Informed Delivery – See What's in Your Mailbox Before it Arrives
This article was originally published by Rob Hanks, customer service representative, at Suttle-Straus in Waunakee, Wis., on the Suttle-Straus blog.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled Informed Delivery at the National Postal Forum in Baltimore. In her opening statement, Postmaster General, Megan Brennan, described the program and how marketers could use Informed Delivery to increase visibility to the mailstream. In this blog, I will discuss Informed Delivery from the addressee's prospective. I will follow up with a second blog on how marketers can use informed delivery.
What is Informed Delivery?
To automate the sortation and delivery of mail, USPS digitally images the front of mailpieces that run through our automation equipment. Now those images are being utilized for a second purpose: to provide digital notifications to users in advance of the delivery of physical mail.
Notifications will provide a grayscale image of the address side of a letter size mail piece (flat size mail and packages are not available at this time). The image will include the addressee and the senders address. In some cases a color image or link to a website, proved by the mailer, may be available. Notifications are sent six days a week except for federal holidays.
For a more in depth look at informed delivery read our blog: "What is Informed Delivery & What Does it Mean for the Future of Direct Mail?"
What are the Benefits of Informed Delivery?
The benefits of Informed Delivery include the ability to view your household’s mail at any time from any location using a smartphone, tablet, or computer even when traveling. Users may also have the ability to interact with the mail piece if digital content is available through attached images, special offers and related links. Advanced notice of your mail gives you the opportunity to take action on important mail before it arrives in your mailbox.
How Can You Sign Up for Informed Delivery?
Signing up for Informed Delivery is a simple process and the application can be found at informeddelivery.usps.com. Once the application is complete, the USPS will send emails or you may visit your dashboard and view the images of mail pieces addressed to your household. If multiple people live at the same address, you will see all letter size pieces regardless of the addressee. The cost of the service is free.
About the Author
Rob Hanks is a customer service representative at Suttle-Straus and has over 21 years of experience in direct mail. Hanks is a Certified Mail Piece Design Professional through the United States Postal Service and serves as the Treasurer of the Greater Madison Area Postal Customer Council. Hanks enjoys the challenges of mail piece design within postal regulations and helping clients save on postage costs.
Related story: Informed Delivery — A Mailer's Perspective