I signed up for ‘Informed Delivery’ in May 2017. Now, after almost a year of using the service, I’m pleased to report that it’s sort of a big deal.
For all of you late adopters, this article will catch you up to speed on the basics of what Informed Delivery is and how it works.
WHAT IS IT?
Informed Delivery is a free service provided by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which allows subscribers to see the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox each day.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When the USPS processes your mail, a photograph is taken of each mail piece that will be delivered to you that day and sent to you via email.
There is no cost to sign up for Informed Delivery and it only takes about two minutes to register.
I asked several people who are using Informed Delivery why they like the service. The responses varied, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Security – “I can see what’s arriving in my box ahead of time, so if a piece of mail goes missing, I can immediately report it instead of wondering if the check is really “in the mail.”
- Procrastination – “I prefer to avoid walking out to the mailbox unless I know something important is in there.”
- Prepared – “I like seeing when a bill arrives. It’s an extra reminder to pay it.”
- Travel – “When I’m away for a couple of days, it’s helpful to know what is hitting my mailbox and if something needs to be handled before I return home.”
- Protective – “There are some items I do not want my kids to see. Now I know when it’s coming and can retrieve it in advance (this was a mom talking about gifts, not a dad talking about a Victoria Secret magazine. I just wanted to clarify).”
Informed Delivery allows you to receive USPS Tracking updates for incoming packages. Not cool enough? You can provide delivery instructions to ensure you don’t miss a delivery. And if you still miss the delivery, you can request a redelivery. All from a convenient dashboard (informeddelivery.usps.com).
Let’s take a break from what may sound like an 80’s infomercial and talk common sense. Mail is not dying, it is evolving. People want to screen incoming communication, and mail is no exception. Unless you know a loophole to avoid having mail sent to you, it would be wise to stop avoiding your mail and start managing it.
This brings me to the most important feature of Informed Delivery….
Let me switch from speaking to mail consumers and speak to the businesses who are sending it… Informed Delivery allows you to go beyond the mailbox and include digital advertisements with each mail piece you send. These are called ‘interactive campaigns’ and the additional advertisement that accompanies your mail image is called a ‘Ride Along’ ad.
Example – if your business is mailing 10,000 postcards, you now have the ability to include an extra digital element with your mail piece. When the recipient receives their daily email notification, they will see an image of the mail piece PLUS a colored digital ad. That’s two advertising impressions for the price of one! And it gives your customers the ability to instantly respond to a piece of mail BEFORE IT’S DELIVERED!
Are you grasping the possibilities yet? Can you feel the two-punch combo you can start using on your customers with this type of advertising feature? It’s sort of a big deal.
And “YES,” because this is a USPS product, there is a small mountain of fine print to read combined with countless regulations to follow. The good news is, U.S. Mailing House can walk you through the process.
To wrap this up, Informed Delivery is a simple, yet amazing tool. It gives the recipient a way to manage their mail while providing the sender a way to boost their response rate. If you are not using it as a consumer – sign up today. If you are a business that would like to add Informed Delivery to your next direct mail campaign, call U.S. Mailing House.