We’re now live in all of SF, and as part of the celebration we’re introducing Outbox Gifts.
You guys have been such amazing supporters and evangelists, and now that the entire city can get Outbox, we want to thank and reward those of you that are spreading the word. Refer Outbox to a friend and we’ll deliver a special gift straight to your doorstep. On referral numbers three and five you’ll receive gifts as well.
We mean it when we say we love creating experiences for our customers that make mail functional, modern and maybe even a bit more fun. And we found a number of other brands out there spreading the mailbox love too right from the heart of SF.
We’ve teamed up with three Bay Area companies: NatureBox, Sesame, and Quarterly to bring hand-selected gifts straight to your door.
NatureBox is all about healthy snacking. Their monthly subscription service delivers all-natural, healthy snacks—from Cocoa Waffle Wafers to Cherry Crumble Granola, Lemon Tea Biscuits to Plantain Chips.
Sesame is passionate about delivering happiness through experiences. Each Sesame gift set is themed to an experience. Our personal favorite, the Wake Up package includes Philz Coffee, Bari Biscotti, and a Contigo Mug. All the sets are hand picked by experts and delivered in a crisp blue box.
Quarterly wants to recapture the romance and impact of a well-crafted package and tie it into existing online communities in an organic way. Their “quarterly” subscription service enables people to receive physical items in the mail from influential contributors of their choice. Our favorite is curated by the folks at Cool Hunting.
Referring a friend is easy. You’ll find the referral page on iOS apps and the web app, and can share your unique URL via Facebook, Twitter, and email. When a friend signs up, we’ll email you with your gift notifications.
We quietly launched Outbox Gifts last week and feedback has been great. Please keep it coming. We appreciate you helping us introduce Outbox to SF and beyond. We mean it when we say we wouldn’t be here without you, and we genuinely want to know how you think the Outbox experience can continue to grow and improve.
It’s us again. Thank you so much for your patience, your continued feedback, your enthusiastic support.
Today, we’re opening up our doors all the way. If you live in the city of San Francisco, you can sign up for Outbox right now and begin receiving your postal mail on your iPad, iPhone, Android or the Web within days.
Six months ago you welcomed us with open arms, many of you joining our private beta and helping us learn what it was going to take to bring Outbox to your city and beyond. Many, many more of you waited patiently as we set up residency, grew our team, perfected our operations, and even learned from a few mistakes here and there.
If you aren’t familiar with us, Outbox is a beautiful inbox for your postal mail. It’s OK if you have questions or aren’t sure yet. We’re here to here to answer them, and we know we have to earn your trust.
We’d love for you to give it a spin. The first month is on us: https://www.outboxmail.com/.
We came to San Francisco, humbly, six months ago to learn. The response was amazing, and we quickly hit our goal number of beta users. We’ve been busy in the meantime. We announced our Series A round of financing, expanded our SF team and operations base, launched on Android and updated our iPad app to bring ubiquitous access on all devices and the Web.
We knew that if we continued to build and learn from the most demanding and savvy users, we would be ready to take Outbox to the rest of the country. We would not be here without you.
Since we launched Outbox in Austin, Texas, in 2011, over 300,000 pieces of mail have been delivered digitally to iPhones, iPads, Android devices and Web dashboards. That’s almost 1M mail images and over seven football fields of paper. One of our favorite things to share is that we’ve unsubscribed users from over 60,000 pieces of mail.
We still have a long way to go, but right now we’re saying thank you to our loyal users and welcome to many new ones! Thank you for your kind words, your honest suggestions, your support, your tweets, your feedback, even your gentle breakup letter. If you’ve had a great Outbox experience, please share the love. And if you’re new, we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Still want to know more? Read a bit more about Outbox here, learn more about our personal backgrounds and how we ended up on this crazy ride here, get an inside look at what it’s like to be an unpostman here, and enjoy some of our favorite Outbox stories here.
There’s lots more to come in the next month, so stay tuned. Thank you again. Keep the comments coming. Tweet at us, Facebook us, or email us at email@example.com.
Will, Evan, Jason & The Outbox Team
It is with great humility and excitement that we announce we have completed our Series A round of financing totalling $5 million from an amazing group of investors, sage advisors, trusted friends, and a wonderful network of believers and supporters.
When we first came to San Francisco three months ago the response was nothing short of breathtaking. We now get to go to work inviting and on-boarding the entire San Francisco waitlist, expanding our team (we’re hiring!), and hopefully very soon bringing our love for mail to every address in San Francisco.
It wouldn’t be possible without great people like Mike Maples at Floodgate. We’re honored to have them lead our round. Peter Thiel and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund are trusted advisors and friends, and we’re couldn’t be more gracious to have them onboard. Correlation VC, TDF Ventures, WTI, Expansion VC, Joel Peterson Capital, and Emerge DE also all substantially invested in our dream and future. Thank you.
Building a support group around Outbox has been essential to our growth. For some, it’s a crazy idea that doesn’t fully make sense until experienced first hand. For others, checking mail is now a giddy part of the day. People make Outbox possible. So it was a no-brainer when we turned to AngelList to join our journey. At the end of the day, over 80 AngelList-ers invested in our future, many of them Outbox users themselves. Working with Naval and the team and being a part of Invest Online was an honor.
From San Francisco, to London, to New York, Austin, Dubai, Paris, Washington DC, Chicago, Massachusetts, and the Netherlands — thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re coming. Hang tight.
Last week we released our shiny new Android app — one step closer to helping you take your mailbox with you anywhere you go. And today, over 150,000 pieces of mail have been digitally delivered to Bay Area super moms, digerati elites, Giants fans, and probably your neighbor down the street.
It’s been an exhilarating experience. Thanks for following us, telling your friends, and for joining the ride. Outbox has the best supporters in the world. Bear hugs all around.
Stay tuned. Big things are ahead…
Evan and Will, and the entire Outbox team
Today we’re happy to announce Outbox for Android.
We’ve been working diligently to bring Outbox to the world’s most popular mobile platform and now our beautiful, shiny-new Android app is available for download in the Google Play store absolutely free. Nexus, Galaxy, HTC, and Droid fans everywhere, you can now love your postal mail anywhere, anytime.
We’ve made Outbox available for the majority of Android devices. If you’ve ever been curious about Outbox, now is the time to download the app and play around through the in-app demo. We bet you’re going to be hooked the moment you recycle, forward or file a piece of mail with just a touch. It’s important to note that to use the application you must be running version 1.6 or higher. To get started, sign up for an account on Outboxmail.com (or track down your current log-in info) and fire up the app.
Since we’re new to the Google Play store, we’d love for you try it out, leave a comment or glowing review, and spread the good word to friends. Heck, mail them a letter! There’s 600,000+ other apps out there and we firmly believe that Outbox is a must-have. If you have questions or feedback, tell us what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, in the spirit of new app awesomeness, we are happy to extend an invite to all residents in 94117 — which includes Haight Ashbury, Cole Valley, and the Panhandle — to join the Outbox club now. Your neighbors in SoMa and the Mission districts are already living the digital life — ask them what they think about Outbox. If you live in 94117 and you have already signed up for Outbox you’ll be receiving an email shortly. And if you’re late to the party, sign up now and get priority access instantly.
The only thing you may miss is the bubble wrap…
The Outbox Android Team
At Outbox, we care about the impact we’re making on the environment as a whole, in the communities we serve, and in the neighborhoods where we dwell. As Daly City resident and Outbox unpostman Francis Sanchez explains below, Outbox is showing up where it matters: pee-wee t-ball.
On Sunday, May 19, the Daly City Giants celebrated the end of a great season with a winning record of FUN-0. The Giants, a team of 5 and 6 year old boys and girls, participate in the Daly City Park and Recreations Tee ball league. Coached by Paul Tiletile, SOMA and Haight’s ‘unpostman’, the Giants played a magnificent season full of growth, learning, and fun through the game of baseball.
"You can see their skills improving game by game. They’re getting really good. My son is always so excited about the practices and games," exclaimed a proud Giants parent.
The young athletes played in 10 games, culminating with an achievement ceremony and celebration sponsored by Outbox. Families celebrated the season with a fun-filled picnic in the park with food, games, team building, and talks of moving the young team up to the next level together. Activities included a fierce but friendly kickball game between the little Giants and their parents who sported Outbox T-shirts as uniforms. The Giants suffered their first loss of the season against the parents who showed no mercy. Ironically, the Giants ended the game with smiles while their parents stumbled to the nearest seat to rest their sore feet.
The kids and the adults were excited to see the Outbox car and explore the giant red flag poking out from the top. All of the kids wanted a turn in the driver’s seat while Coach Paul explained the Outbox service to curious parents. The kids all wanted their picture taken “driving” the car, happily swapping out their Giants cap for an Outbox one.
Given this success, the latest plan is to challenge the Austin unpostmen to a t-ball game. At this point it is unclear who will have home court advantage.
—Francis Sanchez, Outbox Unpostman
We’ve been extremely lucky to have less than 3% churn among our beta customers - people really seem to love the service! However, occasionally our service just isn’t a fit for someone - and, hey, that’s cool. Take a look at the following letter from a customer leaving Outbox. As it turns out, breaking up is as hard for them as it is for us.
Unfortunately, the trouble is I am just not fulfilling my end of things. I just don’t get any mail. No one writes to me, not even my bill collectors. It’s not anyone’s fault, we’re just trying to make something work which wasn’t meant to be.
I know its hard, and try to understand this isn’t easy for me. I would hate to lose you too. It’s been great, seeing your cute little mailcar scooting down my street, waving to you and seeing you smile. You’re adorable, always know that. I will always have the fondest memories and will always speak highly of you. And if you ever needed anything you can always let me know. I’m your friend, and always will be.
I’m keeping the t-shirts you gave me. They still smell like you and remind me of the happy times we shared.
Keep in touch, I look forward to a day in the future when we may cross paths again :)
You may have seen them running around Austin or SF, sporting that red polo and cap and driving a white Prius with a giant mailbox flag on it. We would be lost and hopeless without our unpostmen.
We chatted with Outbox’s first San Francisco-based unpostman, Francis Sanchez, and got the inside scoop on what fuels him (Fruit Loops!) and how his Pandora drive-time listening helps him maintain focus.
After reading his account, we think you’ll agree he’s our very own St. Francis, patron of digitized snail mail.
Have you ever been recognized as an Outbox unpostman while out and about?
Yes! It was after the Channel 7 News feature. An employee at a UPS store recognized me and said he’d seen me on TV.
Can you describe your morning routine?
I wake up at 6am. As a family man, my morning routine revolves around my two kids, getting them ready for school and off to the babysitter. I’ve usually got a bowl of cereal in my hand (whatever my son picks, lately Fruit Loops). I’m always in motion, walking—never sitting.
We’re out the door at 7 am. The first stop is my son’s school, then it’s off to the babysitter with my baby girl. Afterwards, I jump on my bike and commute five miles from Outer Mission to the office. It’s actually relaxing.
What activities take place before you and the other unpostmen head out for the day?
Lots of activities! We follow a checklist to stay organized. First up is pulling requested mail. Next, we decode and cut keys. Then we route the keys, making sure the new keys are placed onto the correct key rings, corresponding with the proper route. Lastly, we print the manifest, our roadmap for the day, and grab our iPhones with our routes loaded.
What’s the drive around town like? How many stops do you make?
We service hundreds of customers a day and each Unpostman spends 6.5 to 7 hours driving. I prefer Pandora to the radio, and I’ve got to change up my stations every day. Sometimes it’s old school R&B, other days hiphop. Lunch is in the car between stops—sandwich, burrito—whatever is portable!
Can you share a funny anecdote from your route?
On Folsom, I was near the end of my route and heading back to the office. The road is five lanes all going one direction, and I was in a middle lane at a stop sign. A woman ran across the street in front of the car, then circled back. She stopped in front of the car and then snapped a pic of the car and me. I got out, grabbed a couple of shirts from the trunk, and tossed them her way, all before the light turned green.
Do customers ever pop out to say hello while you’re delivering?
While making a requested mail delivery, a customer opened his front door and said, “Thanks! I love Outbox. I’m always traveling, and this is perfect. Love this. Thanks, guys!”
Any wacky comments from passersby?
During one of my stops, I usually wind up parked directly in front of a school. I’ve caught the kids laughing and pointing at the car saying, “The mailbox car is back!”
What can you tell us about your time before Outbox?
My background pre-Outbox was in education. I was a site coordinator for an elementary school where I managed a Linked Day staff. The skills I developed there—being personable, able to talk to anyone, respecting others’ thoughts, making people happy, helping out with problems—are very relevant to my job at Outbox. We’re teaching here, too—changing what customers are doing with their mail and their mail habits!
San Francisco, keep an eye out for Francis and be sure to say hello!
Ladies and gentlemen: the Outbox tales you are about to hear are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
There was the time Joe received a jury summons for Nick. In just a few clicks, he’d emailed (yes, emailed!) it back to the court to politely inform them “he doesn’t live here anymore.”
Then there was Phil who was in town with his buddy Stu for the wedding of their college friend, Doug. He totally spaced on the location, but thanks to Outbox was able to pull up the original invitation right there on his iPhone.
Carrie lives with her mother and was getting really tired of her mother looking at her personal mail…
Ricky is thrilled he no longer has to worry about his wife Lucy checking out his mail (no joke…we’ve heard this one a few times).
And over in Cypress Beach, Turner is so glad he no longer has to worry about his dog, Hooch, peeing on his mail when it comes through the mail slot (yes, people really tell us this one, too).
Noah’s no longer picking up pieces of soggy mail thrown through the garage door, ruined from the flood of rainwater running down the driveway.
Finally, Roger R. was checking in at the airport and didn’t have an ID for 6 month old Baby Herman. Fortunately he was able to pull up the little guy’s social security card immediately on Outbox and hop on that flight.
These stories are some of our more unique (real-life!) use-cases, but we love hearing about the simplest of ways Outbox makes your life easier, whether that’s the ability to keep an eye out for important documents on business trips, less time spent sorting and more with family and friends, or peace of mind knowing the mail you don’t want is being properly shredded and recycled.
Has Outbox ever saved the day for you? We’d love to hear about it!
“Why on earth do you come by my house to pick up my mail,” we hear from thousands of people. “Shouldn’t I just send you my mail?”
Great question, and one we get a lot. In fact, we shared your belief for about a year…but after tens of thousands of mailbox runs, we’ve concluded that picking up mail at your house is the only way we can create the elegant user experience we demand.
To help explore this further, consider the two main options for sending us your mail:
1. Forward mail to Outbox: on first glance you could just use the free USPS product mail forwarding to send your mail to our warehouse. However, in many cities, mail forwarding results in a 10 day delay (often more) of your mail, does not include catalogs and other standard mail, only lasts 12 months, and nearly certainly loses most of your packages. Thus mail forwarding to our address would create a terrible user experience.
2. Get an address with Outbox: what about just changing your mailing address so that your mail is sent to Outbox in the first place? Great idea — in theory. However, the challenge here is that you only control the senders of about 30% of your mail. What if I told you to “change” your address with catalogers, junk mailers, and your city utility company? You can’t! So even if you changed your address with some senders, you’d still get a ton of mail at your house. Outbox would only get some of your mail — leaving the rest at your house — and would be yet another place you have to go for important communication. We are trying to make your communication more simple, not more complex.
Our insane operations process is the only way to create an amazing user experience: sign up for Outbox in about two minutes and you are 100% paperless overnight. No emails or calls to your billers; no using apps to scan your mail to unsubscribe; no shredding; no hiring a personal assistant. Literally overnight you never have to deal with paper again. Our current users tell us that this is extraordinary. Meanwhile, your subscription magazines and packages come through uninterrupted.
We know our approach is crazy. But it’s like Winston Churchill said about democracy: it’s the worst form, except for all the others. But don’t worry: we’re not building out a 10,000-Prius network. Our long term vision is that all Outbox customers have an Outbox Address. Senders can use our API to reach you with both digital content (bills, statements, deals, etc.) and physical content (gifts, printed material like photos, or packages). As a customer, you will get most of your content digitally on any of your devices and some of your content delivered physically wherever you want: your apartment, your office, or even your hotel. You get just the content you want (unsubscribe from everything you don’t want), in the medium you want it (digital or physical), where you want it (any physical address for delivery: hotel, house, work), and have total control of it (send it, shred it, email it, share it).
Outbox will give you control of the content in your life so you get what you want, in the medium you want it, where you want it. We believe in this long term mission so strongly that we’ll do anything in the short term—including driving to your house to pickup your mail—to realize it.
Are you on board with the vision? Sign up free below and we’ll let you know when we launch in your neighborhood.