Informed Delivery — A Mailer's Perspective
This article was originally published by Rob Hanks, customer service representative, at Suttle-Straus in Waunakee, Wis., on the Suttle-Straus blog.
In June I wrote the blog, Informed Delivery-See What's in Your Mailbox Before it Arrives, that describes the USPS' new Informed Delivery technology from a consumer’s perspective. This time I am going to discuss the advantages from a mailer's perspective.
Informed Delivery gives mailers the opportunity to synchronize marketing campaigns with both a physical mail piece and a digital touch point. Mailers can attach a link to each record of a mail.dat file submitted to the post office containing a color image of the non-address side of the mail piece, a link to a website, or a personalize url (purl). This will create a buy now experience.
Campaigns can be submitted via email (manual) using an Excel file or via PostalOne! Mailers must work with the Informed Delivery Program Office (IDPO) prior to submitting a campaign to ensure content is complete and accurate.
Email Submission Process (Manual)
- Mailer submits campaign data elements via email to the IDPO using an Excel document
- The IDPO manually enters the information into the Administrative Campaign Console
- The IDPO can edit campaigns within the Administrative Campaign Console if needed
- Campaign data must be submitted at least two business days prior to the campaign start date
PostalOne! Submission Process
- Mailer submits campaign data elements electronically with other PostalOne! eDocs (Mail.dat) using a Referenceable Mail Record (RMR)
- The campaign information is routed electronically to the Informed Delivery application
- The IDPO must edit campaigns within the Administrative Campaign Console to manually add the image(s) provided by the mailer via email*
- Campaigns must be submitted at least two business days prior to the requested start date to allow for manual updates by the IDPO
*Campaign images are not available for automatic uploading at this time
Campaign Portal Submission Process
- Mailer logs into the Business Customer Gateway and selects the Informed Delivery Campaign Portal from the list of Mailer Services
- Mailer is directed to the home page of the Informed Delivery Campaign Portal
- Mailer submits campaign data elements and digital assets electronically as part of a step-by-step campaign creation process
- Mailer can edit campaigns within the Informed Delivery Campaign Portal
- Campaigns must be submitted electronically at least 12 hours prior to the requested start date
- Campaigns are still submitted via PostalOne!, however, the functionality will be enhanced to allow for images to be processed automatically
- PostalOne! Mail.dat piece level campaign submission and Mail.XML campaign submission will be available soon (dates TBD)
- All pre- and post-campaign report access will be provided via the Campaign Portal
Look forward to my third blog about the Informed Delivery, coming in a few weeks, where I will discuss the reporting features and provide some examples for using Informed Delivery.
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.