The way people connect and communicate with each other has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. We share our pictures online instead of storing them in a photo album. We send a text instead of making a call. Despite the fact that so many parts of our daily lives have gone completely online, maintaining a physical mailing address where you can receive mail is still required for most businesses.
Of course, most people just receive postal mail where they live or work, but sometimes that is not the best option, or even an option at all.
In some situations, a P.O. Box can be a great alternative, however, private carriers aren’t allowed to deliver there, and businesses are unable to register a P.O. Box as their main address.
For these reasons, more and more people are choosing to set up a virtual mailing address for themselves or their businesses.
Whether you’re running a small business out of your home and value your privacy, or are away for weeks at a time traveling and don’t want to burden your family and friends with checking your mail, there are a ton of reasons to consider switching over to a virtual mailing address.
In this article, we’ll explain what a virtual address actually is, how it works, and the benefits of using one.
What is a virtual mailing address?
A virtual mailing address is an online service that provides you with a physical address (other than your home or business) where you can receive mail and packages under your own name.
These addresses are often located at a professional office building, co-working space, or retail location, and are used for a variety of reasons, including to establish a professional presence in a particular city, to provide a secure location for receiving sensitive documents, or to simply make managing personal mail more convenient.
The mail delivered to a virtual mailing address is typically scanned and uploaded as a digital image to the cloud so it can be viewed remotely, allowing you to access your mail from anywhere with internet access.
After you have gotten the chance to read through your mail, you can either forward the physical copy on to a second address, or shred it to prevent anyone from reading your discarded mail items.
What are the advantages of a virtual mailing address?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s starting a new business, a frequent traveler who requires a stable mailing address, or an expatriate who needs to maintain a US address from overseas, a virtual mailing address provides a number of important benefits over a traditional mailing address including:
- Convenience: Virtual mailing addresses provide you with 24/7 online access to your mail, so no matter where life takes you, you always have access to your mail.
- Professionalism: Although using a P.O. Box or a home address can be a tempting option for a small business, it can be seen as unprofessional, and even raise red flags for potential customers or vendors. With a virtual mailing address, you get a real physical street address for your business without the expense of a brick and mortar location, which will lends additional credibility and professionalism to your business.
- Added Security: When you use a virtual mailing address, your mail is delivered to a fully staffed location and processed right away, instead of sitting out by the street while you’re away. Once it arrives, your mail will be scanned and uploaded to a secure repository for you to view online. As for your physical mail items, they are stored securely under 24 hour surveillance until you indicate those items are no longer needed. Then, your mail is shredded, keeping your confidential information away from prying eyes.
- Privacy: Using a virtual mailing address provides an additional layer of privacy for individuals who prefer to keep their residential address private. And for those who run businesses out of their homes, a virtual mailing address prevents your private home addresses from being published along with your public business listings.
- Flexibility: Unlike a P.O. Box, a virtual mailing address meets the criteria of a “physical street address”, so you can receive mail from any courier, including FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
How do I set up a virtual mailing address?
With Virtual Mail Now, The process of setting up a virtual mailing address is actually quite simple. Here’s how to get started:
- You sign up for a virtual mailing address service payment option that meets your specific needs.
- Once your order is completed, you will complete a PS Form 1583 which authorizes Virtual Mail Now to receive and open mail on your behalf.
- (Optional) If you are already receiving mail at a previous address, you can file a change of address with the USPS to ensure that mail is forwarded on to your new virtual address.
- You provide the virtual mailing address as your mailing address when you need to receive mail or packages.
- Virtual Mail Now will open, scan, and upload your mail to a location of your choosing (SFTP of your choice or our cloud based storage software)
- You will receive a message each time we upload new mail to your account. You will be able to view all of your mail immediately, without the unnecessary back and forth typically required by our competitors.
- If you need a physical mail item forwarded to you, we will ship it to your desired destination for a small fee. If you have multiple items that need to be forwarded, we can consolidate them into one package to reduce the price.
Who can benefit from a virtual mailing address?
Nearly anyone who wants instant digital access to their mail can benefit from a virtual mailing address service. Some of the most common use-cases for a virtual address include:
- Online businesses without a brick and mortar location
- RVers and boaters frequently on the move
- Students studying abroad
- Foreign nationals who require a U.S. postal address
- Digital nomads/remote workers
- Expatriates who wish to maintain an address in the U.S.
- Frequent international travelers (work or pleasure)
- Military / active duty service personnel
- Freelance employees
- “Snowbirds”/individuals with multiple properties
- Elderly individuals/assisted living
What comes next?
If you’re ready to start enjoying the benefits of a virtual address but aren’t sure exactly where to start, Virtual Mail Now can help. We provide no-nonsense virtual address services to customers all over the world looking for a reliable and secure alternative to traditional mail. With no contracts to sign and no hidden fees, we make the process of setting up a virtual address for yourself or your business a breeze. Sign up now to get started.