Mail Forwarding Services in the UK have been around for decades, but it’s only in the last ten years that we’ve seen a huge step forward in how they work.
The internet has revolutionised many industries, making things cheaper, faster and on the whole better. Mail Forwarding and post management in general is no different. In this post we look at what Mail Forwarding is and how the internet, along with technology companies, have changed it forever.
What is Mail Forwarding?
Mail Forwarding is the process of post being sent to one address, then posted on to its final destination. Often set up to work in conjunction with a Royal Mail Redirection, you get a new physical address which can be used to receive both redirected and direct mail. When items arrive they’re forwarded on to the address of your choosing.
What’s wrong with traditional Mail Forwarding?
Typically the cost of traditional Mail Forwarding is too high for many small businesses owners and individuals. The combined service and outbound carriage fees prevent many from considering it as an option. It’s also inflexible; you set an address for your post to be forwarded onto and that’s where it’ll go; if you want it sent somewhere else you’ll at least need to fire off a few emails or get on the phone to change your preferences. Finally, it’s slow. If the final destination isn’t in the UK, you’ll be waiting a while for it to turn up.
So to summarise - it’s expensive, inflexible and slow. It’s no wonder that it’s been the focus of innovation.
What is “Virtual Mail Forwarding” and “Online Post Management”?
Chuck around the word “virtual” and people tend to think of the future - a world where robots have saved humanity, or destroyed it, depending on your outlook. In reality, and in this instance, it’s merely used to say that part of the mail forwarding process takes place online. That’s it - no artificial intelligence or robotic hamsters, just an outdated method improved using the internet and technology.
How does Virtual Mail Forwarding work?
You rent a physical postal address (there are free and premium options) and get your post sent to it, just as you would with a traditional mail forwarding service. Anything received is transported to a single, secure mail sorting facility (in our case anyway), and from there one of three things can happen:
- We scan the envelope and let you know something’s arrived
- We open and scan the document and let you know something’s arrived
- We forward the post automatically to the address of your choosing, unopened.
How do I get to my mail?
This is the clever bit. You can log in from your phone, tablet or computer from anywhere in the world and access your post. You get complete control over your individual items. Have us open and scan some and not others or forward a batch of letters to one address today and another tomorrow. It’s your post, you tell us how it should be handled.
Key benefits of Virtual Mail Forwarding:
- Almost always costs less - reduces or completely eliminates onward carriage costs
- Completely flexible - you can chop and change what happens to your post
- Read your post from anywhere at anytime
- Access your post on the day of arrival - don’t wait for it to be shipped abroad
- Hook it up to Dropbox and Evernote and see your post fly into your favourite apps
- Flexible contracts, you can even pay as you go.
- You can still physically forward your post if you've like to
So you’re sold on the idea of either setting up or moving your existing mail forwarding over to us. What’s the next step?
- Choose between a free PO Box or a Prime London Street Address
- Decide on whether you’d like a monthly plan or to pay as you go
- Complete the signup process
- Submit some identification so we can verify who you are (we know it’s a pain but its a legal requirement)
- Get your address and access to our mail apps
- That’s it, you’re ready to receive and manage your post online.
We know that you might have some extra questions for us about our services, so be sure to check out these pages which cover them in more detail, or if you’ve got something specific you need help with why not drop us a message?
Who are UK Postbox?
We were the first UK based Online Post Office, starting up around 10 years ago, when Allan Chester, a Canadian-born entrepreneur, recognised the need for the modernisation of the postal system. Since then we’ve developed a market leading post and parcel management system, which today is used by over 10,000 individuals and businesses worldwide.
Customer service and trust are paramount to us and we hope that this commitment to you, our customers, is evident in everything we do.