Zumbox lines up partner to launch paperless postal service

Zumbox is announcing a new partner and a new chief executive today to prepare for its launch of a national paperless postal service.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company said it has partnered with ALC, a data marketing service provider, to help launch its system, which lets companies send you bills or friends send you correspondence to a digital mailbox, eliminating the need to send paper letters or bills through the U.S. Postal Service. The company came out of stealth mode in February.

Zumbox has also hired Donn Rappaport, ALC’s own CEO, as its new chief executive. Rappaport will remain chairman of ALC, which he founded in 1978. ALC will help Zumbox with sales and marketing. Maury Friedman, founder and chariman of Zumbox, said the moves represent a new stage of growth for the company. Zumbox will start its national service in September.

Zumbox lets you send or receive scanned, physical representations of letters, bills or other things you might normally send via paper mail. You can log into your mailbox at the Zumbox site and then receive digital delivery of your mail.

And you don’t have to put a stamp on anything. For now, it’s free for everyone except advertisers and marketers, who can pay for premium service. Consumers can now view online the mail they wish to receive and the service allows them to access it from anywhere at anytime via the Internet. And the service doesn’t take a day off on Sundays.

Zumbox has created a digital mailbox for every street address in the U.S. So companies can send bills via Zumbox. You open them and they look like scanned versions of the real paper bills. The Zumbox site will let you look at a variety of media in the form of HTML, Flash, audio, and video. Nonprofits, businesses, government entities and consumers can use it for free.

Zumbox mailboxes are secure, since the company uses a closed system with security measures that meet the toughest regulations, such as the medical-record HIPAA law. Users get a secure PIN number, which they receive from Zumbox via paper mail, just to make sure that scammers don’t hijack your mail. The benefit of the closed system is there’s no junk mail. Consumers can still order and use a variety of electronic payment systems. They can also browse through the catalogs they want to see and order goods.

Zumbox will charge advertisers and marketers because it gives them real-time campaign measurement tools that are unavailable through traditional mail. Marketers and advertisers can also send mail to a single address, a mailing list, or a specific geographic region such as all of the homes in a specific zip code.

The company was founded in 2007. It has 33 employees and has raised $4 million from private investors. Rivals include Earth Class Mail, another provider of alternative mail services.

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