Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to access your stuff whenever you want. As an expat, this might just be a new way of life for you. Limited access to your bank accounts, unreliable Wi-Fi, unstable cellular connections etc., the list can go on; it just isn’t as readily available as you were once used to. In this scenario, stuff is in reference to your mail!
As a subscriber to a mail forwarding service, not having immediate access to your mail is something you may have to deal with. However, there is a solution! Letter scanning! What letter scanning is, is at your request, your mail will be opened and the contents will be scanned and uploaded to a secured PDF and sent to your personal email or cloud drive, depending on who you partner with. The option to have your letters scanned is offered by most forwarding companies, note every company has a different policy. Some will get the scan to you within the next 24 hours. Others are committed to getting your request honored in 30 minutes or less! It is a very useful and resourceful tool when living as an expat. It can be a great way to cut down costs of shipping. If you don’t have to ship a whole pound of letters since you already know what they contain, that’s easily $50 you can save. Just another plus of having a forwarding service; they can actually be quite convenient.
What to Look for in a Mail Scanning and Forwarding Service
The only way to be able to reliably access your mail in minutes – and we mean minutes upon it hitting your mailbox, even if you are at the office or halfway around the world – is to take advantage of legitimate mail scanning and mail forwarding services.
The services work to receive the mail, packages, and parcels that you have sent to you on your behalf (including mail, packages, and parcels that have to be signed for), digitizing the mail as it comes in, and scanning all of the mail that you have chosen to have opened and digitally recorded for your eyes only, too.
These services guarantee that you’re able to access your mail in moments, rather than having to wait to get home and or having to wait while your mail is forwarded to another address that you can physically access it at.
It really doesn’t get much better than this.
Of course, you need to make sure that you are working with a service you can really make the most of – and that’s what you want to zero in on the key criteria we highlight now to choose the best mail scanning and forwarding solutions available in the industry today.
Nothing is more important than protecting the security of the mail that you are having an authorized third-party handle for you.
The United States Postal Service does a great job at protecting your personal and private correspondence, but that’s to be expected since they are an arm of the US federal government.
When you have a third-party service handling your mail – especially when you authorize them to open, digitally scanned them, and then upload them to your online dashboard – you really have to make sure that security is tight, advanced, and always being improved upon.
256 bit SSL security encryption is the baseline standard that you should be looking for when it comes to protecting your digitized and digitally scanned mail. End-to-end encryptions, potential use of block chain, and a whole host of other security solutions can further “lockdown” your mail so that you don’t have to worry about anyone other than you gaining access to the information contained within.
Security is paramount. Make sure that you are only ever moving forward with companies you know have your best interests at heart in this department.
Speed is another big piece of the puzzle, particularly when you are looking for ways to almost immediately access your mail in minutes as soon as it hits your mailbox.
After all, there’s not a lot of advantage to be had in leveraging mail scanning and mail forwarding services that are going to take longer to get your information to you than you might have been able to on your own.
You’ll want this service to digitally scan or photograph every single package and parcel, every single envelope, that hits your mailbox as it is delivered. From there, you’ll want that digital information uploaded ASAP so that you can make further decisions about what you want to do with each individual mail piece – and you want those decisions and directives to be followed out as quickly as possible, too.
The whole idea of leveraging these kinds of services is to take advantage of the speed and efficiency benefits they offer compared to traditional mail that you have to wait all day for, that you have to physically handle yourself, and that (usually) doesn’t end up getting digitized or scanned in any real useful way unless you do it on your own.
Speed is a huge competitive advantage. Look for services that really prioritize security and speed and you’ll be in the best of hands moving forward.
Reliable deliverability is always important when you are talking about having your mail redirected from the USPS (and other shipping partners) to a third-party mail scanning and mail forwarding organization.
For all its flaws, the USPS does a fantastic job about making sure that every package, every parcel, and every envelope that gets sent through their system finds its way to its ultimate destination.
Sure, sometimes things get lost in the shuffle (we probably all experienced something like that in the past) – but the deliverability rate and reliability of the USPS is absolutely top-tier.
The mail forwarding and mail scanning service that you choose needs to have similar reliable deliverability rates as well. Anything less is going to really handicap your ability to confidently move forward with these services.
After all, who would want to continue to use – and pay for – a mail forwarding and mail scanning service that is going to lose anywhere between 5% and 15% of your mail, packages, or parcels?
Nobody, that otherwise.
Really research the deliverability consistency that these companies promise and you’ll have a whole lot less to worry about moving forward.
On top of being able to access urgent mail in minutes you should also look into the myriad of other services that some of the best forwarding and scanning solutions in the industry provide.
Aside from full digitization of your important parcels and documents, a lot of top-tier services in this industry also provide:
- Complete digital records of every mail delivery that are 100% searchable
- Both domestic and international mail forwarding solutions to addresses all over the world
- Automation solutions that improve the efficiency of how you handle your mail on a day-to-day basis
- 100% Online digital mailboxes that are available to take advantage of 24/7
- Instant notifications – including email and mobile notifications – that let you know when new mail pieces have arrived
- Shredding and recycling solutions
- Check depositing solutions
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
How to Choose the Right Mail Scanning and Forwarding Company
Now that you have a better understanding of what you should be on the lookout for from the best mail forwarding and scanning services that offer the ability to access urgent mail in minutes it’s important to dive into how you can sift through all the options on the market today and end up with a company you can trust.
Let’s get right into it!
For starters, you really need to do a lot of research and due diligence into the reputation that mail forwarding and mail scanning services you are considering have in the industry today.
This industry is exploding in popularity, with more and more people interested in taking advantage of the kinds of solutions promised by these companies.
Because things are getting so competitive there are a lot of businesses in this space that are willing to promise pretty much anything imaginable to win customers and to get new business. Sometimes they set expectations too high, delivering an experience that customers are inevitably going to be at least a little bit disappointed with.
By digging into the reputation that these companies have an industry today you are going to be able to avoid that kind of letdown.
You’ll be able to discover straightaway which companies are worth doing business with, which ones have a fantastic reputation for security, speed, and services that actually make a difference, and should have a good idea who you can trust with something as important as mail on a day-to-day basis.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are reading as many customer reviews – real customer reviews – regarding these services as you can find online and in other locations.
The inside information you get from real customers (many of which found themselves in your exact situation) is going to be invaluable. These reviews – good, bad, and otherwise – are going to clue you into the advantages and disadvantages all services in this industry provide.
Make sure that you really pay attention to the things that are shared within these breakdowns. You’ll want to find out how well the actual service matches up to his marketing and advertising, how well they treat their customers, and how effective the solutions that they offer really are.
When you do sign up with a mail scanning and forwarding company is not a bad idea to write your own review about your experiences after a couple of months. You’ll be able to help people that were in your situation the same way that you were helped providing your insight to help steer people in the right direction.
All of these third-party mail scanning and forwarding solutions are going to have unique pricing structures that you’ll have to navigate.
The good news is that all of them have prices to fit pretty much every budget imaginable – with different services, solutions, and options available at each individual price point.
You shouldn’t have to spend a mountain of money to take advantage of mail scanning and forwarding solutions that are legitimate, either.
Many of the best companies in this industry have very fair and competitive pricing, offer discounts for prepayment of services (six month and one month terms, usually), and are more than happy to accommodate customers looking to take advantage of these solutions regardless of what their budget looks like.
A little bit of research in this department will help you find the best companies to match up with the budget that you are working with.
Making the Most of Mail Scanning and Forwarding Tools
At the end of the day, top-tier companies (like US Global Mail) are going to make it really easy to leverage the scanning and forwarding tools they offer all of their virtual mailbox customers.
It’s not a bad idea to look at the automation and efficiency options that these companies offer, especially if you want to eliminate a lot of the hassle and headache that inevitably comes from managing your mail remotely on a day-to-day basis.
Whitelist certain addresses or certain names to have those packages and parcels immediately forwarded to you directly or instantly scanned and digitized, and blacklist certain addresses, names, or types of mail – like junk mail, for example – to be shredded and destroyed without you ever having to worry about it cluttering up your virtual mailbox.
Some of the industry leaders in the virtual mailbox and mail forwarding/scanning industry provide a whole bunch of resources in your administrative panel or online dashboard to walk you through making the most of the services, too. It’s well worth going through those resources at least once just to get a feel for how everything works.
All things considered, as long as you choose a company like US Global Mail to help you hit the ground running with your virtual mailbox needs you’ll never have to worry about losing access to urgent mail in minutes when you need it most.