Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

PostalMethods - Web Service for Snail Mail

Updated on November 17, 2023
By Pete Freitag

PostalMethods LogoI just noticed PostalMethods a new SOAP web service / API for sending snail mail via the US Postal Service. This service is from the folks at InterFax who have a nice web service for sending Faxes as well.

It was nice to see that they have code samples for ColdFusion as well!

Some potential uses for this new service:

  • Mailing Address Verification - you can send an automated letter with a personalized code, and have them enter in the code to your web site.
  • Security Notifications - You can send a letter to a users mailing address, when the account email or password is changed for verification purposes.
  • Promotional Codes - Setup a scheduled task that runs through your customers and sends out a certain amount of coupons each month.
  • Lots More - What would you use it for?

mail web services api soap

PostalMethods - Web Service for Snail Mail was first published on July 27, 2008.

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That is pretty darn cool!
by Ben Nadel on 07/28/2008 at 7:28:51 AM UTC
Yeah it is, you can basically just give them a PDF and an address, and they mail it. What I think is really cool about these types of services, is that it allows for smaller businesses to do things that only big businesses could have in the past.
by Pete Freitag on 07/28/2008 at 7:46:29 AM UTC
I definitely want to make some time to try this out, if only for fun.
by Ben Nadel on 07/28/2008 at 7:48:21 AM UTC
Yeah, they have free developer accounts that doesn't actually send the letter but can be used to test out code to call their web services.
by Pete Freitag on 07/28/2008 at 7:53:55 AM UTC
I didn't really look at the setup, I just liked the idea. Is this designed for business only? Or can anyone use it for some flat per-letter cost.

You don't have to answer that, I can just read the docs - I was just thinking out loud.
by Ben Nadel on 07/28/2008 at 7:58:24 AM UTC
Yes, you can prepay as little as $10, which at that rate gets you $1.20 per one page letter, the more you prepay, the cheaper it cost you to send a letter. Then they also charge for additional pages, and other stuff, check out this page for more info:
by Pete Freitag on 07/28/2008 at 8:39:00 AM UTC
1.20 per letter... grumble grumble grumble. Hmmm.
by Ben Nadel on 07/28/2008 at 9:23:50 AM UTC
Yeah, my initial reaction was the same, but as I thought about it... it probably prevents the service from being used for sending junk mail, which is a good thing. If you prepay $1000 the cost is down to $0.79

It would be cool if they offered other types of mailings too, such as post cards, etc... but this is a great start.
by Pete Freitag on 07/28/2008 at 9:36:29 AM UTC
I guess it also becomes a question of "How much is my time worth?" Which is more valuable - the extra dollar on the letter? Or the 30 minutes I save having to prepare it and then find a mail box?

I like to think i'm worth more :)
by Ben Nadel on 07/28/2008 at 9:40:01 AM UTC
Peter - thanks for sharing this. I ran in to it yesterday on my own and have started to develop for this. The sample windows envelop html pages using css to align the addresses and body content was a great find by itself. I plan to develop an application for my clients which allows them to web generate a postal letter each time they get a bounced bad email off their emailing list.
by Bo Reahard on 01/23/2009 at 1:26:37 PM UTC