Starting a Mail Service
US Global Mail and USA2Me offer mail services aimed at ex-pats, travelers, and businesses looking for a company to perform their mail operations. They are both available at their own locations in Texas. Anytime Mailbox on the other hand uses a network of partners to offer services at 702 locations. The pricing options vary and US Gloval Mail seems to have made the process a little complicated with the number of different pricing options. Although Anytime Mailbox has a lot more locations and pricing options the manner in which the website is set out means this is easily understood by the consumer.
US Global Mail
- US Global Mail provides customers with a US mail address for mail and package delivery. The company will then ship, scan, or discard mail as directed. Mail is uploaded to a virtual mailbox, which enables customers to see the contents of the mail and, in many instances, negates the need to forward the mail physically. US Global Mail has more than 80,000 customers globally. Since US Global Mail opened in 1999, it has digitalized more than 20 million pieces of mail. The service is orientated toward ex-pats, digital nomads, traveling retirees, businesses, and HR and relocation.
- The company provides mail- forwarding, business addresses and mail services, HR and relocation services, enterprise mail, mail scanning, and virtual mailbox.
- US Global Mail offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Payment can be made monthly, 12 monthly (save 16% with two months free), or 24 monthly (save 25% with six months free). Individual plans are between $14.95 and $29.90 per month, family plans at $10-20 per month, and business plans at $25 per month.
- The details of the plans are set out below.
- Shipping can be offered at discounted prices because of volume-based discounts the company has negotiated. An example of the shipping prices is detailed below.
- Examples of the messaging and language used on the website landing page include "Mail Forwarding With a Permanent Mailing Address," "Award-winning virtual mailbox service," "Up to 80% Off on international shipping," and "Get your mail scanned, shredded, deposited, or shipped with up to 80% Off on Shipping Rates."
- Overall the language on the website has a sales pitch feel to it. The website focuses on pricing predominantly. The experience, number of customers, and volumes of mail they have dealt with is highlighted in several places to emphasize the company's history, experience, and reliability. US Global Mail also uses several customer reviews and its rating on third-party review sites to emphasize its quality.
- A search of the digital advertisement database located no digital advertising (US bank was the only return for this company name), which is unsurprising. It seems the marketing budget for most of the companies of this nature appears to be focused on search engine optimization (SEO). The website and SEO optimization seem to be their only real marketing.
- US Global Mail is a private company and is not required to disclose its financial records. The company has an estimated annual revenue of $6 million. They employ 30 people in their Houston, Texas offices.
- USA2Me is a family-owned and operated company in Houston, Texas. It was established in 2004 and has served over 20,000 customers, shipped over 125,000 items, and received more than 2 million packages. Since 2006, USA2Me has been the winner of the industry´s annual Gold Star Award.
- With a staff of 17, USA2Me generates an estimated annual revenue of $3 million, through mail receiving, forwarding, scanning, personal shopping, order fulfillment services, and virtual office services.
- USA2Me offers four different pricing plans ranging from Basic to Ultimate. Details of the Basic, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate plans are detailed in the table below, alongside the respective pricing for each plan.
- A calculator is provided to estimate shipping prices.
- USA2Me is one of the companies that do require customers to complete a USPS Form 1583. They warn that customers will not be allowed to order any shipments or discards until the form is completed and returned, along with two types of ID. They do allow the form to be verified online through a video verification process that is set out on their website.
- The landing page of USA2Me sets out all the basic information a customer would need while encouraging them to enter the site and find out more. A revolving banner details the key messaging, which includes "Get a US address today with a 30-day trial," "Get your own US postal address to receive mail and packages," "Sell and do business in the US with order fulfillment and mailing," "Manage your own US mail and packages online," and "Shop in USA websites and get your mail anywhere.
- USA2Me is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The pricing options are simple and not overly complicated, especially compared to US Global Mail, which had several complicated options that were not explained well. The language is sales-focused and authoritative, clearly explaining the services on offer. They also promote referral marketing, with a $50 refer a friend program.
- There were no digital advertisements for USA2Me on the digital advertisement website (advertisements for UGameZone were the only return when searched). It appears that USA2Me relies predominantly on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for its marketing.
- Anytime Mailbox was founded in 2013 and employs ten staff members in its operations. They had estimated annual revenue of $2 million in 2019. The company has developed its own technology in the form of a global platform that enables customers to view, read, and manage their mail 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world. They have processed 2,295,797,835,376 bytes of mail data since 2013.
- The mail services offered by Anytime Mailbox are orientated slightly differently than the aforementioned companies. Anytime Mailbox offers 702 locations across the US send globe as mailing addresses, providing real street addresses, mail and package forwarding, check deposit services, opening and scanning of mail, and unlimited online storage.
- The software platform developed by Anytime Mailbox is "recognized as the postal ecosystem's leading private-labeled, cloud-based technology." By enlisting a range of partners around the world, Anytime Mailbox gives mail center operators and business centers the opportunities to create virtual mailboxes for its customers. It has created a global network of partners. For the consumer, the service is similar to others offered on the market, but a greater selection of addresses globally is available.
- The pricing options for the consumer start as low as $6.99 and are location dependent. Consumers select the location they want their mail to be sent to, and a range of options are presented. When selected, the pricing options are revealed. An example of the pricing is set out in the table below.
- The main point of difference between Anytime Mailbox and the other two companies is that there is no standard cost. Because a network of partners delivers the service, it is up to each individual partner to set the prices that work for them. The unfortunate downside of this approach is there is a considerable amount of variance in the prices set.
- The language used on Anytime Mailbox website is straightforward and explains the system that they have developed in respect of mail services. It isn't as sales orientated as the other two websites and has a couple of useful case studies for those interested in becoming a partner. The partnership network presents an opportunity for an operator who is looking to set-up in the area but doesn't perhaps have the resources to do it alone.
- Customer experiences in the form of video reviews are provided to give potential customers insight into the service and how it works.
- One of the reasons for the different approach and language is that the website is attempting to cater to two potential groups, the customers and potential network partners, both seeking slightly different information. The messaging on the landing page is orientated toward the end-user and includes "Manage your mail online," "Services at 702 locations. Rates starting as low as $6.99 per month," and "Securely access your virtual mailbox."
- Anytime Mailbox does not use digital advertising, and like the other two companies seems to rely upon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as their primary marketing strategy.
We reviewed the websites of the respective companies, available financial records, and industry publications to determine the requested information. All of the companies are private companies and, as such, are not required to disclose their financial records. We are therefore unable to comment regarding the costs and profits, although, we have located the estimated annual revenue and staffing levels for each company. Anytime Mailbox was the only company that disclosed the technology used. The other two companies do not make the information available publicly.