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Zumbox Wants to Kill Snail Mail (Finally)

Why on earth do we still have snail mail? For packages? OK. But everything else, really? All the look there how much cialis paper, all the transportation, all the man-hours delivering to you thousands of little pieces of paper every year. All of that could be easily digitized...but no. Even with all the glory of e-mail, mail volume is still increasing.

A company called Zumbox wants to change that.

The big advantage that snail mail can claim is that it's actually tied to where you physically are. E-mail addresses change, some people don't have them, and it can be difficult for businesses to get email addresses from their customers. Thus, customers end up continuing to get physical letters...just so people can be sure you're getting them.

Zumbox has fixed this problem by creating a virtual mail box for every physical address in America. So, if you have an address, you already have a Zumbox.

Zumbox hopes that you will soon be receiving notices in the mail along with your bills that say "this piece of mail was also delivered to your Zumbox." If you go to your Zumbox and cialis canada online pharmacy pick it up, you can select to have that company deliver mail only to your Zumbox.

If you sign up at Zumbox, they send a pin number to your physical address (the only snail mail you'll ever receive from them, I'm promised) that you must enter to certify that you are who you say you are. If messages have already been delivered to your Zumbox, you will see them there. And, with a click of a button, you can tell the mail senders to only send these items to your Zumbox!

Zumbox has just announced that it will offer it's service to "qualified senders" for free. So companies, municipalities, and non-profits who have legitimate lists for sending notices, bills and direct mail will all be able to use those lists at Zumbox. You, as a consumer, will also be able to send a limited amount (possibly in the thousands) of messages through Zumbox. Whether it's a post card to your grandma, or a notice to your neighbors of canadain online pharmacies viagra a lost dog.

All this talk about free stuff is going to make you start wondering how they're planning on making money. Well, your Zumbox will have two boxes, one for mail from certified senders, and one for mail from people who've paid Zumbox to use the service. Zumbox allows unprecedented abilities for geo-targeting. So your spam box will likely actually have some useful spam in it. A local restaurant or snow shoveling service can hit their exact target area for only five cents a letter, instead of up to more than a dollar for direct mail services.

Of course, the success of the program all depends on whether they can get people to sign up. In my opinion, if they can get some big businesses and non-profits in on the idea, and sending out notices telling people to check their Zumboxes, the chances that this will catch on are quite good.

And with the amount of money (not to mention trees) to be saved by the proposition, I'd like to think that they're not having too hard of a time getting big senders involved.

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Comments (24)Add Comment
see: EarthClass Mail
written by Charles Redell, February 10, 2009
EarthClass Mail offered to scan and email you all your mail and to send you the hard copies of whatever you want. They're selling off all their properties.

Some things, I want in paper: tax information, magazines (until eink is color, I want magazines in hard copy), a love letter from my wife. contracts.... c'mon. this is silly. mail has a place in life and this company is not going to replace it.
Mail volume is not increasing
written by Grant, February 10, 2009
The number of letters delivered by USPS in 2008 was down by about 4%. That's why they are losing so much money and are considering cutting back home deliveries to 5 days a week.
Earthclass Mail
written by Hank, February 10, 2009
Earthclass has absolutely no benefit to the environment. The letters still get printed and generic viagra without a percription shipped, just to different places, and then if you want the hard copy they have to send it AGAIN.

There's no helps organization, but not the environment. It's a different system completely.
Snail Mail will always be here
written by Bubba, February 10, 2009
I actually work in a mailhouse. We process millions of best alternatives to viagra personalized letters per year. We have hundreds of customers (companies) and most have tried at some point to get their customers to use email to reveive bills / receipts / statements etc. with little succsess. The bottom line is not everyone has email, and most people are not willing to let go of the hard mail just yet.
written by MarkR, February 10, 2009
why do we STILL have snail mail you ask?

Thanks but no thanks. as much as I hate all the junk mail there are certain bills I would rather receive and pay through the mail. as someone who has had their identity stolen or at least hijacked there are certain things I don't trust on the internet and never will.
Portugal exemple
written by Joel, February 10, 2009

I'm from Portugal and our postal company (CTT) has implemented, about a year ago, a virtual mailbox for the clients that desire to receive part of their mail by e-mail.

The CTT's work together with the utilities companies (energy, gas, water, communications etc...) and instead of receiving your bills by conventional mail you receive them via e-mail.

also some of these companies put the option to their customers, mail or e-mail.

It's not still wide spread but it's on it's way.

I actually enjoy this option. it saves me, and the planet from thousands of useless letters every month.

sorry for the bad english...

written by Rob Reed, February 10, 2009
While Hank did a great job at explaining how Zumbox works, some of the comments imply that it's still not clear. The company has a blog post at, which helps.

Companies have had a difficult time getting their customers to "go paperless" via email for a number of reasons. It requires a lot of effort on the part of the customer because the companies don't have their email addresses. And at the end of the day, you're not really receiving your "mail" in your email. You get a notification that your bill or statement is ready to view on a website. And that's assuming the email doesn't end up in spam.

The utility of canada cialis email is more akin to voicemail than paper mail in my view. It has reduced the need to call people as often, much like SMS, but it has had very little impact on the volume of paper mail. The USPS sent 212 billion pieces last year, which accounted for 150 million trees. Most of that mail originated in a digital format; Zumbox simply enables it to be delivered in its native format through a secure channel.

Since Zumbox is based on street addresses and since companies have their customers' street addresses, it's much easier to get them to adopt Zumbox as a paperless alternative (as opposed to email). The company just sends both versions (paper and digital); it notifies you on the paper version that the digital version is at; you go there to see it and then opt out of the paper version with a single click. No more paper. The company saves money, and you reduce your impact.

Zumbox clearly isn't for all postal mail. Just that which can be sent and legal buy ultram online delivered digitally.
Seems like an extra step
written by Aimee Heilbrunn, February 10, 2009
I receive almost all of my bills important info to my e-mail all ready. This was pretty easy to establish. I guess this seems like it might be an extra step, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.
It's the true junk mail that I want to s
written by sss, February 10, 2009
All important bills/statements/etc I already receive digitally from banks/services/etc. It's endless reams of Von's/Ralph's/Big 5/all the crap that's loaded into the cheapest cialis online Sunday paper as well that I want to be able to opt out of, digitally, in print or othetrwise. Can Zumbox kill all that extraneous stuff?
written by letter writing is an art, February 11, 2009
Other than junk mail, it is a pleasure to walk to the mail box open it and find a letter from a friend, a just thinking of you card, even on occasion a bill - there are times it is better to get mail
Learn from Finnish post
written by Niko Järvinen, February 11, 2009
Basically Finnish post gives free mail account for every Finn. Then the customer can choose if they want the mails to that service and email notification, or delivered the normal way + electronic. That is IF the original sender sent the material in electronic form to Posti so that they can print it or deliver in electronic form...

Also if you want to pay the bills that way, you just click you'r own banks image, log in and then just accept the bill.. No need to type those long numbers.
written by Rob Reed, February 11, 2009
Zumbox is much like FedEx in terms of click here viagra buying its ability to provide a value-added alternative to regular mail. The USPS didn't offer overnight delivery at the time, so FedEx stepped in to serve that need, complete with tracking and other goodies. FedEx used the same street address system but for express delivery.

The USPS doesn't offer digital mail, so Zumbox is stepping in to serve that need. Zumbox uses the we choice real levitra online same street address system but for digital delivery, which means you get your mail thru your browser.

Zumbox doesn't mean you have to stop getting paper post cards and letters. It's not an either/or proposition. With FedEx, there was just some "mail" that had to be delivered overnight. With Zumbox, there's just a LOT of mail that can be delivered digitally.

Zumbox won't "kill all that extraneous stuff". That's not what it's designed or intended to do. What it does do is give senders and recipients a digital alternative, which reduces paper. But if someone is sending "extraneous stuff" to your Zumbox that you don't want, you're one click away from blocking them. There is total accountability.

What's more, that sender will appreciate being blocked b/c that says to them that you don't want what they're offering. Direct marketers have no way of knowing that with paper mail, which is why they keep sending it. So the next time they send an offer via Zumbox, they won't have to spend the money to send it to you.

Everyone benefits, not least of all the planet.
Human Connection
written by ConditionallyUsed, February 11, 2009
In my view this is a failed attempt of providing a service to earn money. Why? Most companies already offer e-bill services and it is not hard to set up. A reminder is typically in each bill. You go to website, put in account info etc click e-bill and buy cialis 50 mg no paper. The company is jumping and saying here it is so easy come join up and let us spam you. No thank you. No I do not enjoy spam mail I receive each day and could do away with that without a second thought.

To receive an e-mail from my brother, family, friends for some celebration? Sure it has happened. Was I heart broken? No, I was still happy to receive the letter and know that the person cared. I however receive a sense of human connection when I receive an actual letter in the mail. I will admit that such a feelings is based on learned lessons yet I believe that such a learned belief is still strong within the current population.

Lastly,the assumption that everyone has a computer is incorrect. Some do not use computers or see a need for them since a) they do not know how to use them b) can not afford one/with/without internet connection c) believe their kids should not experience it until older...

alright I said my view.. later..
Odd Discussion
written by ConditionallyUsed, February 11, 2009
Where was the commentary on the kindle 2 saying..
Amazon wants to kill paper books [finally] Not sure why we even have book stores. You walk into one and see forests killed and energy wasted. Let us not forget the labor costs and waste of producing and delivering these books to the store. Let's hope the kindle will finally end this and save us all.
PIN number?
written by Nobody, February 11, 2009
Want to buy a NIC card, too?
I like the viagra 30 mg idea of saving paper
written by Jon Sulkow, February 12, 2009
And I also like the idea of the post office existing.

If the grid went down, we'd still have the post office, as a viable method of communication to all parts of the world.

Of course, I dont plan on that happening -- but it seems like a good infrastructure to have.

I agree with "t" tho --- send me letters from my friends and let me sift thru the spam online.
Dilema: who's worth more - a man or a tr
written by devoox, February 19, 2009
I am amazed how environment orriented people (I assume you should care a bit at least to read this site) can still point out selfcentered unbased habits over the help to the environment, we have no way of surviving without yet. "Certain bills", "some cases" - see, you can't even name situations you'd die having to replace, but you still try bashing ideas like this.
Oh, and you, environmental scientist - so what are your topics if you see Mr.Green pulling them down? Highly doubt your work has anything to do with science. Sometime in history, people created law to keep sociaty intact (i.e. stop people living completely by their own choise). I think it's about time to make environmental approached non-optional to keep our future intact (as much as possible to control).
E-mail insecurity
written by Luke, February 19, 2009
One problem with going to all-electronic-mail is that e-mail isn't particular secure, and it also doesn't make any effort to authenticate the sender. (If you need someone to prove this to you, drop me an e-mail and I'll send you an e-mail from yourself.)

In order to get the same expectation-of-privacy that we expect with regular mail, we could either re-create the e-mail system from the where to buy levitra ground up and convince everyone to use it -- or we could get everyone to use a public-key encryption infrastructure to authenticate and encrypt e-mail. One nice version of this is the Thawte Web of Trust system for S/MIME. S/MIME support is built in to most popular e-mail clients. GnuPG (Enigmail) is another possibility, though it does require a more motivated user to use it effectively. No changes are required to the e-mail servers for either S/MIME or PGP.

Whether the privacy that we expect in snail-mail exists is another matter entirely -- but we do have an /expectation/ of privacy, which I've been told has effects on the legal aspects of how the traditional mail system operates. It seems to me that we should have the same expectation of privacy for Internet backbones, but the wiretapping scandals reported in the major news outlets and my colleagues in the IT field all tell me we don't.

All of these changes are doable -- as soon as people start to care.
I like it for some things
written by Y.S., February 19, 2009
I think this is a great way to organize mail coming in and I think it can work in a niche market. I would love to be rid of mailed advertisement and useless junk that ends up filling the recycle bin.

However, I am an avid pen pal-ler and buy branded levitra I must say that I would never want to give up all the hand written letters I have (dating back years) complete with stickers and drawings from friends all over the world. These to me are priceless.

The rest of the humdrum mail - bills, tax papers, invoices, etc I have not have a problem receiving electronically and backing up onto my flash drive for safe keeping.

All in all a fairly decent idea for it's own market. I will be interested in seeing how well it does.
written by Ray K, February 20, 2009
I have been an avid user of emails to receive and pay credit cards, electric, telephone thus saving me the hassle of licking envelopes, making checks and using stamps. It was very convenient for me but unfortunately my wife who is even a college degree holder and who can touch type so many words per minute is not an avid computer user. She prefers to read electric, phone bills, cable and mortgage statements in hard copies straight from the companies to enable her to audit them for mistakes that she feels I overlook by staring at the computer screen. She has a good point because I was paying for some fees that was "slammed" on me by a company through my phone bills. She discovered the effect of levitra on women "extra fees," when we went back to paper statement. I got a refund after I complained to the the BBB and my phone company. However, I still prefer and enjoy emails than hard copies. I shred so much of paper mails that I can produce enough ticker volume that I can use for parades in Manhattan...
written by MajorAluminumm, February 21, 2009
My postal friends assure me"if it wasn't for junk mail,there would be very little mail at all".Conserve like there is a toworrow today.Dandelion Salad is free.Don't spoil the soil.
written by jd miskell, February 24, 2009
'junk mail' should definitely be stopped.
AARP, Discover Card, you name it. More than one seasonal catalog, sent by request only, should probably be a criminal offence.
But, it is a big mistake to think that records or archives can be kept digitally. This is no more than Book Burning! You can't read electronic data - no matter how hard you try. Each successive 'format' cuts the public off from the previous information. That is the intent of 'new and levitra pfizer online improved'.
Finally is right!
written by Whitney, February 26, 2009
I actually love this idea for getting rid of unwanted hard copies of junk mail. Most of the mail I get here is preapproval notices and ads for pizza. Why do I need to know trees died for those?
written by Teh Intarwebz, October 14, 2009
Anyone even think of the big/guaranteed possibility of all this data existing in one location getting HACKED? Because that's exactly what's going to happen. Not to mention this company wasn't even founded by people in the business of mail or shipment - they're all a majority of DIRECT MARKETING CEOs like Rappaport from ALC, for example. Which means SPAM SPAM SPAM and selling/trading your physical/email address to business partners and other services for their own revenue. And remember this is still in Beta and this is only an upstart new company. Just because it has chocolate frosting it doesn't mean the cake is great.

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