Good question to ask.
Companies have been sending letters en masse for decades now, and some of that equipment can be acquired pretty reasonably. So the problem of creating a highly automated system for printing letters, envelopes, and putting them together is largely solved and the technology can be acquired on the cheap.
The fact of this is evident if you consider the number of competitors that we have:
... are two of the best. There are others which you can find if you spend some time with Google.
The innovations that SnailMailr brings to the table, we believe, are:
- The simple, 'Web 2.0' interface ... which incorporates ideas like - not needing to create an account.
- The low price, which we were able to do because the idea of 'micropayments' on the internet (hard to do for many years because of the high fees charged by credit card companies) has evolved lately ... For example, we use the Amazon FPS service, which charges us only $0.05 + 5% of the transaction ... which in our case is $0.10 per letter ... so you can see how that leaves us $$ left over to draw our profit from.
- The promise that the letter (when received), will look *exactly* as it does in the preview.
Can you tell us a little more about the "automated equipment" that is actually in use in *your* facility, instead of at your competitors? I would be interested in knowing exactly how my letters are being processed on your end. While I would like to imagine that there are high speed printers and some devices auto-inserting our letters into their appropriate envelopes, all dutifiably buzzing along all day...I've learned that a lot of startups these days can be smoke & mirrors as well, and that there is at least an odd chance there is just some guy, perhaps even you, printing letters all day on a regular laser printer and hand stuffing envelopes.
Of course that is a slightly unnerving thought for those of us who may send "sensitive" material using your service.
Can you share what your facility actually looks like and how it operates? Photos of the facility maybe?
Actually, I ended up using the service, sent one letter to where i really wanted it to go, and another one to me personally as a test. Both were received, looked professional, and were well printed.
Regardless if it is a couple of guys in their garage or not, as long as they get the job done, I don't really care. Just need them to be dependable. I haven't used the service since as I haven't had the need but hopefully they can manage to keep the service going because I really need a service like this from time to time as I live outside of the US but continue to do business there.