Innovation That Matters

Snail mail sent directly from any app to any country

Work & Lifestyle

Now that electronic communications have achieved near-ubiquity, we’ve seen several efforts to reestablish connections with the offline world, including Postful, Gratis-Post and Peggy Mail, to name just a few. Now targeting business users comes BlueMailCentral, another hybrid solution that lets users send paper mail electronically from within any application to recipients anywhere in the world. Users of Dutch BlueMailCentral—which incidentally was founded by Colin de Vries, of Handvertising fame—begin by registering for free and downloading the company’s proprietary software. They can then create a letter using Word, Outlook or any favourite Windows XP or Vista application—Mac support is coming soon, the company says—and select the BlueMailCentral printer instead of their own. BlueMailCentral’s software automatically retrieves the address in the document and sends the letter with the address through to its server. There, in turn, the letter is sorted according to country and postal or zip code, and then printed locally by a partner printing company in that country on recycled paper; a customizable and brandable preface page is also automatically created with the address positioned correctly. The letter is then inserted into a large-window envelope and presented to the local postal service on the same day. For most developed countries, delivery is within two or three days; pricing is by the country, including VAT, stamps, envelopes and paper. Online tracking is available, and letters can be recalled free of charge up until minutes before they’re printed, BlueMailCentral says. BlueMailCentral is a closed system for privacy and security, and wherever possible it says it works with partners that have committed to reducing their carbon emissions. BlueMailCentral is still in the midst of launching, but it definitely has the potential to offer businesses numerous advantages—not just the OFF=ON connection, but also speedier delivery and reduced emissions since printing and mailing are both done locally. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this type of service become standard through postal companies or shipping options like FedEx or UPS; one to get in on early in your part of the world?



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