Introducing the New Earth Class Mail

By Jess Garza and Nicole Hairston

“What’s new at Earth Class Mail?” is a question I’m asked frequently and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share some exciting developments with you! The last time you heard from me was when I joined the company as its new CEO. And while I wasn’t able to get into any specifics about what was in store for 2018, I’m proud to say, since then, we’ve been working feverishly to make significant upgrades to our product. 

First, let’s have a quick look back at this year so far. We’ve:

  • Processed approximately 1.5 million physical mail actions (like scanning, shipping, depositing checks) for you since January, which is on track to double the previous year’s activity.
  • Deposited over $1 Billion in checks for our customers to date, and close to $120 Million this year alone.
  • Processed 87.49 tons of mail items in 2017, and so far 49 tons to date this year (includes packages)

Thank you for allowing us to serve you!

Over the past six months, we’ve been laser-focused on learning what is most important to our customers as well as prospects considering our services in order to determine how we could create the greatest value for their businesses. 

One of the first things we learned is that we would need to provide more than just an updated look for our app and that we would have to build a more thoroughly updated user experience with more functional and efficient ways to use the service we provide to both individuals and businesses.  

To help us collect your valuable feedback and turn it into the effortless experience we’re committed to delivering, we brought in our new Director of Product, Nicole Hairston. Under Nicole’s leadership, thousands of customers were invited to engage with us in one way or another to share their experience and use cases. She challenged our team to look at our (now former) product roadmap with a critical eye to ensure that all that we planned to do aligned with both what customers asked for and what we, as experts in the industry, know they’ll want and need in the future. 

We’ve completely revamped the Earth Class Mail interface then added a number of improvements and new capabilities. 

Nicole explains the new improvements in detail below. 

We’re Listening 

Thanks, Jess! Many of you have expressed to us that you need a modernized, friendly and easy-to-navigate interface to manage your personal and business mail, so that’s exactly what we set out to provide. 

Here are some of the new improvements we’ve delivered so far that make it easier to digitally organize, share, automate and integrate physical mail into your back-office workflows. When you log in today, this is just some of what you’ll see, but by no means are we done: 

  • Share Mail Content via Email – Sending important mail to your team and contacts just got easier. Our new email share feature allows you to send mail contents as a searchable PDF attachment to one or more email addresses!
Share mail content via email
  • Organize with Custom Tags – You can now create and add one or multiple custom tags to any mail item for quick reference. Click on any of your custom tag(s) to quickly view a filtered list of the items you’re looking for.  
  • Filter your Account View – If you have Admin or Inbox access, you can now view all mail items at the account level in one consolidated view. We’ve provided improved visibility into the list of recipients on your account so you can then quickly and more easily filter your inbox by Recipient when needed. 
Filter Your Account View
  • Access Multiple Accounts – If you have multiple Earth Class Mail accounts, you can now quickly view and access each one from a new Accounts dashboard view. 
Access Multiple Accounts
  • Integrate Payments Received – We’ve added new integrations for Xero and Quickbooks Online to help you manage the payments you receive in your mail. After connecting security to one of these accounting services from your Earth Class Mail account, you can record payments to Xero or Quickbooks Online invoices with the click of a button. 
Integrate Payments Received

Paired with our CheckStream service, which allows you to request check deposits directly from your account, these accounting integrations can save you time and help avoid the hassle of having to track multi-check deposits in a spreadsheet or in an isolated application. 

Integrate Payments Received 2
  • Search and Find More – We’ve always had a search feature, but it was somewhat limiting in its results, only finding items with a specific status. Our updated search feature has fewer status restrictions and searches for content by any alphanumeric term across any scanned mail item in your Inbox. You can still search by Sender or Recipient, and we’ve added the ability to search by custom tag as well. 
Search and Find More
  • Brand New Look and Feel –  We gave the new customer interface a fresh color scheme makeover and added easy access to available actions you can request for your mail. 
Brand New Look and Feel
Brand New Look and Feel
Brand New Look and Feel 3

Our goal is to continually improve and simplify your experience so that it keeps getting easier and faster to use Earth Class Mail, in more ways, and with increasing value. The best part is that we’re just getting started!

As we get additional feedback from you and learn more about what works and what doesn’t, we will continue to iterate and improve. There are Support and Feedback links in your Inbox menu so that you can reach out when you need assistance and let us know what you think about the new Earth Class Mail experience. 

We look forward to continuing to build a paper transformation platform that enables you to turn your mail and office paper clutter into the first step of more efficient, digital and automated workflows!

Be well, Jess Garza, CEO Nicole Hairston, Director of Product   Header Image Credit: Steve Roe

What is a Virtual Mailbox? (and How to Choose One)

By: Gwen Murray | VP of Marketing | Earth Class Mail

Updated June 19, 2020

Managing your postal mail doesn’t have to involve sorting through a giant pile of envelopes on the kitchen counter. Fortunately, virtual mailboxes are the go-to solution for modernizing your postal mail. Making the switch to a virtual mailbox means you’ll get to enjoy less paper clutter, the freedom to move or travel freely as you wish, and the confidence that important mail won’t fall through the cracks.

At Earth Class Mail, we’ve scanned over 10 million pieces of mail to give our customers the flexibility to travel the world or work from anywhere without hesitation. 

If you haven’t already taken the leap, let us walk you through what a virtual mailbox is, who it’s for, and what questions you should ask before you choose a provider. 

What is a virtual mailbox?

A virtual mailbox is a digital mailbox service that contains scanned copies of your postal mail, which you can access from your computer, tablet, or phone. 

Wondering how you can access your postal mail virtually? 

Here’s how it works

  1. You pick a physical address from a provider’s list of available addresses. That becomes your virtual mailing address. 
  1. Your mail is received by the virtual mailbox provider, where it’s scanned and uploaded so that you can view it. Some virtual mail providers will accept packages and forward them to the address of your choice.
  1. Decide what you want to do with your mail. Some companies provide the option to store your mail, share it, shred it, or connect with other apps—like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Quickbooks Online. 

Who should get a virtual mailbox?

A virtual mailbox can be particularly useful for people who work remotely, who value location independence, travel extensively, or live abroad. 

  • Freelancers. If you’re a home-based freelancer, you may not want to put your home address on your website or invoices. A virtual mailbox allows you to keep your home address private while sharing a professional address with clients. 
  • Expats. Managing your mail while in another country can be a hassle. Just because you’re living abroad doesn’t mean people (and businesses, the government, your student loan servicer, etc.) stop sending you mail. The last thing you want is to miss an important bill, check, or notification because you’re not in the country. In the past, you may have listed your address as your parents’ or a friend’s house and asked them to let you know if something important arrived. With a virtual mailbox, you have access to all of your mail, 24/7, wherever you are.
  • Digital nomads. If you chose a location independent lifestyle, the need to continue managing postal mail shouldn’t hold you back or create unnecessary anxiety. Using a virtual mail solution means you know you’re up to date on your postal mail and that important communications won’t fall through the cracks.
  • RVers. Living as an RV nomad is becoming increasingly popular. RVer Michelle Schroeder-Gardner shared with Business Insider that one of the most common questions she gets about her lifestyle is “how do you receive mail?” If you’re choosing an RVer lifestyle, you may have seen people talking about forwarding mail to friends or to specific RV parks that you intend to visit. With a virtual mailbox, you don’t have to rely on friends or wait until you get to a specific location to open a letter. Your mail will be available on your computer, phone, or tablet whenever you need it. 

A virtual mailbox may be a good fit for you if…

  • You want a better solution for managing your postal mail. If you have a giant stack of unsorted mail right now, then a virtual mailbox might be a good choice for you. A virtual mailbox will not only reduce your paper clutter, but also turn your mail into searchable PDFs so you can always find what you need. 
  • You want to keep digital records of important documents. You can avoid the time-consuming process of scanning in documents that may not be the best quality. With a virtual mailbox, you’ll get every document as a high-resolution, searchable PDF. And if you want any original pieces of mail, you can just request they be forwarded to you or physically stored.
  • You travel frequently. If you travel a lot, for work or pleasure, you might get tired of asking your neighbor to pick up your mail or putting it on hold at the post office. Especially if you receive packages regularly, having a virtual mail solution with the ability to accept packages can be useful. Once you know you’ll be home for a bit, you can request the packages be sent to your home address.

Questions to ask when choosing a virtual mailbox provider

Now that you’ve decided that you’re interested in a virtual mailbox, here are some questions to ask: 

  1. What addresses do they have? One of your first considerations will be the virtual address that you choose. If you’re a freelancer, you may want a street address that you can also use to register your business. If you’re an expat or an RVer, you might be happy with a P.O. box. Maybe you want to have a virtual address in the city you consider “home,” or maybe you like the idea of having a virtual address in a place you’ve never lived but have always loved—the options are plenty.
  1. What actions can you take on your mail? To get the most value out of your virtual mailbox, ask whether you can see a demonstration of the product to understand the scope of functionalities available to you. If that’s not possible, be sure to find out: 
    • In what format will you receive your mail?
    • How does the service provider treat packages and checks? 
    • Can you easily export your information to other applications?
    • What are your options for organizing your information?
    • Can you have multiple users on your account?
    • Can you search for documents within the platform?
  1. What network and physical security measures do they take? Ask service providers what they do to safeguard their customers’ private information. Find out: 
    • Do they rely on local partners (like local businesses or postal shops) for mail intake or they have independent operations? While local partnerships might increase the number of addresses available to you, they may reduce the security of your mail. 
    • Are the people handling the mail items trained to handle confidential health and financial information?
    • Are there security systems in place at the facilities that receive and store mail items?
    • Do they have back-end security measures in place to keep your data safe?
  1. How quickly can you access your information? One of the major benefits of using digital mail and document solutions is accessing information quickly, in useful formats. Find out: 
    • How long will it take to see your mail contents from the moment you request an item to be scanned?
    • Is there an option to automatically scan all content?
    • How long does mail forwarding take? 
    • Can you access your mail on a mobile device?
  1. What is included in the plan? Of course, you want to find out the price of a plan, but you also want to understand exactly what’s included for that price. Price comparison of different services isn’t always apples to apples. Think about what features you will need (mail scanning, mail forwarding, storage, shredding etc.) and make sure you understand the pricing structures associated with those plans and features. 
  1. Do they provide other services you need? For instance, some virtual mail services also offer the ability to automatically deposit checks or pay bills received in the mail. These additional services can help you get money faster and reduce the possibility of late payments.  

A virtual mailbox can help create flexibility and efficiency in your life, but only if the service you use prioritizes those values. Think about how you want a virtual mailbox provider to improve your experience managing your postal mail, and use these questions to find a solution that can meet your needs.