Zairmail Service Allows Internet Users to Send Free Postal Mail
Here's how the service, called Zairmail, works: Users log on to www.zairmail.com, select a recipient, compose a personal letter online and submit the messages to Zairmail. The sender can either pay for the message or include product information in the mail piece.
If the customer chooses the latter, he is asked by Zairmail for the recipient's name and address and basic preference information about him, including whether he likes products and services in eight categories, including restaurants, travel and electronics. Zairmail gets the demographics of the recipient from his name and address information, matches it with the preferences and selects product information to include with the letter. Then, Zairmail creates a separate 8-inch-by-11-inch sheet of paper with product information targeted to that recipient.
The company routes the message and its ad page to a print production facility closest to the recipient, where a personal letter is printed on high-speed digital printing equipment, addressed and inserted into an envelope. The U.S. Postal Service then distributes the letter by First-Class mail for two-day delivery anywhere in the country or for overnight delivery in supported markets.
So far, 33 companies have signed up for the service, including Battery Universe, Ebags.com, Adventureseek.com, Hallmark Cards Inc., Silo Inns and CEC Entertainment, which is the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants.
"Advertisers are interested in the service because the advertiser gets to specify demographics, and the message treatments can be totally specific based on that demographic," said Wilson Zehr, CEO of Zairmail. "If an advertiser has three or four different products targeted at different demographics, they can have totally different treatments or messages for each of those demographics."
In addition, he said advertisers like the service because they pay only for what Zairmail places. Prices depend on how much of a page they take out, but Zehr said the cost could be as low as 17 cents per impression. If a sender prefers not to include a customized ad page, each letter would cost the consumer from 65 cents to $1, depending on the number of letters purchased. This cost includes First-Class postage.
The process is designed to save online users time and money while still providing the personalized touch of printed mail.