What is a Virtual Mailbox & How Does It Work?
What is a Virtual Mailbox & How Does It Work?
Business owners and entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and their needs are as diverse as they are. Sometimes, business owners don’t have access to a physical mailbox for one reason or another. Maybe they’re in the middle of a move. Another reason someone may need mail solutions is if they work out of their home and don’t have a separate business address, but don’t want business mail coming to their home address.
Virtual mailboxes are also a great solution for people who are frequent travellers, or people who don’t want to be tethered to one address. With a virtual mailbox, they can see and respond to their mail, no matter where in the world they are at the time.
A virtual mailbox is a popular option for businesses that need a physical address to register their business, but don’t have access to one, or don’t need a physical office space for their business.
Virtual mailboxes have several advantages and can be as useful as having your own physical address.
What Is a Virtual Mailbox?
A virtual mailbox allows you to view a digital copy of your mail online, no matter where you are in the world.
The virtual mailbox service is an arrangement with a company, where they provide a physical address for your mail to be sent. When it arrives, they process it, scan it, and upload a digital copy so you can see it as soon as it arrives. You can use your computer or mobile device to view your mail through the virtual mailbox service. You can see the outside of the letter and decide right away what to do with it – open it, forward it, or shred it.
Once you have read your mail, the company providing the virtual mailbox services to you can shred your mail for security purposes, recycle it, store the virtual copies, automatically deposit your checks, and forward packages to your actual address.
Many companies that provide virtual mailbox companies also have their own app for you to view your mail and take other actions as needed. You can get a notification on your device every time you receive a new piece of mail.
How to Get a Virtual Mailbox
There are many companies throughout the world that offer virtual mailbox services to clients. How you pick which company is best for you will have a lot to do with the options that each company provides. If you are a small business, and you want a street address where you can register your business, you will need to pick a company that offers physical addresses, and not just PO boxes.
If you are a local business and you expect most of your mail to be coming from the area, you might want to pick a virtual mailbox business nearby to decrease any delays from long shipping times. However, if you aren’t worried about that aspect, you can pick a virtual mailbox business anywhere in the world.
Before you choose, you might consider a few things.
● In what format do you want to receive your mail?
● How do you want to treat checks and packages?
● How responsive do you need the app to be? For example, do you need to be able to quickly and easily copy information from the virtual mailbox app to other applications?
● Do you need to have multiple users for one address?
● Do you need to be able to search for documents within the app?
These are all things you can decide before you narrow down which virtual mailbox company you will go with. You can ask for a demonstration of their product before you sign up, so you will know what kinds of functionality they have and if their business will have everything you need.
You also might consider going with a company that is going to offer a special deal as an incentive. Clyde Offices, a Glasgow-based leading virtual office provider, is currently offering 75% off for people who are new sign-ups.
Sign Up Online
Virtual mailbox businesses make it pretty easy to get started with your new mail system. Clyde Offices, for example, provides a form to new users to fill out. Once they fill out the form, their new address is confirmed instantly. The new address is suitable to be used for business or personal mail, whatever the customer needs.
Start to Use the Address
Once you have your virtual address, you can use it how you please. You can register it as your business address, though depending on the virtual mailbox business, you may be charged extra for this. You can have mail sent to it by clients and vendors or family and friends. You can use the address on your website, social media, etc., and be assured you will see all the important mail you need will be headed to that address, where you will be alerted as soon as it shows up.
What Happens When My Mail Arrives?
Once your letters and packages arrive, your virtual mailbox business will photograph the parcels and send you a photo of the outside of the package or letter. You’ll get an email or notification letting you know what you received, and you’ll be prompted to decide how to handle it.
How to Get Your Mail
If you want your mail opened, your virtual mailbox company will have someone open, scan, and upload your letters. Some virtual mailbox businesses can process and deposit checks on your behalf as well, or even send checks out if you get invoices.
If you need the mail item, like you might if you have special items or packages, the business can forward them to wherever you are.
Finally, if you decide to purchase a virtual mailbox, you’ll never have to change your address again. If you move, travel, or decide to become an RV nomad, your mail will still go to the same address and be taken care of as soon as it arrives.