PostalZen is Making Mail More Convenient
Think about the last time you received a letter from a buddy.
Let me guess… it didn’t take you long to remember. That’s because it was probably way more memorable than, say, an email.
But let me ask you this: When was the last time you wanted to mail a letter?
Let’s face it: Mailing letters can be a pain — and if you’re like me, you know that it’s all too easy to say, “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”
Enter PostalZen, an Alaska startup that’s bringing the power and convenience of the web to the world of traditional mail. They print, package, and deliver customized mail — which means that you can easily create a custom letter on the website and they’ll mail it out for you right away.
Not only is this a game-changer for busy folks — it’s also going to make things a lot easier for people who live in remote areas without access to a mailbox.
The company’s founder, Ed Riefle, is both a veteran and an Alaskan. His motivation was to make people’s day-to-day lives easier. “I know that going to the post office and getting supplies isn’t always easy or convenient,” says Ed. “Our goal is to provide a dead-simple solution, effectively eliminating the hassle of traditional mail.”
Riefle says that as a new startup, their main challenge is generating buzz.
“Our big competitors have been around for years and are well established. A big portion of my time is spent developing relationships. The good news is that technology bridges the gaps. This goes both ways — on one hand reaching out is very easy, but on the other hand, many more people are competing for attention. At the end of the day, we spend a lot of time working hard to deliver great service and value.”
PostalZen plans on staying ahead of the competition by offering a great user experience and impeccable customer support. Ed says that PostalZen is focused on three main goals: simplicity, usability, and customer service, and adds: “We strive to provide the services our users want in the most efficient way possible.”
The company plans to continue bootstrapping. “We are focused on developing our processes and validating our services. I’d like to refine our processes further and really get a thorough understanding of where we are heading. Rather than capital, I would love to hear from the community,” says Ed.
When asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs in Alaska, Ed says that entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to launch. “I don’t claim to be an expert, but there a couple of areas that have helped me move forward. If you wait for the perfect plan or perfect product, you’ll never get started.”
“I’ve been guilty of procrastinating through preparation, but I’ve learned that your product doesn’t need to be perfect for validation,” Ed adds, “Follow the Lean Startup Model, build a Minimum Viable Product and get better over time. The improvements will go a long way with your customers.”
“You are only as successful as those around you. Build your network of support using as many conduits as possible. Over the last year, I’ve been developing a network of support through business and military channels. I’ve attended local entrepreneurship events, joined remote mastermind groups, and reached out to successful business mentors. It’s certainly not a 100% response rate, but the value I’ve gotten from these connections is unmatched.”
PostalZen has some exciting plans this year, too: “We are exploring two opportunities for growth. First, we are planning on working with fundraising organizations to establish a turnkey affiliate fundraising program. The benefit is that there would be no up-front cost for our partners. The other area we are exploring is connecting our services with small business direct-mail solutions.”
And that’s not all: PostalZen will be participating in the TechStars Patriot Bootcamp this year to fuel the company’s growth. “I am stoked about this opportunity and can’t wait to see what they have in store.”
For more information about PostalZen, check out the official website.