Want to check what’s waiting at home in your mailbox, before you get there? The USPS has launched Informed Delivery in select New York and Virginia markets – with plans for expansion if this test goes well. The free service is only available to residents – it’s not available to businesses at this time.
How it works: Every morning you receive an email with images of your actual mail pieces set to be placed in your mailbox. The black and white images are snapped by the USPS mail sorting equipment as your mail undergoes sortation.
The USPS is touting this as a convenient way to check your mail – especially while traveling – but the real benefits appear to lie with direct marketers.
Direct mailers can offer options to click through, and purchase directly through the preview pieces. In addition to the black and white images of their mail pieces, users will see colored links directing them to related promotional websites.
Informed Delivery is another way the USPS is working to blend digital and physical channels, and stay on top of the mail solutions marketplace. Interestingly, the USPS was not thrilled with a very similar service called Outbox, launched in February 2013. Outbox collected consumer mail, digitized it, and made the content accessible for users online at their convenience. Outbox shut down due to lack of consumer interest, and amid USPS concerns over Outbox’s security. A USPS-issued statement read:
“In the end, postal management was concerned that Outbox’s approach might compromise both the security and value of the mail. Ultimately, management concluded that Outbox’s business model was flawed – a conclusion that the market appears to have affirmed.”
We hope this rollout is met with a positive reception, as it appears to be an interesting and helpful mail solutions offering for both consumers and mailers.
Visit the USPS Informed Delivery website for more information.delivery, direct mail, Email, information, informed delivery, mail piece, mail sorting, trends, USPS