By introducing the E-Postbrief on July 14, Deutsche Post DHL brought postal confidentiality into the Internet age. A new era has now begun following more than 500 years of traditional mail communications. The E-Postbrief represents a milestone in the development of digital communications. For the first time, it provides the customers of Deutsche Post with binding, confidential and reliable electronic communications. And at the same time, it is just as fast as an e-mail. As the guarantor of postal confidentiality, Deutsche Post already enjoys the full confidence of citizens, companies and government agencies. It is now bringing this quality to the Internet.
With the E-Postbrief, Deutsche Post is also fulfilling its commitment to be THE postal service for Germany. The addition of an online component to the traditional postal business represents a critically important step in the company's drive to implement "Strategy 2015," which Deutsche Post DHL initiated last year.
Jürgen Gerdes, the Board of Management member who oversees the MAIL division, says about the new product: "We see a major need for secure communications in the Internet. Deutsche Post is synonymous with secure communication. For this reason, the E-Postbrief opens a new business field for us."
Customers' interest in the E-Postbrief has been strong since the product was introduced in mid-July. "Our customers' strong interest makes one point clear: With the E-Postbrief, we have created an attractive product that makes our most successful product, the letter, even faster and more future proof," Gerdes says.
Interest in the E-Postbrief is also very strong among business customers. Deutsche Post has already concluded contracts with more than 50 major customers and partners, including Germany's largest insurance company, Allianz, which again has 19 million customers. Discussions about other partnerships are also being conducted with a number of other companies. Businesses and government agencies can save up to 60 percent of their postal-processing costs by using the E-Postbrief and improve their customer service at the same time. In the past, processing steps like printing, folding and enveloping have made up about 70 percent of the total expense involved in sending a normal letter.
The software supplier SAP, which is also a partner of Deutsche Post, is planning to integrate the E-Postbrief into its human-resources software. With this enhancement, companies can send pay slips to their employees electronically and securely or as a hybrid E-Postbrief - that is, in a printed form that is delivered by a mail carrier. In addition, the E-Postbrief will enable many business customers to communicate more intensely with their customers. Deutsche Post's product partners also include the auto club ADAC with more than 17 million members, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Lotto Hesse, the German Soccer Federation and Zürich Group Germany. Deutsche Post is also negotiating with the Axel Springer publishing company about a payment system for media content.
Just like a normal letter, the E-Postbrief costs EUR 0.55 in both its electronic and hybrid forms. Other services like registered letters or color printing cost extra. "Our letter - no matter whether it is in a physical or digital form - is based on high-quality service delivered by a single source," says Board of Management Member Gerdes. This service can be provided only with a complex logistics infrastructure and a high level of technical and organizational security, he says. For this reason, it has its - very attractive - price, Gerdes adds.
The Group will not comment on the revenue volume it expects to generate with the E-Postbrief or on forecasts about future usage figures. But Deutsche Post believes that it is standing at the forefront of a dynamic trend and sets high hopes into the product, which is to play a major role in its efforts to shore up the future of the MAIL division. In a reflection of the product's significance, the company launched one of Germany's largest media campaigns to pique customers' interest in it.
Deutsche Post has a clear lead on competitors planning to introduce similar products. "Unlike our competitors, our electronic letter is already available. As the year progresses, we will offer additional services that will be attractive to customers. We are the first mover and intend to take full advantage of our head start," Board of Management Member Jürgen Gerdes says.