The Zipinmail Movement: Ending Archaic Mail Delivery, Saving Trees, and Helping Consumers & Businesses

By David Thompson

Jan 14, 2024 08:57 PM EST

Zipinmail(Zipinmail) (Credit: Getty Image)

Zipinmail is modernizing traditional paper mail services with its address-based digital delivery platform aimed at reducing environmental impact and streamlining the process of sending and receiving mail. Founded by CEO Vijay Chetty, the platform offers a virtual global postal system that replaces the need for physical paper mail. With two patents for the 'Digital Wallet' and 'Virtual Mailbox,' Zipinmail is the first-to-market solution that leverages the familiarity of email to transmit important data that is traditionally sent to physical mailing addresses.

Vijay's passion for the environment was part of his inspiration for Zipinmail. The solution addresses concerns in the United States and worldwide, where people are increasingly aware of the 1 Billion pounds of daily paper waste from junk mail. For businesses, Zipinmail reduces their waste and cuts costs associated with traditional paper marketing materials, offering an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative.

The Chicken or the Egg Challenge

Change is difficult. Vijay explains, "Marketplace solutions are always tough to crack, B2B or B2C? Chicken or egg? How do you get the consumers to sign up? How do you get the businesses to sign up? Businesses won't sign up until we have enough consumers on the platform. And you get the consumers first when the businesses sign up." Vijay knows Zipinmail has to focus on customer retention, which will take work.

Vijay is up for the challenge. He is passionate that Zipinmaill is the change the world needs. "Marketplace solutions are powerful, and most successful marketplace solutions are unicorns. Whether it is American Express, eBay, Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, you name it; you can give hundreds of examples of marketplace solutions, and the vast majority of those are multi-billion dollar corporations."

Zipinmail's Unique Solution

For Vijay, the amount of waste that snail mail has created has bothered him for years. "Businesses are the ones creating all this physical mail." And it led him to the Zipinmail vision. "Marketplace solutions are powerful because they bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, help with supply and demand, or improve the process in the middle. Our technology significantly improves an archaic paper mail delivery process in the middle. Today,  32 million businesses deliver 127 billion pieces of paper mail to 160 million mailing addresses in the USA every year. Consumers today are receivers of mail; they don't send it. You can see mail pouring in from political campaigns as well. We will be bombarded with it coming into our mailbox from now until the end of next November. So, the volume of paper mail shoots up every four years during the political season as well. By creating Zipinmail, they (politicians and businesses) can deliver that same content, the same information targeted to the same people within the same physical addresses digitally, without the cost and without the waste."

How Zipinmail Works

Every business prints its mailers from a PDF, a Word doc, or an Excel or HTML. But with Zipinmail, they can take those digital files, and instead of printing them, they are delivered digitally utilizing a physical address. Vijay explains, "Zipinmail looks and functions like an email but transmits data using a physical mailing address. This is all done in real-time at a meager cost, one 10th or less of the cost of direct mail. And we don't adversely impact the environment and nature."

Zipinmail is also convenient for consumers. All their paperwork will be digital and easy to file. Zipinmail's virtual mail is organized and stored permanently free of cost to consumers. They can access all their mailboxes anywhere in the world with their cell phone and control what they do and don't want to receive. Consumers can block by sender, by type, or by category. 

Businesses can still target the audience they want to target.

One of the key reasons for direct mail is the demographic data they have based on a mailing address, and email does not provide any such data. Vijay notes, "That's why businesses send direct mail, for visibility, brand recognition and demographic data. With a platform like ours, once it is delivered to your cell phone, they will get a very similar kind of visibility, or even higher visibility because it's in consumers' cell phones." Since it is delivered to their Virtual Mailbox with the same physical address, all the demographic data is available so businesses can target their audience.

Zipinmail's Go-to-Market Strategy

Vijay and his team have devised a unique and compelling solution to transform this archaic paper mail industry and bring it into the 21st century. "People are ready for transformation. Before Zipinmail, there was no alternate platform providing all the ingredients necessary for transforming it digitally. We are the first to come up with the vision. We have built the technology and it's live."

Vijay has talked to thousands of consumers and hundreds of businesses during Zipinmail's journey over the past two-and-a-half years. "I implore anyone who challenges us to talk to consumers, your friends, family, anybody, and hear their opinion about paper mail; 99% of the population dislikes it and wants a change."

The challenge for Vijay and the Zipinmail team is the execution. "How do we break that 'chicken or egg' nut? We are taking a phased expansion strategy because we know this will take time. Anything centuries old and deeply ingrained into societal norms will take time to change the behavior, so we must and will be persistent. We need to crack that nut methodically."

First, he needs support from visionaries like himself and like-minded investors who have the capital and see the need for change. "In phase one, we are going into a small geographic area to prove the business model. Based on our research, we identified South Bay, Los Angeles, as a perfect area. The demographic there consists of environmentally friendly, cost-conscious consumers, high-income audiences, willing to spend, but they want the best value for the dollar. Now we are in four cities."

Zipinmail targets local businesses that are spending a great deal of money on consumer acquisition and retention. "They're spending money on digital marketing, social media, Google ads, Nextdoor. They are spending money on print advertising and mailers, and they are in verticals like food, entertainment, home improvement, medical, and personal services. We know the categories that spend money on these kinds of campaigns. To provide a compelling value for these businesses, Zipinmail has created an easy-to-use, cost-effective platform for SMBs to send hyper-local targeted digital campaigns based on demographic data via Text, WhatsApp, Email, and Zipinmail with real-time metrics. We will have enough content within the next few months to build our customer base."

"Our research shows that 52% of consumers will not buy a product or service at a regular price. Those are the 'value shoppers' we are going after initially, and we did some initial market trials. We had 4.14% click-through rate conversions-that's triple the industry average. Our messages were resonating with the audience. Consumers loved it."

For the other half of the population, the company plans to introduce a 'Scan Mail' service, which is a concept already present in the market with companies like iPostal One, Earth Class Mail, and others. The scan mail service involves rerouting all incoming mail for a consumer to a central warehouse or affiliated locations like UPS stores. Upon receiving the mail, a picture of the outside of the envelope is taken, and consumers can access and provide instructions through an app. The Zipinmail platform is in the process of implementing this feature, and consumers will have options like opening and scanning the content, holding it for pickup, depositing a check, or redirecting it to a different address.

Removing Investor and Consumer Hesitancy

As an early-stage tech startup, Zipinmail is seeking capital to validate its business model in South Bay. Despite bootstrapping the company, it has achieved significant milestones, including building its team, technology, filing a patent, and product launch with its limited budget.

Vijay emphasizes that the next few months are crucial for proving product market fit and scalability in the direct mail market. The money is there; "it's a $320 billion industry in the USA and a $1.6 trillion global industry." The company needs to find investors who see and support the vision. Vijay notes, "Investors who are willing to take the risk and support us at this stage will reap huge rewards—we are a Unicorn."

The Future

Vijay Chetty's Zipinmail is more than just a platform; it is a movement. Its address-based digital delivery will transform traditional paper mail services into a virtual global postal system, eliminating the need for physical mail. Beyond its innovative edge, the platform addresses the environmental crisis and significantly reduces paper waste while helping businesses leave behind archaic and ineffective customer acquisition and retention approaches.

I don't know about you, but I am ready to join the Zipinmail Movement. Sign me up!

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