How stampr could have helped Amazon with their latest direct mailing

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More and more people are waking up to direct mail as a way to stand out from the crowd.  Amazon is the latest to join in and recently mailed letters to Amazon Primer members to remind them that they have free Prime Instant Video.  That’s right: one of the largest internet companies in the world is using mail to let their customers know about a digital-only service.  And who says mail is dead?

Using mail to contact your customers is a great idea, but here’s how they could’ve used stampr to make their mailing more effective.

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Stampr Developement Catalyst fund: $1m devoted to building on top of the Stampr API

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Hello, my name is Cory and I’m the founder of stampr. As a developer, I created stampr to be an API-first service; mainly for my own greedy reasons.

For those that don’t know, stampr is a service that allows you to send letters online.  Send your mailing to us and we’ll print and mail it out with a real stamp and everything.  Accounts are free, so go ahead and register if you’re curious.  (You can send one free mailing per month.)

We’re a bootstrapped company that started a little over a year ago and have been growing pretty rapidly ever since.

After launching, it surprised us to find out that our largest group of customers were on the consumer side.  (This didn’t show up in any of our research!)

We’ve been busy this past year developing features for this group and haven’t had much time to devote to spreading the word of our API.

That changes now!

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Now you can email your postal mail to stampr

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At stampr, we’re all about making it as easy as possible to get your mail to us, and shipped out.  With that in mind, we’d like to announce that starting today you can email your mail directly to us!

Email-to-mail represents the fifth method to make your mailing life easier.  We also offer…

  1. Type online (via your account)
  2. Stampr Outbox (Print to mail)
  3. API (for developers)
  4. IFTTT integration
  5. And now… Emailt-to-Mail!

Not enough for you?  Let us know how it could be easier!

Here’s the super quick 1- 2- 3- getting started.  If you need more detailed instructions, continue reading for more.

  1. Click Email-to-Mail after logging into your account
  2. Create a new stampr email address.  You’ll send your emails to this address.
  3. Type the address in the subject line separated by semi-colons, and the body of your message will become your letter.  Done!

 

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511 new users in our first month! Wow!

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It has been exactly one month since we left private beta and officially opened our doors to the public!

Since then, we have received a lot of new users here at stampr!  Just how many?  511.

We knew that mail wasn’t dead before starting out on this endeavor, but 511 users in one month (our first month!) not dead?  That even shocked us.

So this is a big hello and welcome to all the new Stampr-ites* out there!  We hope you enjoy using stampr for all your mailing needs, and we look forward to your future feedback, and being able to continue to serve you.

* That’s right… we now have enough users to give them a group name, and that name is Stamprites.   …it was chosen by committee.

To potential investors:

Based on these initial numbers, we project that everyone in the United States will have a stampr account by some time in 53,219 AD.  …or does it wrap around at 5,000 AD and start counting from 5,000 BC?

Three mailing methods to mail letters online

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Just finished adding some new pages to our site that detail the three different ways you can mail letters online with stampr!

To summarize:

  • Compose Online in your web browser if you don’t send mail often
  • Use Stampr Outbox to share a single stampr account, and print directly to postal mail with multiple users
  • Build the API into your software to automatically send mail at events you define — or send large volumes of mail with variable data

Click here for a full list of individual features offered by the different mailing methods.

 

Embed postal mail into your website or blog

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A new feature in stampr version 1.2 are widgets.  Widgets allow you to copy and paste little bits of magic (AKA code) into your website or blog.  The first in a series of widgets that we will be releasing is the MailMe Widget.

This widget allows you to add a button to your website that when clicked, will let your visitors securely write you a letter without divulging your mailing address!  Cool, eh?

Take a look at this example we’ve set up.  Feel free to write me a letter! :)

To get started, visit the MailMe Widget page and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Enter a Recipient Address.  This can be any address.  It will be encrypted and not shared with your website visitors
  2. Type your Stampr account email and password
  3. Click the big Get Widget Code button

That’s it.  The website will verify your stampr account and generate some specialized code that you can copy and paste into any website or blog that supports Javascript.

If you’re having problems, feel free to contact us and we can walk you  through the process.  Unfortunately, we can’t type instructions for all the different types of blogging and website software here, but we’re happy to help!

 

Getting Started with Stampr Outbox

For those that do not know, Stampr Outbox is a free extra service provided by stampr that allows anyone to print directly to postal mail from nearly any desktop or mobile application.

It can be used to print and mail invoices from your favorite accounting software to sharing something funny you found on your phone with a friend — all with a few clicks or taps.

How does it work?

The underlying technology that powers Stampr Outbox is Google Cloud Print.  Google Cloud Print is a free service provided by Google that is already set up for you! (If you already have a Google Account)

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Some load testing results for our API

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During the initial development, we performed some load testing via the super useful Load Impact tool.

There are a bunch of other load testing tools out there, but Load Impact was by far the easiest to get started with.  Loader.io by the good folks at SendGrid and BlazeMeter to name a couple.

Our infrastructure is largely built on node.js and nginx and we’re quite pleased with how well node performs — even after being a bit skeptical at first.

This test that was run on Load Impact covers the stampr API.  Specifically creating mailings, batches and configs and retrieving the status of those mailings.

Currently, we have two pretty low power servers behind a load balancer serving requests, but things have been built to easily allow everything to scale horizontally.  If it is called for, more can easily be started.

If you looked at that test, you’ll notice that we were averaging about 118 req/s.  The requests were creating a new batch and mailing, and then listing the status of that mailing. We think we did pretty good for our current setup.

Based on this test, our theoretical maximum for our API is ~306 million requests to our API per month.   So… come at me bro.

Those figures are nothing spectacular, but we think they’re pretty good and show that we are definitely capable.  We can server the load for the foreseeable future and beyond.

Mission accomplished.  Someone get me a flight jacket and an aircraft carrier.