Saasu is great at automating things. All emails and statements are emailed out (either fully automatically or as soon as you create one). But one of our client has clients who do not have an email address and cannot receive emails. Here are two options of what to do:
Completely Hands-Off Streamlining
While there are a range of email to snail mail offerings, most of them print the content of your email, or worse, you have to enter the text into their system. To automate, we want to print the attachments.
Docsaway is an Australian service offering just that. And not just for Australia, but internationally. Pricing for a normal letter is under $2 (even with colour).
The biggest drawback: you have to enter each receiving address manually. A specific email address is created within the docsaway system. That has to be copied into the Saasu email address for each client. The process is a bit slow, but if you have just a few clients and they receive an invoice month after month, it is worth setting up.
There is an API, which can automate the process if you have more clients.
While a great service, well priced and with Peter very helpful on the phone, the docsaway website could be simplified.
To login, username and password is not enough. Two numbers from an 11 digit “Memorable Code” need to be entered. A bit too much security for my liking.
When I first filled in the email settings, I lost half the settings, as each box has it’s own save button. Any data outside of that specific box is lost.
It is very difficult to highlight and copy the created email address for a newly entered contact.
The site is still in Beta stage, so hopefully these minor issues will be ironed out.
Hands-off Printing, Manual Posting
The other option is Automatic Email Manager. This utility is downloaded to you own computer and allows complete customisation on whether you want to print email content, email attachments or both. It can be set to check for emails as often as every minute and as few times as once a day.
The most difficult part is to set up a new email address and set the pop3 settings, so that it can be checked. Gmail is a great option for that.
Once set up, all emails sent to that email address will automatically print to your selected printer. (The computer has to run and the printer must be on.
You can then post these invoices and statements as you would have done in the past.
Which one to choose?
Per letter you have about $0.70 fixed costs (printing – black only, paper & envelope $0.10, postage $0.60). That leaves $0.90 for the manual labour of folding the letters, putting them in an envelope, putting a stamp on, taking them to the post office. Not to speak of the time taken to buy stamps, buy envelopes, paper, get the printer looked after, etc.
You can probably manage to prepare 100 letters in an hour. If you have them all ready at the same time. So if you earn less than $90 per hour (or can pay someone less than that), Automatic Email Manager is the way to go. Especially as you do not have to worry about setting up the addresses in a different online system. You just need to make sure that your letters really fit into the window envelopes.
If you only have a couple of letters at odd intervals, the time taken to find the envelopes, get the stamps, go to the post office, etc. substantially increases per letter. Outsourcing it to Docsaway would be a much smarter option then, allowing you to concentrate on building your business.
I’d love to hear about other tools and services that help with the email to snailmail integration.