What You Need to Know About USPS Informed Delivery
You probably don’t like spoilers for movies, but how about for your direct mail?
The reason I’m asking is because the U.S. Postal Service has rolled out a new tracking feature called Informed Delivery in the last few months. And it has implications for how the customer, the mail service vendor, and marketers operate in the mailstream.
In his remarks, USPS Chief Marketing Officer Jim Cochrane mentioned a service undergoing trials that would let people see their mail before it gets delivered.
I was intrigued, and still am, as Informed Delivery is being implemented this year.
I agree with Tom Glassman, Director of Data Services and Postal Affairs at Wilen Direct. He calls it “a great integration of digital and physical mail.”
So last week, I signed up for the program and waited to see what happened.
How It Works
Consumers can enroll online for a free, password-protected account that creates a digital mailbox for the direct mail they receive at their house. Before it’s even physically delivered, they can log in and see a grayscale image of the front of a common-sized mail piece, like a #10 envelope or folded self-mailer.
It’s not available yet for P.O. Box customers. And jumbo mailers, catalogs, and packages aren’t included in the mix at this time.
What Marketers Should Think About
So if you’re a marketer, you’re probably asking, “What’s in it for me?” What’s the ‘why’?” There are complex answers to these questions.
If this service were only about giving consumers a sneak preview of their mail, one more impression of an offer, well that’s not too bad.
But Informed Delivery is more than that.
Marketers can build campaigns using the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to reach target audiences in the digital and physical worlds simultaneously. Under the program, marketers can enhance a physical mail piece when it’s scanned into the mailstream with a representative full color image, interactive content, and a click-through URL, with individual URLs coming this fall.