I sometimes wonder how the Internet has affected postal services. There’s no doubt that email has contributed to a decline in the number of letters sent by mail. However, I’m sure that the number of packages sent due to purchases on eBay and e-commerce sites should more than compensate. The bottom line is that the Internet is both a threat and a source of new competitive avenues.
One new niche that has opened up is in companies offering to send letters for you my post. If you’re in a different country or if you want to automate sending letter, there are some great services out there. Companies like PC2Paper.com (UK) and ESnailer.com (US) will do this for you. ESnailer, in particular, will print, envelope, stamp, and send your letter via regular US postal mail free of charge. They send some ads with your letter to cover the cost, but it’s interesting that the sender doesn’t pay anything.
Will there be new services out there that the Internet will spawn? I’m sure of that. It will be fun to watch them spring up.