What is a Virtual Mailbox and Why You Need One
Virtual Addresses for business are much cheaper than getting a physical PO Box. These virtual mailboxes are great for E-commerce businesses & more ease of controlling your physical mail.
If you have internet in any corner of the world, you can check your regular snail mail online as well. Thanks to the ‘Virtual Mailbox’ service, your mail is accessible to you, just like your emails.
However, in addition to this, a virtual mailbox provides many other services too. These services include opening, scanning, shredding, and forwarding mail. It also allows you to recycle and dispose of any unneeded mail. One of its most notable features is that it sends you notifications in real-time.
A virtual mailbox is a perfect option for travelers who would not want to ask their friends and family to pick up their mail while they are away. Apart from travelers, online businesses and digital nomads can also greatly benefit from it. This is because a virtual mailbox relieves you of the stresses associated with maintaining a physical space for it. Not sure how this benefits you? Discover how liberating and automated your life can become when you take all your mail virtual.
How Does a Virtual Mailbox Work?
If you possess an email account then you have all the skills required to have a virtual mailbox. A virtual mailbox is different from an email inbox because the mail starts out as physical letters, bills, advertisements. Recently launched, the United States Postal Service now offers a way for you to literally sort through your physical mail online and only schedule delivery of those letters you want in physical form.
You can also open letters online, view them, and if you want to save them, you are offered the archival feature that allows you to store important letters in the cloud. Most virtual mailboxes feature a download option as well. This allows you to create a PDF of an important document, then download it to your computer. If you need to have it in physical form you simply print it out, or schedule it to be delivered. In order to enable the virtual mailbox you must fill out a special USPS 1583 form and then obtain a virtual mailbox service (of which there are many).
Benefits of a Virtual Mailbox
A virtual mailbox has more than just a mailing address to offer. Some of the perks include:
- Having a permanent street address: It saves you from having to walk to a physical mailbox to check it daily. Moreover, all primary courier services such as FedEx and USPS also accept it. For online businesses, having a prestigious location is a huge plus. It also allows them to keep their privacy intact by providing them with an anonymous mailbox.
- Streamlining administration and workflow : It is effortless to scan documents and then figure out whether to hold or shred them. Also, the Optical Character Recognition allows you to conveniently search with just the PDF scans in the mail.
- Keeping Records of Digital Mail Documents: Crucial documents, such as bills, taxes, and fees, are easily stored in your virtual mailbox for as long as you wish to keep them. In the long run, it could help you with auditing.
- Depositing checks to any bank in the US: If you receive a paycheck by mail, all you have to do is to make a deposit request with your financial institution. Your bank immediately deposits it and adds it to your account.
Discover Virtual Mailboxes for Your Business
Virtual mailboxes have greatly streamlined the way some businesses operate. It allows them to save or archive essential documents and delete any junk mail instead of manually opening and sorting them. This frees up an incredible amount of time that is better used in other activities. Additionally, businesses can download PDF files of important documents and maintain records easily. In addition to that, it sends you timely notifications whenever you receive mail and allows you to check them from any device.
One of its most commendable features is that it helps businesses build trust among their customers if their business address is linked to a commercial office. Customers also find it more convenient to check your permanent address and locate you. Moreover, it also helps improve your overall market presence as a virtual mailbox allows you to have different addresses throughout the country
The Best Virtual Mailbox Services
Price per month: $69-$179 USD
This is one of the most top-notch services, especially for online businesses, and one that is worth the expense. Even though you might be required to pay a premium to avail of its services, the speed and software would be the right compensation. You can use it to receive essential business packages, tax documents, and client checks. It can also be integrated with Google Drive, Dropbox, Bill.com, and more.
Price per month: $10-$20 USD
U.S. Global Mail offers both family and individual plans on either a monthly or yearly basis. Initially, it provides letter storage free of cost for the first 180 days and storage of packages for 30 days. Even though it provides affordable forwarding rates, the downside is that only one location in Houston is offered for the address. This could be a concern if your state of residence does not match with your address.
Price per month: $20-$90
One of the simplest platforms to use, the set-up takes less than 30 minutes. There are no setup fees, a money-back guarantee, no contracts, and no cancellation fees. You can start the service for as low as $20, which allows you to receive up to 10 free scans and 25 pieces of mail a month. You are charged per item if you go over this amount, so most recommend going with the next step up plan called Best Value Plus. It costs $35 and is unlimited mail.