Paper mail isn’t personal anymore. But it hasn’t gone away, either.
Paper mail isn’t personal anymore. But it hasn’t gone away, either.
Jay Maller

When we at Eco-Mail sell the benefits of digital mail, we talk to a lot of business executives. If they aren’t operations-oriented, when we elaborate on the needless waste of time, effort, and money that paper mail inflicts on their businesses, they often say… “What paper mail?” They don’t quickly see the problem because, like many of us, they don’t get much paper mail anymore. “I get email,” they say. “Can’t we just accomplish this with email?”

The truth is, personal mail – congratulatory notes, invitations to lunch, news and gossip from friends – moved from paper to digital long ago.

But, in a typical business, over 70 percent of incoming paper mail is transactional in nature. It’s not addressed to a person – it’s addressed to a group. The real estate group, the legal group, the consumer correspondence group, the loan servicing group. It’s an invoice that needs routing to accounts payable, or an office lease renewal for the lawyers to look at, or a utility escalation notice that needs to be eyed by financial planners for cost forecasts. Its only common trait is that it requires someone to take an action. And the efficiency of that action depends on integrating it into well-established workflows, in every corner of your organization.

This is where volumes of paper mail still endure in your business – and keep you from operating at 21st-century speed and efficiency. So, how does digital mail help? To start, it lets you master operations that conventional email just can’t handle.

Think about it. You don’t want to email critical transactional mail to a single person: If that person’s on vacation, who’ll see it? Or, if you send it to a group address: how do you track who actually touched it, or verify its progress through a chain of actions? At every step, you’re losing control. And slowing processes that really matter – whether to colleagues’ needs, or regulators’ mandates, or customers’ expectations.

The answer for transactional mail is to turn it into powerful digital assets – at the point of entry to your business. Quickly, and in volume. Then send each piece into a managed queue, as a digital file. Instantly, it’s in the flow – secure, searchable, auditable, with data that can easily flow into existing systems and be processed at speed.

That’s the beauty of digitizing transactional mail at the source. By freeing data from the isolation of paper, It dramatically shortens the path from Point A – automated scanning, sorting, and routing — to Point B — getting all that varied data, from all those paper-bound business processes, into your efficient digital workflows.

Of course, the right digital mail system should still be flexible enough to take care of the 30 percent of inbound mail that isn’t transactional, or is addressed to individuals or executives. In these cases, sending an email attachment might be exactly the right solution.

The moral of the story: paper mail is rarely personal anymore, and it needn’t be. It needs to be where it inherently belongs – within the digital flow of modern business. Then, you can sit back and watch the benefits accrue, to everything from bottom lines to brand reputation.

Eco-Mail is a secure, scalable, Digital Post Office system that transforms incoming physical mail into powerful digital assets – at their point of entry to your business. We enable clients to streamline their operations, increase response times, improve their controls and compliance – and, by the way, save a huge amount of money. We’re already helping one of America’s three largest banks. We love to talk about digital mail, so email me direct if you like at jay.maller@eco-mail.com

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