Snail-mail is E-mail/E-mail is Snail-mail

Eoin Purcell

Postful
Now this is very, very cool
Read/WriteWeb pointed me in the direction of Postful today and I was impressed. The service allows users to send a real paper letter simply by writing and sending an e-mail to another e-mail address. From the site:

Most of us know people who can’t receive e-mail. For me, it’s my grandparents. For others it’s a friend in the hospital or in the military. We’d like to write, but between stamps, envelopes, printing, and mailing, it doesn’t get done. With Postful, it’s as easy as sending an e-mail. You can even create unique e-mail addresses for frequent contacts so that you don’t have to type in their mailing address each time!

In business, you don’t have time to deal with letters. We put a corporate mailroom in your e-mail client. Postful is smarter, faster and more cost-effective than stocking stamps, envelopes, and letterhead (not to mention wasting your time stuffing letters). Whether in a busy office or on the go, Postful will change the way you work.

To my mind the service will almost certainly appeal more to the business world. And when you read these extra points in the features section of the site you will see why:

– Send PDF and Office documents. more

Just by attaching a PDF or an Office document (odt, doc, xls, txt) to your e-mail, you can send it as a letter. Whether you’re sending a legal filing, presentation, or loan application, Postful makes it easy to truly keep your office paperless.

– Keep records of all letters you send. more

Tracking mail is hard. You have to keep copies of letters and records of when each went out. In contrast, tracking e-mail is easy. We can always flip to our sent folder and see what went out. Now, it’s just that easy to track letters.

Companies with regulatory requirements to track outgoing communications can use their existing e-mail infrastructure to record information on outgoing letters. Rather than invest millions in a document tracking system, why not just use Postful?

Perhaps the only worry that I can foresee is privacy. But Postful have anticipated me there and they have a decent page devoted to the topic here. All in all this seems like an elegant service. And one I will probably look to use as a trial in the near future. What is more, if they set up a European print works I might even use it as a base for letter writing. What a joy that would be!

Enjoying short sleeved shirt weather.
Eoin

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