How do you see junk mail? Will you provide businesses sending it to use Zumbox instead?
First of all, we define junk mail as irrelevant mail, and we have built our system to increase the relevance and reduce the waste associated with paper mail. Having said that, Zumbox is an agnostic delivery platform, which means we offer all mail senders, including marketers, the ability to send paperless mail.
But Zumbox offers a unique kind of control that lets recipients decide what mail they want to receive. Specifically, if you receive a special offer in your Zumbox from a business you do not care for, you can permanently block that mail sender so we will ultimately only receive the offers that are relevant to us.
What is your plan – are you going to focus in the short-term on collaborations with municipalities (such as San Francisco and Newark) to get people use Zumbox and then move over to the business sector?
After a successful pilot in a smaller market earlier this year, we started the first stage of our national rollout in September, with San Francisco and Newark being the first cities. Over the next weeks and months, we will announce other cities that will be a part of this stage of our rollout, and the municipalities themselves will be involved in most cases.
Simultaneously though, we are talking to several national businesses and non-profit organizations about sending paperless mail to their customers and supporters in these markets, and we are also inviting local businesses and other organizations to participate. The goal is to create eco-systems, if you will, in the rollout markets so there are enough senders and recipients of paperless mail to make it meaningful for both sides.
Meanwhile, Zumbox is already available nationwide so anybody can start using the service right now.
What is the required penetration rate of Zumbox to make it work?I’m not sure there is a general penetration rate required for Zumbox because these eco-systems can be created anywhere, all with different levels of participation. For instance, a community may embrace the service even if there are only a few critical mail senders initially, and most businesses will find Zumbox meaningful as long as they can start reducing their paper usage and the cost associated with that.
What will happen with USPS if you guys win?
While Zumbox is the first paperless postal system and clearly the first all-digital alternative to traditional postal systems, it is not the first competitor the USPS has ever seen. FedEx, for instance, started offering speedier delivery, but the Postal Service still offered a valuable service. Our service obviously represents a more dramatic shift, as we offer digital delivery, but we do not aim to replace the Postal Service and we certainly do not expect to do that. All we want to do is offer people a paperless alternative. We expect the world to be big enough for both paper and paperless mail.
Thank you Joergen!