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A paperless alternative to the postal system

Life Hacks

More than 15 billion pieces of paper mail are sent in the United States each month, at considerable cost both to senders and to the environment. Zumbox hopes to change all that with a new, paperless alternative to the U.S. Mail. California-based Zumbox has created an online mailbox for every street address in the US, including residences and businesses alike. So, anyone in the country can begin using Zumbox immediately on the web to send and receive all-digital mail for free. Senders simply upload an electronic document—Word and PDF are both supported, as are interactive formats like HTML, Flash, audio and video—and specify the recipient’s street address. That mail then gets sent to the recipient’s Zumbox electronically. At the other end, recipients see an image of an envelope and click on it to open it. They’re then shown what looks like a duplicate version of what they’d normally find in their traditional mailbox. Any content that can be printed can also be sent via Zumbox, including bills, statements, purchase orders, and other accounting documents, and senders can even incorporate a “Pay Now” button that links to the payment system of their choice. Zumbox has also implemented bank-level security, and is compliant with the security standards of the financial, healthcare, and banking industries. Analytics are available to help marketers track mailings and campaigns. Perhaps best of all, Zumbox relieves organizations interested in reducing their paper usage from the near-impossible task of gaining and updating recipients’ email addresses. Receiving mail via Zumbox is free for everyone. Advertisers and marketers must pay USD 0.05 per street address to send mail through the service, as must individuals who want to send mail to more than 50 addresses per month. Zumbox launched into limited public beta last month, and it will clearly take time before significant numbers of users sign on. One also has to wonder what would stop consumers from using Zumbox just as a catch-all for the mail they don’t actually want to receive, keeping all those marketing offers and other “junk mail” out of their traditional mailboxes. Still, the paperless potential makes Zumbox an intriguing new contender. One to watch, try out, or get in on early…? (Related: Snail mail app for Facebook usersSend an email to post a letterFree snail mail, sponsored by advertisers.) Spotted by: Treehugger via Raymond Kollau

Email: bizdev@zumbox.com

Website: beta.zumbox.com

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