Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

PostalMethods - Web Service for Snail Mail

coldfusion

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!

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 Nofications - 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?

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

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Comments

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: http://www.postalmethods.com/pricing
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
BTW: PostalMethods do postcards too these days.

We run a UK service which is a bit similar, but letters are from 25p+VAT (+ around 10p for international) - it's only cheaper as we run our own postal license and produce the print output in-house!

It's cool to see something similar across going on the pond.

Our concept started with MS Word Docs with server-side mail merging capability, so the genesis is a bit different, but the delivery is similar - accessible via web portal, with software integration via our API

For the API it's interesting just how diverse the users are. We've got from Spice Importers, to Retail Shops, Clothing Makers and Doctor's using it!

Our own postcards have taken off in a big way & our extended Greeting cards ordering (originally made for Xmas a few years back) is coming on too.
by Docmail on 09/28/2010 at 9:21:29 AM UTC