn more, navigate through our enterprise mailing solutions and if you need a custom proposal for your company, you can send us a message here. 

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USPS Informed Delivery Review

Today we will be covering a USPS concept that is very well known and used by residents, and that has really transformed the way we manage mail in the 21st century.

 

Informed Delivery is being used by more & more households, and here at US Global Mail, we thought doing a thorough review of this USPS service, would be helpful.

 

So here we go…

 

Informed delivery app on a smartphone

 

What Is Informed Delivery?

 

USPS Informed Delivery is an online system that enables you to have early access to your incoming mail, enter any delivery details, track parcels and schedule re-delivery attempts. At present, businesses aren’t permitted to use the service; only residential addresses can benefit from it.

 

Before you get too excited, however, you will have to find out whether or not your zip code is eligible to use this feature. To do this, you’ll have to go to the United States Postal Service website and upload a proof of address, ID document (passport, driving license or government-issued ID card) and already possess a USPS account.

 

The main mission of this feature is to allow you to remotely preview your upcoming mail via a smartphone, tablet or computer before you physically receive it. Thus, you can quickly and easily keep on top of your mail and update delivery details if needed.

 

USPS delivery trucks

Does Informed Delivery Show All Mail?

 

Once your letter enters the USPS Mail and Distribution center, you will be sent an email notification with a black and white picture of the exterior. Typically, magazines, catalogs and packages won’t be scanned — only those that are the size of a normal letter will be processed through the Informed Delivery service.

 

Having said this, you will be sent information such as tracking numbers, delivery date and the sender of any packages that you receive. The only kicker is that there won’t be an image to go along with it.

 

Only the first ten letter pictures will be sent via email notifications. To find the rest, you will have to log in to the USPS app or online platform and take a look at your Informed Delivery dashboard.

 

All scanned images will be present on the aforementioned dashboard for a week. Any package updates will be shown for 15 days. After these periods, they will automatically be removed.

 

Don’t worry, no one is going to open your mail. You simply get early access to the exterior so you can stay up to date with any mail you are sent while you’re travelling.

 

Informed delivery on a website and smart phone device

How to Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

 

Signing up for the USPS Informed Delivery service can be relatively tricky (especially if you don’t already have a personal account with the United States Postal Service). Thankfully, this guide will walk you through everything step by step.

 

Step One

Navigate to the Informed Delivery website and click the “Sign Up for Free” button.

 

Red arrow pointing to the sign up button on usps.com

Step Two

 

Type in your address to see whether or not you live in an area that is supported by Informed Delivery. If your address is accepted, all you will have to do is read the terms and conditions, tick the box and click on “Continue”.

 

However, if it is not accepted, then you can quit your application and come back another time. Although, you can still create a USPS account from here if you would like to.

 

Bear in mind that, if you live in an apartment block, you will have to select your specific address from a drop-down menu.

 

 

Informed delivery sign up process

 

Step Three

 

Then, you will be taken to the account creation window. Here, you will have to enter a username, password, answers to security questions and your contact details.

 

After this, read the privacy statement and click on “Continue”.

 

Red arrow pointing to a continue button during the informed delivery sign up

Step Four

 

Now you will be required to verify your identity. You can do this through your smartphone or by mail.

 

USPS informed delivery sign up completion

Mobile Verification Method

 

This method is incredibly simple:

 

  1. Enter your mobile number.
  2. Receive a one-time code by text message.
  3. Enter this code into the space provided.

 

Mail Verification Method

 

If you choose this method, you will have to:

 

  1. Wait for your invitation to arrive at your address.
  2. Follow the instructions inside the letter.

 

Step Five

 

Once your identity has been verified, a confirmation page will come up. You can either click “Go to Dashboard” or wait to be automatically redirected.

 

Informed delivery sign up confirmation page

Step Six

 

Well done! You have made it through the application process and can now remotely preview your mail and manage parcels!

 

Everything You Can Do In The USPS Informed Delivery App and Online Dashboard

 

Set Up Email Notifications

 

When you are on the Informed Delivery dashboard, click on the “Settings” option.

 

Choose the email digest option so you don’t have to worry about missing a notification ever again. Plus, you can update your notifications for package deliveries and status notices too.

 

It might take a little while for the United States Postal Service to activate this feature on your account. Usually, you will be receiving them within three working days. Sometimes, it can take up to a week.

 

Informed delivery e-mail notification icon

Enrol For USPS Electronic Signature Online (eSOL)

 

From the settings section of your dashboard, you can apply for USPS Electronic Signature Online so you can digitally sign for incoming packages that meet one or more of the following requirements:

 

  • Insured for over $500
  • Requires Signature Confirmation
  • Shipped via Priority Mail Express

 

Writing signature online on a tablet

Add Delivery Instructions for a Package

 

To provide delivery instructions, navigate to the “Package” tab. Then, click on “Add USPS Delivery Instructions” and click on the right option from the drop-down menu. Of course, if the parcel fits in your mailbox, these special instructions will be overruled.

 

Bear in mind that you can’t add this for every mailpiece. You might not be able to add USPS Delivery Instructions if it’s:

 

  • insured for over $500
  • needs a signature
  • marked for “Collect on Delivery”
  • a Registered Mail item
  • being held for address requesting
  • been delivered or out for delivery
  • a “hold for pickup” action was placed
  • marked as intercepted
  • marked as non-deliverable

 

Mobile view of USPS informed delivery

 

Schedule Redeliveries

 

From the app or dashboard, you can schedule the time and date for the delivery man to redeliver your parcel. Sometimes, this option won’t be available but this depends on your package’s circumstances.

 

Hand holding phone with access to informed delivery

 

View Package Details

 

From the dashboard, you can take a look at the details of all of your packages.

 

Navigate to the “Packages” tab and you will see a list of all of your incoming and delivered parcels. Tap on the blue arrow beside each entry to see the scan history, schedule redelivery option or leave delivery instructions.

 

Mobile view of informed delivery

See Previews of Letter-Sized Mail

 

Of course, the main thing is all the image previews of your letters! From here, you can keep on top of your deliveries to make sure you never miss an important notice ever again.

 

Pros of USPS Informed Delivery

 

Prompt Email Notifications

 

If you sign up for USPS Informed Delivery service, you will be doing it for a reason. Typically, you will need this feature if you go for extended periods without being able to immediately get to your mail. With this in mind, it is great that USPS send their daily email notifications no later than 7:45 in the morning. This gives you plenty of time to reply to any urgent incoming letters and packages.

 

USPS Informed delivery email notification

Clear and Legible Pictures

 

The pictures that the United States Postal Service send to you as part of this service are incredibly easy to read and show all the relevant recipient information. Of course, if you live on your own it won’t matter so much if you can’t spot the recipient’s details, but for those households with multiple members, this is fantastic.

 

Informed delivery desktop notification

Zoom In Function

 

Moreover, you can zoom in on these pictures so you can see everything in a crystal clear light. Alongside this, you can go onto the online platform and let USPS know if you didn’t receive a letter or package that you were sent a preview for.

 

Great for Direct Mail Marketers

 

Besides the benefits it brings to you as the receiver, it also gives direct mail marketers new hope. How? Well, since you are almost forced to pay more attention to what you receive in the mail, you have to check out the images of all direct marketing material. It has been proven that people who use this USPS feature are paying far more attention to mail they would have traditionally just thrown away.

 

Direct mail advertising

Businesses Can Make Use of Timelines

 

Plus, now businesses are tapping into timelines — i.e. when USPS send out their email notifications — and are utilizing that so their marketing letters and brochures show up at prime times.

 

Ridealong Campaign Implementation

 

The United States Postal Service has created a “ridealong campaign” service for businesses to utilize and make the most out of their direct mail material. Basically, USPS requires that any company’s Informed Delivery campaigns include a full-color, interactive banner that goes along with the scanned mail picture. The goal here is to enhance the call-to-action and promote the objective of the mail piece. However, this feature is so new that not many people have experienced it as of yet.

 

Hopes of Automatic Ridealong Campaign Feature

 

Finally, even though these aforementioned ridealong campaigns still need to be manually inputted by the company, Informed Delivery feature updates are going to implement an automatic service. Businesses will even be able to put together campaigns across multiple pieces.

 

Pros & cons of informed delivery

 

Cons of USPS Informed Delivery

Can’t Scan All Envelope Types

 

The first downfall of USPS Informed Delivery feature is that some envelope formats are impossible to read. What do we mean by this? Take companies who have dark colored envelopes along with dark colored foil stamping, for example. The scanners used are not powerful enough to pick up the foil stamping and make it legible. So, unless the company provides one of those ridealong campaigns, you won’t be able to make sense of the image.

 

Not Available For P.O. Boxes

 

Another negative aspect has to do with P.O. Boxes. At present, the service does not stretch to helping those who have P.O. Boxes. But, why would you need a P.O. Box? Well, if you travel a lot, it is a great place to forward all of your mail to while you’re away so it doesn’t get lost. Hopefully, they will work on this since physically going to check a P.O. Box can be a pain.

 

Red forbidden sign crossing over an image of PO boxes

Not Yet Conducive With Postcards

 

If you are someone who receives a lot of postcards, you may be pretty disappointed with the Informed Delivery feature. Although it does scan these types of letters, you can only see one side of them on the picture preview. The barcode side is the only part that will be seen on your online portal, unfortunately.

 

Receive Previews of Mail Meant for Previous House Owner

 

Lastly, for those who have just moved house, you might receive previews of mail that is for the previous owners and not you. This can get frustrating but it’s an inevitable evil. However, the USPS Informed Delivery feature should have a “this isn’t for me” option when this does occur. Maybe they could even link this with the change of address form people fill out when they move — who knows?

 

Virtual mailbox mobile & desktop view

An Even Better Alternative

 

While USPS Informed Delivery service works and is great for those who are just getting into the whole remote-tracking business, there is an easier way to take control of your mail.

 

By signing up with us at US Global Mail, you can create a virtual mailbox and truly feel like you’re living in the future!

 

Not only do you receive images of your letter-sized mail like with the USPS Informed Delivery feature, but you also get pictures of your parcels too. Plus, with our digital mailboxes, you can let us know whether you want us to shred, deposit or ship your letters and packages so you really do have complete control over everything.

 

Our experienced mail room staff are the best of the best so you can rest easy with the knowledge that all your letters are being well and truly taken care of.

 

Owning a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail is a completely worry-free way to manage your deliverables. It has never been easier to deal with your snail mail life than it is now!

 

For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us, or visit our help center.

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Pros & Cons Of Using A Mail Scanning Service

Each hour in the United States, the postal service processes an astonishing 20.2 million pieces of mail. The majority of that mail is intended for business purposes, and it can become quite the hassle for some business owners!

 

Waiting for that mail often isn’t an option, and it can become very frustrating to have to wait. Organizing and sorting through it can also take hours.

 

This is one of the key reasons that so many businesses decide to invest in mail scanning. In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at what we mean by mail scanning before we explore its pros and cons.

 

If your business needs to take advantage of flexible, adaptable, and (maybe most importantly) controllable mail solutions, the odds are good that mail scanning is right for you.

 

At the same time, not every business is going to be ideally suited to mail scanning services – even the best options on the market today, like US Global Mail. We not only cover the benefits and advantages of using a service like this below, but we also dig a little deeper into the drawbacks of these kinds of services before you commit to any of them.

 

Let’s get right into it!

 

Mail notification popping up on a computer screen

What Is Mail Scanning?

 

Mail scanning is a service where a business opens and scans mail on behalf of a client. A trusted mail scanning provider will work with a number of businesses to efficiently and safely deliver mail digitally.

 

Instead of having your mail simply pile up at the post office or at a mailbox service you are taking advantage of, the mail will instead be picked up by a mail service (or sent to a mail scanning service) to be digitally photographed or scanned – with those documents then sent to you immediately via email (or provided through a customer accessible portable online).

 

These kinds of services have been available to individuals and business owners for years and years now, but with the internet and digital scanning/photography solutions better than ever before they are a lot more innovative, a lot more controllable, and a lot more accessible (not to mention more affordable) than ever before, too.

 

The Pros of Mail Scanning

 

Now that we understand what mail scanning is, let’s dive right into the key benefits of this type of service.

 

Woman on the phone checking her virtual mailbox

Stop Waiting for Forwarded Mail

 

A number of delivery services offer mail forwarding, but this can extend the length of time that you have to wait for your mail. A number of important documents are sent via the mail, and this could mean that you’re left in the dark when you should be making important decisions.

 

If you decide to work with a trusted mail scanner, you’ll be able to access your mail much faster. This can give you the additional time that you need to start making the right decisions for your business.

 

Because you are alerted the moment that a new piece of mail is received and scanned you’ll know – in just a few moments – every time new mail pieces and packages hit your mailing address, but you’ll also know exactly what those mail pieces, packages, and parcels are.

 

You can forget forever about having to drive down to the post office just to see if any mail has come in that day.

 

Instead, you’ll have a much better idea of exactly what is waiting for you at the post office thanks to these digitally scanned documents. That lets you better plan your day and your mailbox visits, helping you to avoid wasting time, energy and gasoline driving out to a mailbox only to find that it’s empty or filled to the brim with nothing but “junk mail”.

 

Man starring at a clock and waiting

 

Organize Your Mail Digitally

 

We live in a digital world, but the power and popularity of physical mail still persists. This can be very frustrating for those business professionals who rely primarily on digital technologies. From that perspective, physical mail is very inconvenient.

 

Mail scanning is a great solution to this issue. A reliable mail scanning service means that fast-moving professionals can stay on top of their physical email using digital platforms. This helps people to stay on top of their work in one single location.

 

Imagine how much easier life will be when you have digital records of every piece of mail, every parcel, and every package that you have sent to a personal or business address.

 

Not only will this help your own personal record keeping (allowing you to keep better track of when and what packages were delivered to you), but you’ll also have these records permanently to refer to for any different number of reasons you may have to in the future.

 

Perhaps a company sent you the wrong package and you need to verify with them that this happened, or maybe a customer or client said that they sent you an important package but you don’t have a record of it arriving.

 

These kinds of records aren’t available when you’re using a traditional mailbox or USPS PO Box solution.

 

With US Global Mail, though, these record-keeping capabilities are standard across the board.

 

A virtual mailbox showing up on a mobile & computer device

Are Virtual Mailboxes Safe?

 

Given that mail has the potential to be picked up by anybody at any time, it could pose a security risk. This is a big challenge that businesses need to manage appropriately – if not, those businesses might find themselves the victim of a data breach.

 

Mail scanning is a great solution to the problem of security, given that the mail is handled by a group of trained and trusted professionals. Those letters are then sent securely via a digital platform, making sure that they are seen only by the right eyes.

 

A number of mail scanning providers will also take care of the disposal of mail, too, adding an extra layer of security.

 

The most important thing you can do when signing up for a virtual mailbox service that provides mail scanning solutions is to really research the company you are considering from top to bottom.

 

Not only is it a good idea to contact their customer service line directly and ask them any questions you might have, but it’s also a good idea to really read all the reviews about that company online (good and bad) to get a more complete picture of their reputation in the industry.

 

It’s not a bad idea to ask a virtual mailbox and mail scanning service for a list of top clients that you can call yourself, either. This will give you the kind of inside information you never would have been able to access otherwise straight from real customers that are in your same or similar situation – individuals that will let you know how safe and secure they find services to be.

 

Pros & Cons Of Using A Mail Scanning Service 3

Access Direct Mail on Mobile

 

Business travel is more prevalent than ever before, meaning that there are a number of professionals who find themselves on the road on a regular basis. Direct mail is inconvenient for those people, who will often need to make key decisions in response to that mail.

 

Mail scanning services are great for those professionals who need to stay updated while they’re on the move. The best mail scanning providers are able to send messages incredibly quickly or upload mail to a platform. It’s very simple for business people to access those platforms on mobile while traveling.

 

So much of the way that we run our businesses is conducted online through our phones, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to do the exact same thing when it comes to managing your mail.

 

The fact that you can always keep an eye on your mailbox through your phone is like a superpower, giving you the ability to schedule mail pickups with your staff or team anywhere on the planet as long as you have an online connection and your phone handy.

 

Woman holding a smart phone in her hand

Free Online Storage

 

Direct mail can be quite frustrating because it takes up physical space. This can become a burden within office environments and it can distract team members – countless studies have demonstrated how clutter can be a big drain on productivity.

 

Storing and maintaining that mail can also become difficult – it’s often a complete job in itself! Mail scanning services are very convenient, given that they empower businesses to digitize their messages and store them in the cloud.

 

The best mail scanning providers will offer secure digital platforms, too, with ample amounts of storage. This platform means that businesses have immediate access to their mail exactly when they need it, without the headaches that come with physical direct mail.

 

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time you’ve likely heard horror stories about someone losing important mail documents, important packages, and important contracts just because of the physical nature of those items getting lost in the shuffle somewhere.

 

You have a digital document you not only have the opportunity to secure that safely on a variety of different platforms, but you also have the ability to create a near infinite amount of copies (as many as you like) without having to worry about cluttering up your home or your office at the same time.

 

Documents are stored in mailboxes in the cloud

The Cons of Mail Scanning

 

Now that we’ve taken a look at the benefits of mail scanning, let’s take a closer look at some of the perceived downsides.

 

It’s worth noting that these downsides will only apply in very particular cases – more often than not, mail scanning can help businesses to operate more efficiently than ever before.

 

These downsides are likely not going to be deal breakers for the overwhelming majority of individuals or business owners out there right now looking to take advantage of these kinds of services, but they are important to bring up all the same.

 

Pros & Cons Of Using A Mail Scanning Service 4

Concerns About Privacy

 

Some security-conscious businesses might be concerned about having a third party handle their mail. Particular industries will be more sensitive to this than others, and it could even breach compliance rules.

 

It’s worth noting, though, that the best mail scanning providers have proven track records. They are trusted by a large number of businesses throughout the United States and they deliver a consistent level of service. This is why it’s so important to do your homework before you choose a mail scanning service provider.

 

Again, you should never sign on the dotted line and agreed to move forward with any mail scanning service until you’ve done all your research and due diligence.

 

You really want to know exactly who you are working with, exactly who you are trusting with something as important as your mail, and whether or not you’re going to be protected as a client going forward as far as your privacy is concerned.

Hand holding a smart phone that is private & secure

 

An Additional Expense

 

Some businesses – particularly nascent ones – are often reluctant to assume new expenses. It can be intimidating to forge new contracts, and that’s why some of those businesses are reluctant to pay for a mail scanning service.

 

Taking a big picture view, though, mail scanning is often a worthwhile and profitable investment. It can save a great deal of time and ensure that businesses stay on top of important activity via direct mail.

 

A quick cost benefit analysis on these kinds of services (services that are almost always super affordable) will show most entrepreneurs that you actually make – or at the very least save – quite a bit of money by outsourcing these kinds of services in the first place.

 

A calculator on a expense chart with a pen next to it

Start Scanning Your Mail Today

 

We hope that this piece has given you a clearer idea about mail scanning and why it may or may not be right for you.

 

As with any other business decision, it’s critical that you carefully weigh the pros and cons to guarantee you make the right decision. You’ll also want to find the right provider: be sure to learn more about US Global Mail today and how we might be the right fit for your business.

 

US Global Mail as a top-tier reputation in the mail scanning industry these days, a reputation that you’ll be able to independently verify – and a reputation you can trust to give you top-tier services that protect your privacy and your security, too.

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Earth Class Mail VS US Global Mail

In today’s blog, we will be reviewing Earth Class Mail.

 

We have covered extensively the reasons why offering virtual addresses in several locations and outsourcing your mail for customers is a terrible and immoral idea. 

 

As a refresher, here are the top 3 reasons:

 

  • Increased security risk when it is outsourced to a smaller subcontractor
  • Mail theft & warehouse security
  • Location is irrelevant for virtual mailboxes; mail is uploaded to the cloud – so the location of your virtual address does not practically matter. 

 

Virtual mailbox displayed on the screen of a mobile phone

 

In today’s blog we will be exploring another Mail Forwarding company that you may come across; Earth Class Mail. 

 

Like iPostal1, they too advertise the “hundreds and hundreds” of locations they offer. 

 

As mentioned before, this is nothing better than a Cable Company (TV) pitching you to switch provider & get 1000 more channels that you’ll never watch.



Unlike iPostal1 though, in the case of Earth Class Mail things become even more problematic…

 

Here is an example of a location offered on their website.

 

Map showing the location of a pack & ship store for Earth Class Mail

 

“The Perfect Portland Address” they say..

 

Read the address again and you’ll see it’s nothing more than a PO Box…

 

Your virtual address is now a PO Box in Portland; very professional if you’re looking to register your business there (irony.)

Were you also interested in setting up a Business Listing with Google? 

 

There’s an issue with that…Google does not accept PO Boxes for the postcard verification. 

 

So what exactly is the value in offering a PO Box as a Virtual Address? 

 

No value really as:

 

  • It doesn’t look professional for business purposes
  • You can’t use it on Google
  • You can simply register a PO Box yourself and avoid the upsell
  • Earth Class Mail charges an arm & a leg, compared to what the Post Office will charge you.

 

Hand holding paper mail exiting through a computer screen

Pricing

 

Since we did bring up pricing, it’s probably worth going over the exact details on that. Objectively speaking, no matter what Mail Forwarding & Virtual Mailbox competitor you ask, the most expensive service is offered by Earth Class Mail. 

 

The lowest price you’ll ever get with Earth Class Mail is $39/mo and that does not include additional fees that come with the service. 

 

US Global Mail on the other hand only costs $10/mo and with a ton of Free Perks that Earth Class Mail will upsell you for. Here’s a list of those perks US Global Mail gives you:

 

List of perks & services offered with the signup of a virtual mailbox

 

So why is there such a big difference in pricing? 

 

For one, Earth Class Mail is a service strictly focused on business customers. Examples of those would be large law firms, accounting firms etc – that have a big volume of mail coming and need streamlined mail management. 

 

Another reason is the fact that US Global Mail is a larger company and with a lot more customers, meaning that we’re able to offer discounted rates not only on our monthly membership, but also when it comes to shipping (carriers will give greater discounts, the more mail items you send through them.)

 

Person tracking mail packages in a warehouse

 

Reviews

 

It’s easy for someone to tout their own horn. But what if you have an objective market-place in which people call out the best service? 

 

What is more transparent than reviews from customers who have signed up and used the service? 

 

Here is how we compare to Earth Class Mail (and even other services.)

 

Review comparison board for 4 mail forwarding companies

 

As you can see, we have far better ratings than anyone in the industry!

 

Additionally, Earth Class Mail has only received 2 reviews, compared to US Global Mail which has received over 700 reviews at the time of writing this article.

 

US Global Mail has been around since 1999, has over 80,000 customers under its belt and has been proven to be the leader in virtual addresses and mail forwarding. We do not take such an honor lightly and treat every customer as if it were our first!

 

For any any questions, you can message us here.

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Should I Rent A PO Box?

In this article, we will be covering the topic of PO Boxes: Is it really an important part of life in the 21st century or are there any better alternatives? 

 

Here’s everything you need to know.

 

What Is A PO Box?

 

A Post Office, or PO box, is a mailbox located in one of the 31,000 Post offices across the United States. With over 21 million available, businesses and individuals are able to rent these boxes to receive their mail and packages. 

 

How Does a PO Box Work

 

The process for taking advantage of a PO Box is really simple and straightforward, and learning how PO boxes work isn’t going to take you very long at all.

 

To get things going, you’ll have to find a post office location that you want to set up your PO Box in to begin with.

 

Most people are going to find a post office that is located near their home or business (just for the sake of convenience), though you could certainly choose a PO Box pretty much anywhere and everywhere you’d like in the United States.

 

After choosing a postal office location, then you’ll need to go through the actual process of figuring out how PO boxes work and how to sign up for one.

 

You’ll need to choose the size of the PO Box that you are most interested in, figure out how much that PO Box is going to cost, and then you’re going to have to provide identifying information and documents that allow you to officially sign up mail at that specific location.

 

Another piece of the puzzle to figuring out how PO boxes work is determining the length of the rental agreement you are going to enter into with the post office.

 

Some people are only going to need a temporary place to get mail while they are traveling for work, away at school, etc. Short-term rental agreements – usually three months in total – are available, though you can also sign up for six month engagements, twelve month engagements, and even longer terms if you are going to be sticking around in that area (or are going to want the box for that amount of time, to).

 

After signing up, you’ll then need to go to the postal office location physically, use the key that has been provided to you to open up your box, and then take physical ownership of your mail. If you have too much mail for the box size – or if you have packages that have been sent to that PO Box address – you’ll usually find a secondary key inside the box to access a dedicated storage locker to receive the overflow or the bigger packages.

 

Be sure to return the key when you are done (usually at the front desk or in a dedicated dropbox) and you are good to go. Now you know exactly how PO boxes work!

 

How Much Are PO Boxes?

 

The price will vary based on the duration of the rent agreement as well as the mailbox size. A P.O box for 6 months will cost as little as $19 and up to $75 in certain locations. For more information on pricing, please visit the official USPS website.

 

Why Do You Need To Get a PO Box?

 

There are a couple of reasons behind why people get a PO Box to begin with, but the first one is that rural mail delivery isn’t always the most consistent thing in the world – especially in areas where homes and properties are spread out across a pretty wide geographical area.

 

There are a lot of towns and municipalities in the United States where home mail delivery just isn’t all that possible, at least not with any real efficiency. The USPS recommends that those kinds of homeowners take advantage of PO Box services to enjoy more consistent mail delivery, and almost always offer significantly discounted rates (if not totally free rates) depending on certain situations.

 

Other folks trying to figure out why get a PO Box are going to want to separate their physical address – the residential or business address – apart from their mailing address.

 

Business owners (especially those that do not a silly need to conduct business out of a physical location) are particularly most interested in leveraging the benefits of a PO Box when it comes to privacy and a little more anonymity.

 

There aren’t too terribly many business owners out there that want to give away their home address to customers and clients that always have become unhappy or disgruntled, for obvious reasons. This is especially true when you are running an online business and have to know face-to-face interaction with your clients.

 

Nobody wants a stranger to arrive on their doorstep, unhappy and potentially causing an unsafe situation, just because your residential address is doing double duty as your businesses mailing address.

 

Obviously, there are other benefits of a PO Box that you want to consider – having a secure location to receive mail at and one of them. There’s a reason why the USPS has millions of people taking advantage of PO Box services each and every year.

 

PO Box Sizes

 

Across all Post Office locations in the US, there are 5 standard PO Box sizes that you can pick from. Each box will come with a different pricing plan.

 

  1. X-Small (3″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″)
  2. Small (5″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″)
  3. Medium (11″ x 5 1/2” x 14 3/4″)
  4. Large (11″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″)
  5. X-Large (22 1/2″ x 12″ x 14 3/4″)

 

Wondering how they can benefit you?

 

Here are the Pros and Cons to getting a P.O. Box VS the alternative: a Virtual Mailbox

 

 

PROS

 

1. Permanent Address

 

Moving itself is already a hassle; you’re packing up your entire life. But now you have to change the mailing address for your bills and bank statements, not to mention the IRS and other government programs. And what happens if you’re already gone and your bank statement arrived at your old address? Then there’s a possibility of having your identity stolen and used to commit fraud and run up credit cards. With a PO Box there’s no need to update your mailing address every time you move, because it’s permanent.

 

2. Privacy

 

Your home is for your private life; the fewer strangers knowing where you live, the better. Having a PO Box allows you to give out a mailing address that doesn’t subject you to danger. For example, if you’re a business owner or providing services for someone and they’re far from satisfied, you don’t want that disgruntled customer knowing where you live.

 

Physical mailboxes located at a pack & ship store

 

3. Professionalism

 

A PO Box is very useful for small business, but it’s not just for protection against angry customers. If you can’t afford an office space, P.O. Box helps you appear more professional in comparison to your home address. It also makes sorting mail easier when the mail for home and business aren’t lumped together

 

4. Delivery Time

 

Since PO boxes are located in the post office, it’s delivered much faster than it would be to a residential mailbox. A PO Box removes the wait time that a postman delivering mail to you. Your mail is ready for pickup as early as 11 am.

 

Worker checking physical mail in a mailbox

 

5. Security

 

A PO Box is a lot more secure than a mailbox on the street or in front of an apartment building. It’s under surveillance and locked inside a building. This leaves you less vulnerable to mail thieves who may use your mail to steal your identity. It’s also not exposed to the elements. When Grandma sends you candy, it’s not as fun to eat it when it’s melted from the summer heat or water logged from the rain. Mail delivered to a P.O. Box is only exposed to the light breeze wafting from the air conditioner.

 

CONS

 

A PO Box isn’t all rainbows and air conditioning though. To make an educated decision you need to understand the disadvantages that PO Boxes have as well.

 

Icon that shows a thumbs down

 

1. You Have to Pick it Up

 

Having a PO Box means that rather than a short walk to your mailbox, you have to drive all the way to the post office. For some that’s 10 minute drive, for others it’s longer, and it’s especially not fun after a long day of work. However, if you live in a rural area that mail is hard to deliver to, this won’t have a big effect.

 

2. No 24/7 Access

 

Many Post offices don’t offer the 24/7 that a residential mailbox does. The times available may not always be the time available for you, especially during the holidays

 

3. Not Professional

 

If you’re a small business owner, a PO Box can make you appear less professional. I know what you’re thinking. “You said the exact opposite earlier!” While a PO Box appears more professional than a home address, it’s still indicative that you don’t have an office space. If you want peak professionalism you’ll have to fork over more money for street address.

 

4. It Overflows

 

PO Boxes come in different sizes that correlate with their price. You may immediately want to go for the smallest size to save money, but if you do, you’ll need to make that drive to the post office more frequently. If you’re box constantly overflows you’ll be charged with caller service fees that can amount to 500$ over 6 months.

 

Paper mail & folders stored at a USPS warehouse facility

 

5. No Mail From Other Carriers

 

It’s federal law that only a postal employee or box user can put anything into their box. As a result, major shipping companies, FedEX and UPS only deliver mail to actual street address. With a PO Box you can end up only being able to receive USPS mail.

 

6. No Additional Services

 

The USPS has tried to improve recently. You can now have informed delivery for residential PO Boxes, but it’s still lacking in comparison to the other option you have: a virtual mailbox.

 

PO Box Alternatives

 

Though there are a multitude of benefits of a PO Box (many of which we have highlighted above) there are also a couple of drawbacks – including the ones that we made mention of earlier.

 

Thankfully though, you are not limited to only having to choose between a physical address that you used to double as your mailing address and a PO Box available directly from the United States Postal Service.

 

You can also choose to take advantage of a whole host of PO Box alternatives, many of which combine the best things about a traditional PO Box (and operate similarly to a PO Box) with the best of the digital communication tools and technologies so many of us are used to using on a day-to-day basis.

 

The trick is in identifying the best virtual mailbox services to match your specific needs and your specific budget.

 

There are a lot of top-quality options out there for you to pick and choose from, but there are a handful of options that stand head and shoulders apart from the rest of the pack – like US Global Mail, for example.

 

You’ll want to choose PO Box alternatives that have great reputations in the industry, PO Box alternatives that offer a suite of services and solutions you’ll actually be able to take great advantage of, and PO Box alternatives that fit your budget perfectly.

 

A little bit of research and due diligence will help you uncover the ideal options for you if you’re looking to move away from a PO Box without having to use a physical mailing address only. Let’s dig a little deeper into the alternative approaches below.

 

The Alternative: Virtual Mailbox

 

A virtual mailbox is almost like a PO Box, only better. You get a permanent address, privacy, security, and professionalism. What sets it apart is that it has none of the cons of a PO Box. Once you receive mail at this address, its exterior is uploaded online and you can decide whether to have it opened and scanned, shredded, or forwarded to a different address.

 

Illustration of what a virtual mailbox looks like

 

No more driving the post office! See how they compare at a glance:

 

PO Box vs Virtual Mailbox

 

How to rent a virtual mailbox

 

Interested in getting more value for your money? Learn more here or follow these 3 easy steps to start renting your own:

 

How to rent a virtual mailbox, US Global Mail

 

How to rent a PO Box

 

Still interested in signing up for a PO Box? That’s okay, sometimes change can be scary. We’re still here to help though so here’s a guide on how to rent a PO Box in 5 easy steps:

 

How to rent a PO Box

 

Hope this helps. Give us a buzz if we can help answer any questions for you.

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Why Snail Mail Is Still Important

In this era of endless technology expansion, the world moves at a relentlessly fast pace. Actions that used to take days now take seconds. And someone somewhere is working around the clock to shave off the time it takes to write this article.

 

In regards to communication, this causes us to wonder why we need snail mail at all. After all, there’s email or text. Why do something slow when you can do it quickly?

 

It’s no secret that we are moving away from paper communications as a society to as much of a paperless as possible – and that we are doing so at a breakneck pace, often times without ever even considering whether or not our new digital replacements are true 1:1 replacements or are a little bit lacking.

 

It’s impossible to argue against the fact that digital communications have brought a lot of speed, a lot of innovation, and a lot of really impressive advantages into the mix that traditional paper communications – like snail mail – can’t even come close to replicating.

 

At the same time, though, the odds are pretty good that we won’t ever be able to replace snail mail for a variety of different reasons – including the ones that we highlight rest of this quick guide.

 

Sure, there are people out there that are 100% certain that snail mail is going to go the way of the dinosaur sooner rather than later.

 

However, this mindset isn’t universally adopted like one would think. That’s why we’re here to give you all the reasons why snail mail is still important.

 

Let’s jump right in!


IRS Notices

 

The IRS is the #1 reason snail mail is important. Unlike scammers would have you believe, the IRS does not send notices via email or social media.

 

They send their notices through mail. Al Capone, one of the most well known gangsters of all time, got away with many crimes but even he couldn’t escape the IRS. Whether it’s a fat tax return you don’t want to miss out on or a notice that something is wrong, you’re going to need a mailing address  to communicate with the IRS.

 

A lot of governmental agencies are comfortable sending important documents and transmissions over digital channels of communication, but when you’re talking about something as important and as sensitive as tax information – and when you want to be 100% sure that this information cannot and will not be scammed, counterfeit, or altered after the fact – it’s impossible to beat the built-in advantages that snail mail and physical mailings have to offer.

 

As long as we still have a postal system (any postal system) the odds are pretty good that the IRS is going to continue to leverage and lean on it as a delivery mechanism for important documents regarding our taxes.

 

Passport and Camera on top of world map

 

Passports

 

You may be able to tweet the Department of State (@StateDept) that you want a passport, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get a response. Passport applications have to be submitted by mail and as much as we wish it were quicker, we have to wait 6-8 weeks for them to mail our new passport to us. If you don’t have a mailing address, those plans of traveling in the world might never come to fruition.

 

The idea of replacing our physical passports with digital passports has been tossed around for a while now, but again this isn’t something that we are likely to see widespread adaptation of anytime soon.

 

For starters, the technology to implement widescale digital passports that are safe, secure, and “hacker proof” just do not exist right now – and may never exist in the future, to be frank.

 

Secondly, even if the United States was able to implement a completely digital passports solution that was 100% safe, 100% secure, and 100% hacker proof there’s a high likelihood that very few (if any) other nations would be able to adapt that the exact same technology – or would be able or willing to secure and lock it down the same way that the US might have.

 

A paper passport, a physical passport, and the overall passport system as it exists today is nearly universally accepted as the gold standard for international travel. The system is easy to understand, effortless to implement, and (relatively) safe and secure in ways that digital solutions aren’t.

 

If the government needs to get you a physical passport they are going to send it out via snail mail, maintaining the “chain of ownership” from the government to your hands.

 

Sure, you might be able to pop down to a local federal building and get a passport that way – but the odds are that it will have to have been sent from the State Department to that federal building, using snail mail along the way even if it wasn’t mailed to you directly.

 

Banking

 

If you plan to own a credit card you’re going to need a mailing address. Not only is it needed for you to receive your physical credit card, it’s needed for bank statements and the address verification system (AVS). Being hacked is one of the biggest fears people have while online shopping.

 

The Address Verification System compares the numeric portion of the billing address provided to the merchant to the one on file with your card network to reduce fraud.

 

While many of us are completely comfortable doing a decent amount of our banking online (with more moving to digital banking solutions every day than ever before) it’s easy to understand why so much of our personal, private, and sensitive information when it comes to our finances needs to be tied directly to a physical address.

 

Even if you choose to move forward with “electronic only” statements and banking tools you’ll still likely need to receive paper checks, regular statements and updates, and may even need to confirm different details through the mail with your bank.

 

If that’s the case, snail mail is the ideal option to take advantage of.

 

Credit card swiping at a POS machine

 

Driver’s License

 

Gone are the days of going to the DMV, passing the tests, and walking home with your Driver’s License. Now, you’re issued a paper copy and receive your license in via snail mail within 2 weeks. Want to the freedom and convince that driving give you? You’ll need a mailing address.

 

Again, GETTING your driver’s license through the mail really goes hand-in-hand with all of the other physical documents – especially identifying documents – that the government sends out to citizens via snail mail.

 

This process actually streamlines things significantly, even if you do end up having to wait between seven and 14 days (business days, usually) to get your hands on your actual physical license. By splitting the process up into two different stages – printing a paper copy that can be used to you receive your physical copy of your license – you have all of your bases covered.

 

Until DMV location start to print out physical IDs that can be used just the way that our traditional IDs are, or until we moved to a 100% digital ID set up (which is unlikely to happen anytime soon) these kinds of identifying documents are going to be sent out through the USPS.

A roll of "I voted" stickers

 

Voter Registration

 

Voting is a civic duty of every American citizen. Being able to choose who you want representing you at every level of government is a powerful tool.

 

However, voting isn’t as simple as answering a Facebook poll. To obtain your voter registration card you’ll need an address not only to verify that you’re a resident, but to receive your card in the mail. Don’t have a mailing address? I hope you like the representative you didn’t get to choose!

 

Jury Duty

 

Generally, getting summoned for Jury Duty isn’t the highlight of someone’s day. It isn’t very fun to spend hours at a courthouse waiting to be chosen or having a trial that goes on for weeks. Jury summons come by, you guessed it, snail mail! And although it’s some most people want to avoid, doing so could lead to a judge issuing a bench warrant. They won’t be breaking down your door anytime soon, but if you happen to get pulled over, you could be hauled away and fined.

 

Job Interviews

 

If you didn’t already know, a good tip for job interview is to send them a thank you note. According to an Accountemps survey, 80% of Human Resource managers say that receiving a thank you note is helpful . However, only 24% of applicants actually send one.

 

Now you could send them a quick email. You can copy-paste your script, change a couple words, and boom, you’ve sent your thank you. But is that good enough? With a handwritten letter, there is no copy-paste, you’re using your time to write every single word and your interviewer will know that. As people use snail mail, less and less, each time someone receives a letter, it stands out that much more.

 

This is maybe one of the easiest ways to separate yourself as an interviewee from the rest of the pack, something that is especially important in a business environment and a job environment that is as competitive as the one we are living in right now.

 

On top of that, sending a handwritten letter (with your resume attached) through the mail cuts through a lot of the traditional gatekeepers that would have potentially blocked your message from landing on the right desk to begin with – helping you to “jump the line”, so to speak without having to do anything untoward or unethical.

 

Handwritten Letter/snail mail and fountain pen

 

It’s More Meaningful

 

Wishing you a happy birthday or congratulating you on a big achievement with a Facebook post and money transfer isn’t difficult. It takes about 5 minutes.

 

But a card through the mail?

 

It’s especially personal. It’s a card they choose just for you, their fingers touched the paper, It’s their handwriting, it’s their spit sealing the envelope, and you know that they took the time to write it, stamp it, and drive to their mailbox all to convey how proud they are of you.

 

Time is valuable and as a result, it’s a very powerful gift.

 

Need a good mailing address?

 

Snail Mail is still important. But what if you don’t have a safe place to get your mail?

 

There are mail thieves ravaging your neighborhood or your roommates like to snoop. Or maybe you’re moving out of the country and don’t even know where to start?

 

Get a US street mailing address with US Global Mail. US Global Mail allows you to manage your snail mail online, combining the best aspects of email and snail mail into one.

 

This virtual mailbox service provides a whole host of advantages and simply wouldn’t have been able to leverage with a traditional physical mailing address or a PO Box alone. US Global Mail has a variety of different services available for individuals and businesses large and small to leverage, helping clients get the best of all worlds – snail mail and digital communication – in a way that few other firms in the industry can make possible.

 

There’s a reason why US Global Mail is universally regarded mailbox alternative companies in the industry right now. They continue to innovate, improve, and iterate the services that they make available, relying on real customer feedback and information to make sure that they are providing only the best solutions for a world that is changing rapidly.

 

If you have any questions whatsoever about the solutions US Global Mail makes possible, please don’t hesitate to reach out at your earliest convenience. You can also learn more about how these services compare to a PO Box here.

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Moving/Traveling? Get your USPS mail online, in minutes!

When you’re traveling or living abroad, the preparation can come with a lot of headaches. Do you have all of the essentials? What are you allowed to bring?  And once you actually arrive the list gets longer!

 

We are, after all, talking about moving and living abroad. It isn’t like moving down the road, crosstown, or even across the country. There are a lot of moving parts that are going on behind the scenes with this decision, and there’s going to be the inevitable headache and hassle of moving house in general combined with having to handle moving to another country completely.

 

The last thing you want to do is add any extra “mental baggage” to your plate when you already have so much to juggle. You’ll want to take care of as much as you can while you are still in the states, recognizing that there are probably going to be a couple of things that fall through the cracks that you want to navigate after you are situated in your new home abroad.

 

Figuring out how to get your mail should be the least of your problems, but the solution isn’t always so obvious.

 

This is not something that you can afford to juggle around later down the line. You’re probably getting some pretty important documents in the mail right now (bills, tax information, identifying documents, etc.) and not only will you continue to need to get those pieces of mail moving forward – but you’re also going to need to make sure that those sensitive pieces of mail do not end up in the wrong hands, too.

 

Thankfully though, there are a couple of things you can do to make getting your mail when you are abroad a whole lot easier than it ever used to be – all while taking advantage of the best mail scanning services available.

 

In the rest of this detailed guide we cover all of the fundamentals you’ll need to know about getting the most out of these kinds of services, digging deep into the benefits that services offer while at the same time highlighting the important considerations you’ll need to focus on before you sign on the dotted line and have anyone open and scan your mail for you.

 

Ready to dive right in?

 

Let’s get right to it!

 

How do I get my mail when not at home?

 

One option you have is asking family or friends to check your mail. While that may seem simple enough, it’s actually not. Do you really want your friends or family reading through your bank statements and IRS notices? If you don’t want them to open it, how will they know which one’s important and which one is junk mail? They may not have the time to run to the post office as often as you need them to and you can end up overextending your wallet to pay for mail you don’t need. That’s where mail scanning comes in.

 

Plenty of people operate under the impression that they’ll be able to have their friends, family members, or even some of their trusted neighbors handle their mail – but as we highlighted above, who wants to pass all that responsibility off on to someone else that’s likely already juggling plenty of responsibilities on their own?

 

This is something that you’re going to want to hire the right professionals to help you with, and thanks to services like those provided by US Global Mail for example the process is pretty simple and straightforward.

 

You’ll be able to rely on the expertise of seasoned professionals in the mail scanning and mail forwarding industry that can keep your personal and private correspondence exactly that – personal and private – while still providing you with unlimited digital access to all of your important mail pieces almost instantly.

 

It’s tough to beat those kinds of benefits!

 

Smart phone & computer user interface of a virtual mailbox

 

How does mail scanning work?

 

After signing up for a mail forwarding service, any mail that’s addressed to your home will be redirected to a new address at a facility. As soon as it arrives, the outside of the envelope is scanned and uploaded to a virtual mailbox. Then, you have a few choices: 

 

  • See who the sender is and decide if you want the mail to be opened and scanned for you to read it asap
  • Ship to where you are
  • Securely shred it if it is junk mail like an unwanted catalog

 

As we highlighted a moment ago, all of this critical information regarding your mail is going to be forwarded to you directly along with a digital scan of the envelope or the outside of the package/parcel as well.

 

You’ll have the opportunity to have that piece of mail opened up and scanned digitally (securely and without compromising your privacy), with those digital files sent to you directly immediately upon scanning for your use and convenience.

 

On top of all that, you’ll also be able to have all of your digitally scanned mail pieces saved directly in a database that is 100% searchable and easy to cross reference. This is a huge benefit for those that want to be able to archive their physical mail similarly to the way that they archive their email.

 

Finally, the ability to send and forward that mail to your physical location (domestically or overseas) quickly as well as the ability to have those documents shredded and destroyed securely rounds out the big benefits you’ll be able to enjoy when you move forward with an organization like US Global Mail.

 

US Global Mail mail scanning process

 

Is Mail Scanning Quick and Reliable?

 

It depends; some services, like US Global Mail scan mail contents within 2-4 hours after your request but others can take up to 24 hours or more.

 

Services that have lots of addresses and usually have mail shipped from those locations to their central location before it is scanned can take several days for scans.

 

As a general rule, though, you can expect to have your mail scanned (mail that you choose to have scanned, that is) up and ready to rock and roll on your digital US Global Mail dashboard in just a few hours.

 

The scanning process is quick and super accurate, guaranteeing a 1:1 digital replica made of the actual mail pieces that you want to have added to your digital dashboard. You’ll be able to read that document in stunning high definition resolution, can then print that document at your physical location if you need a hard copy, and also have the ability to have the actual physical piece of mail sent to you directly (something that should take a couple of days to a week or more, depending entirely on your final destination).

 

Woman holding a phone in her hand that shows virtual mail

 

Is Mail scanning secure?

 

Again, this depends on which company you choose. Some companies are vague about their security measures and do not list them clearly on their site.

 

It is of the utmost importance that you double verify that the mail scanning and mail forwarding service you choose to move forward with is trustworthy and reputable.

 

While there are a lot of great companies in this industry offering fantastic services, like industry leaders US Global Mail, there are also a lot of fly-by-night operations out there that promise the moon and the stars but may not be quite as reliable or as secure as you are expecting.

 

It wouldn’t be fair to say that these fly-by-night or smaller time operations are acting maliciously (the overwhelming majority of them are not). It’s just that they do not have the experience, the infrastructure, or the protocols to guarantee the safety and security of your mail and sensitive information contained within the way that companies like US Global Mail can.

 

This is why research and due diligence is such a huge piece of the puzzle. You can afford to have someone handling your mail that you haven’t fully vetted and verified ahead of time.


To do your homework:

 

Here are 5 questions to ask to check if mail scanning is secure:

  1. What is the scan process?
  2. Is the scan encrypted during upload? Where is it stored- local machines or cloud?
  3. Are employees require to have background checks?
  4. Do they track every touch to your mail piece and record that info?
  5. Do they shred discarded mail?

 

If the service you’re looking at can answer yes to all those questions, your mail is actually a lot safer than it would be in actual mailbox!

 

Is Mail Scanning affordable?

 

Yes. Especially since you can read the contents of your mail ASAP and not have to ship it to yourself, wherever you are!

You certainly won’t have to spend a small fortune on mail forwarding and mail scanning services from companies like US Global Mail, and won’t have to spend anywhere near as much money as you might have renting an oversized PO Box through the USPS to hold and capture all of your physical mail for months (if not longer) on end.

 

Combine that with the fact that the USPS simply isn’t going to offer the same mail scanning or digitizing services that you get from a reliable company like US Global Mail – not to mention all of the other benefits that an organization like this offers (including check cashing, for example) – and it becomes a no-brainer the specialty services rather than go in a different direction.

 

It’s not a bad idea to research your options to find the best deal in the market, but expect leaders in the industry to offer the most competitive prices without cutting corners as far as safety, security, or privacy protections are concerned.

 

The odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to find a mail scanning and forwarding service that fits your needs and your budget perfectly if only you’ll do a little bit of due diligence to double verify that things are good to go!

 

Which services offer mail scanning?

 

We have complied a list of the popular mail forwarding services that include mail scanning here. Pick one that works best for you.

 

Of course, we would like to recommend ourselves- US Global Mail– as the very best one out there!

 

US Global Mail has a sterling silver reputation in the mail scanning and mail forwarding industry, a reputation built on the back of thousands of clients in the United States and worldwide taking advantage of these services on a day to day basis for a number of years.

 

Best of all, this sterling silver reputation isn’t something that US Global Mail speaks about exclusively.

 

You’ll be able to independently verify the services with just a little bit of research online, and the odds are good that you’ll come across an overwhelming flood of glowingly positive reviews that support this fantastic reputation, too.

 

Combine all of that with very affordable pricing, a whole host of ancillary services that help to separate this company from the rest of the pack, and an overall approach to your security and privacy you just won’t find elsewhere and it’s not difficult to see why so many people choose US Global Mail over competitors time and time again.

 

A smart phone that has the mailbox flag on it

 

Does USPS offer mail scanning?

 

Via Informed Delivery you can an email from the USPS with an image of the outside of your mail. You can digitally preview your mail and packages scheduled to arrive that day.

 

Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces. Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.

 

So while that is convenient, you cannot read the contents of your mail. That can only be done with a mail scanning service. If you’re only looking for a scan of the envelope itself (which can sometimes be a little bit hit or miss) this may be something that you’re interested in for sure.

 

Informed Delivery is definitely a fantastic service to take advantage of if you are going to be staying in the United States. But the moment that you start to consider moving abroad – or even traveling extensively overseas – you’ll want to look at more purpose built mail scanning and mail forwarding services like US Global Mail.

 

The USPS is somewhat limited in their abilities to innovate and to improve their services the way that a more flexible organization like this one can, through no fault of their own aside from the fact that the federal government is calling all the shots.

 

If you’re looking for a more complete and comprehensive solution that gives you total control over your mail it’s really tough to beat the suite of services and solutions provided by US Global Mail – services and solutions that are being expanded on and approved upon day after day!

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Access Urgent Mail in Minutes!

Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to access your stuff whenever you want. As an expat, this might just be a new way of life for you. Limited access to your bank accounts, unreliable Wi-Fi, unstable cellular connections etc., the list can go on; it just isn’t as readily available as you were once used to. In this scenario, stuff is in reference to your mail!