Another day, another digital mail startup…

So far this year we’ve seen the demise of Zumbox, Outbox and Manilla, startups that tried to succeed as digital mail providers. EarthClass Mail is still with us, Pitney Bowes’ Volly is “coming soon” (as it has been for several years), and now we have another contender: Scan Mailboxes. The service, founded by a pair of deaf entrepreneurs from Austin, appears to be similar to EarthClass- you forward your mail to the company, and they scan the outsides of the mail pieces. The digitized images are made available online so you can tell the company what to do with the physical items themselves.

Starting at $9.95 a month, the price undercuts EarthClass, but both companies tack on fees for various services, and limit the number of pieces you can receive digitally. Also- while EarthClass offers forwarding addresses in a number of US cities, Scan Mailboxes’ only forwarding location is Austin, Texas.

The problem with Scan Mailboxes, as with its competitors, is that while their business model relies on the shift to digital communications, as that shift continues, the market for their services declines. If you already have the option of receiving and paying your bills online, why would you pay someone to digitize the hardcopy version? That’s not a model with a lot of growth potential. The real market for these services is likely to be as slightly higher tech competitors to existing commercial mail receiving agencies. But that still leaves them dependent on a declining physical mail flow.

Good luck guys!

Here’s the Scan Mailboxes press release and promotional video:

As comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently said in his stand-up act on “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon, “If you [the Post Office] really want to be helpful to us, just open the letters, read’em and email us what it says!” This is exactly what Scan Mailboxes provides along with complete confidentiality and control in mind.

Customers can use Scan Mailboxes’ street address in Austin, Texas, with an assigned, unique mailbox number. This makes it easier for customers to be mobile as often as they want to and maintain the same mailing address, saving them the inconvenience of any address changes.

When customers’ mail and packages arrive directly at Scan Mailboxes’ facility, customers get notified of scanned images of front envelopes/packages on the same day. From that point, customers can have full control via an user-friendly website from a computer or any mobile device to request to: open and scan the contents, forward the physical mail to any designated address, shred and recycle contents, or keep them in storage. Customers, who are in the Austin area, can even stop by to pick up their mail and packages at no additional charge.

Scan Mailboxes is ideal for customers who work from home, but they would like a unique business address for professional profile, expatriates, frequent travelers, renters, owners of multiple addresses, snowbirds, military service personnel, truck drivers, or anyone hoping to replace their costly executive suites service.

In addition to these services, Austin-based commercial businesses can use Scan Mailboxes as their outsource mailroom to gather, sort their mail and/or enable check deposits if desired. Scan Mailboxes is also a Registered Agent Service for Texas companies. To help better understand how Scan Mailboxes operates, anyone can visit http://www.scanmailboxes.com/how-it-works.

There are three subscription plans to choose from starting at just $9.95 monthly. There are no setup fees, and all plans include unlimited shred and recycle for added security. Visit http://www.scanmailboxes.com for more information and sign up to get started! Live chat is also available on the website.

  • Expat BizTraveler

    Zumbox’s business model was to be a one-stop center for all bills to be delivered electronically, and like the blog mentions, all companies have their own electronic billing system without needing a third party. Manilla and Volly are very much similar to Zumbox, whereas Outbox drives to customers’ mailboxes to retrieve mail to be scanned. Driving and time cost money.

    What I see with Scan Mailboxes, in addition to being a CMRA provider, it sends customers notifications online. More and more customers are going digital in their daily lives, and mail service was bound to go in that direction. Furthermore, SMB and ECM meet today’s global customers’ demands in real-time.

    Lastly, both services rely on the USPS for all mail delivery and mail forwarding; hence, USPS is still the foundation of mail service.