What is a virtual mailbox? And how does virtual mail work?

With a virtual mailbox, your incoming mail gets sorted and scanned, and you receive a digital copy. You can access it 24/7 from anywhere.

by Earth Class Mail
updated May 11, 2023 ·  4min read

What is a virtual mailbox?

Virtual mailboxes make postal mail paperless. With a virtual mailbox, your incoming mail gets sorted and scanned, and you receive a digital copy. Once you have a virtual mailbox, you can access your mail 24/7 from any device, anywhere.

What can your virtual mailbox do?

  • Quickly provide high-resolution PDFs of the interior and exterior of your mail
  • Securely shred and recycle your mail
  • Indefinitely store your mail and documents in the cloud
  • Automatically deposit your checks
  • Easily forward your mail and/or packages

Want to simplify your life? Virtual mailboxes remove your junk mail, make every piece of your mail digitized and accessible in the cloud, and can automate tasks such as depositing checks you receive in the mail.

Business owners, frequent travelers, or those that don't like to be tied down to one address all use virtual mailboxes to manage their mail. Shifting to digital mail upgrades you to a flexible, convenient, and all-in-one mail solution.

You won't have to change your address ever again, even if you move across the street or out of the country. Your virtual mailbox can continue to receive your mail no matter where you live—giving military families, business owners, and frequent travelers an ideal solution to lost or misdelivered mail.

How does a virtual mailbox work?

  • You choose a real street address from our list of 80+ available addresses. This becomes the mailing address that you share with business clients, family, and friends.
  • We receive your mail, scan it, and upload it to your account. With Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, every piece of mail is opened and scanned by our security-trained and background-checked technicians at a secure facility.
  • View your mail from any device. You'll receive a notification when you receive mail that you check from your computer, tablet, or phone. You view your mail as a high-resolution PDF document with searchable text.
  • Take control of your mail. You can manage your mail from any device: shred and recycle junk mail, deposit checks, download important documents to save, or forward to your colleagues. Earth Class Mail integrates with other popular apps such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Quickbooks, Box, and Bill.com.

Are virtual mailboxes safe?

Virtual mailboxes provide more security than traditional mailboxes. Mail theft crimes have grown by 600% within the past three years, according to the postal inspection service. Most people don't watch their mailboxes 24/7, so mail sits unprotected while out of town or when you're gone for the day.

Your paper and digital mail are also more secure with a virtual mailbox. At Earth Class Mail, cyber security experts regularly test our systems to find online vulnerabilities. If weak spots are discovered, our IT team works to address them. Most importantly, Earth Class Mail does not use third-party mail centers to process our customers' mail. Trained personnel handle all mail items at a secure, access-controlled facility.

Choosing a virtual mailbox provider

When choosing a virtual mailbox provider, it's important to know the differences. Many virtual mail providers decentralize their operations, which means that instead of one company with standard procedures in place processing your mail, you're trusting an independent contractor to open and scan your mail.

For the most security and best customer experience, make sure the provider has its own processing facility (centralized). A handful of virtual mailbox providers use their own networks of third-party mail centers that receive, scan, and deliver mail on behalf of their customers. This approach reduces costs and gives a larger network of addresses to choose from.

However, the downside of decentralized providers comes at the price of a lack of customer support (you will have to speak directly to the mail center itself and not your virtual mailbox provider) and a lack of quality control.

Earth Class Mail does not use third parties to process its customers' mail.

Take a close look at the provider's security measures as well. Your mail holds highly sensitive personal information and your virtual mailbox must safeguard it. Ask potential providers: What security measures are in place at their facilities? Are the people handling customer mail items properly trained to handle confidential health and financial information?

About Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company

Earth Class Mail's expansive premier network of addresses and catered plan options positions itself as the leading virtual mailbox provider. Since its inception in 2004, we've processed over 18 million pieces of mail and deposited more than $2.4 billion in checks. We take making mail green seriously, too! We recycle 228.8 tons of paper a year.

Ready to start receiving your mail from anywhere? Find out which Earth Class Mail plan is best for you.

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About the Author

Earth Class Mail

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This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.