How to Set Up a Virtual Mailbox

April 07, 2022

Virtual mailboxes are one of the best ways to digitize your mail without giving up a physical address. Thousands of businesses and travelers use the service to streamline their mail delivery, reduce junk mail, and receive uninterrupted mail service from anywhere. 

While this popular PO Box alternative may require some upfront costs, it’s surprisingly easy to set up and start using the service. If you’ve been thinking about using a virtual mailbox to manage your personal or business mail, we’ve got you covered. Here are six easy-to-follow steps to help you set up a virtual mailbox today.

What Is a Virtual Mailbox

Whether you are a world traveler or a small business owner, virtual mailboxes offer countless benefits to help streamline your mail. Similar to a PO Box, individuals or companies can receive mail at a physical location regardless of where they live or work. 

Virtual mailboxes also offer services to view and forward your mail remotely from any internet-connected device. This flexibility allows for uninterrupted mail delivery, increased control, and greater flexibility over how and when you manage your mail. Plus, it reduces the likelihood of losing important mail or packages simply because someone was not there to receive them.

6 Steps to Set Up Your Virtual Mailbox From Start to Finish

To help start your research, here are six basic steps to set up your virtual mailbox.

1. Find the Right Provider

There are several virtual mailbox providers to choose from. Each offers different pricing packages, time-saving features, and add-on services. To find the right provider for you, start by determining your budget and what services you’ll need, both now and in the future. For example, if you plan to receive and forward packages, look for providers that offer flexible forwarding options. 

After reviewing your service requirements and budget, consider the following questions before choosing a provider:

  • Does the provider have good customer service?
  • Can you easily cancel or change your account?
  • What are their online ratings or reviews?
  • Can you trust them with time-sensitive mail?
  • How do they keep your mail and online information secure?
  • Are they recommended by a friend or business associate?

2. Select Your Physical Mailing Address

The physical location of your virtual mailbox can be a significant factor when deciding between providers. If you’re selecting an address for a company, you’ll want to choose one in the appropriate state, county, and city where your business is incorporated.

3. Pick a Plan & Any Add-on Services

Most virtual mailbox providers will offer tiered subscription plans with different services. Often, the pricing depends on the amount and type of mail you’ll receive, feature limits, and any add-on services. Do your homework to ensure your selected plan meets your needs or allows changes if necessary. If you need help deciding, consider the following popular services for virtual mailbox plans:

  • Number of Addresses Per Account
  • Number of Mail Recipients Per Account
  • Mail Receiving 
  • Mail Scanning 
  • Mail Storage 
  • Domestic or International Mail Forwarding
  • Mail Shredding and Disposal 
  • Package Receiving
  • Package Storage
  • Package Forwarding
  • Electronic Check Deposits

4. Pay for Your Plan

You’ll need to submit payment to finish setting up your virtual mailbox. Before providing your payment information, double-check that you have selected a reputable provider. 

If you want to save some money, many providers offer free trials or discounts for extended contracts. You can also sign up for their mailing list or reach out to customer support and ask about any current promotions or discounts.

5. Complete U.S. Postal Form 1583 

The USPS requires all commercial mail receiving agents (CMRAs), such as PO boxes and virtual mailbox providers, to complete certain requirements. You’ll need to fill out, notarize, and submit U.S. Postal Form 1583 before a CMRA can receive mail on your behalf. You’ll also need to submit two forms of identification.

While you may be able to download and fill out this form online, you’ll need additional time to notarize the document. If you’re looking for an inexpensive notary in your area, many local banks offer free notary services, even for non-customers. For more information about Form 1583, check out our guide on How to Complete USPS Form 1583 for a Virtual Mailbox.

6. Start Receiving, Managing, & Forwarding Your Mail

After setting up your virtual mailbox, familiarize yourself with the online system and features. Typically, there’s a user portal where you can log in from any device with internet access. When you receive mail, they will scan the outside and send you a notification. You’ll have the option to open it, read it, shred it, or forward it. For packages larger than the standard envelope or postcard, you’ll often have the option to store or forward it to your current location.

Tips To Improve Your Virtual Mailbox Experience 

As you prepare to set up your virtual mailbox, keep these extra tips and tricks in mind to improve your experience:

  • Avoid reaching mail limits by opting for paperless billing and account records with your banks, insurance providers, and critical accounts.
  • Select your virtual mailbox address carefully. Businesses should take extra caution, as selecting the wrong state or county could have negative tax implications.
  • Check your personal and professional network for virtual mailbox provider recommendations.

Why a Virtual Mailbox Is Worth It

A virtual mailbox can be a game-changer for how you live, work, and travel. Whether you use it for your personal or business mail, this modern solution helps relieve many of the common pitfalls of mail delivery. You’ll no longer have to be tied to one location while you wait to receive a critical piece of mail, and you can eliminate junk mail from the process. Best of all, the setup and maintenance are relatively simple.

Try Out SnapMailbox Risk-free for 30 Days

Whether you are a first-time virtual mailbox owner or looking to make a change, SnapMailbox can help. We offer flexible features and reasonable pricing for our customers. With SnapMailbox, we’ll worry about your mail while you focus on work, travel, and everything in between. Give us a try today with a free 30-day trial. If you’re not happy with the service, you can cancel anytime. Learn more by visiting our FAQs.