Digitizing physical mail has become a common desire for residential consumers and businesses of all sizes. We live in a digital-first world where we expect information to be available quickly, from anywhere, at all times.
Of course, the USPS is well aware of this, and that’s why they introduced a service called Informed Delivery a while back in order to keep up with the times. It provides residential consumers with a digital preview of their mail before it actually arrives in their mailbox. But how can businesses attain the benefits of Informed Delivery too?
Before we answer that question, here’s a quick overview of Informed Delivery in case you’re unfamiliar with how it works.
Informed Delivery is a free, optional service offered by the USPS that allows residential consumers to receive a digital preview of their letter-size mail pieces and manage packages scheduled to arrive soon.
Here’s how it works: When the mail piece is being processed by the USPS, the front of the envelope is imaged by automated equipment. The recipient can choose to receive notifications and view the grayscale images of their items via email, the online dashboard, or the USPS app.
As mentioned, signing up for informed delivery is free, and it’s very easy to do. However, in order to sign up, you must live at an eligible residential address and be able to verify your identity during the signup process. Thankfully, the USPS says Informed Delivery is available for most addresses. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.
It’s a pretty simple service, and, as of March 2022, over 46.6 million people have registered. Beside the fact that it’s just kind of fun to preview your mail digitally before it arrives, it’s helpful to know what’s coming, especially if you’re away from home and not able to check your mailbox.
In short, no. Right now, the feature is only available to residential consumers.
However, when you’re searching for an answer to this question, you’ll likely stumble across the USPS webpage with the heading Informed Delivery for Business Mailers. This, unfortunately, does not refer to a version of Informed Delivery that’s made for businesses receiving mail. Instead, it actually refers to a service for businesses that are sending mail. Here’s what we mean.
Informed Delivery for business mailers allows businesses sending advertising mail to create supplemental digital content for Informed Delivery users to see and interact with. This way, recipients are shown two custom images in color, one of which links to the advertiser’s webpage, rather than the standard grayscale image of the envelope captured by the USPS.
As you can imagine, this is very appealing to advertisers, as it allows for a more rich and engaging impression, more brand awareness, and a possibility to increase ROI by embedding a link right in the digital preview.
But, long story short, it’s not what you’re looking for if you’re a business that’s trying to receive a digital preview of your incoming mail.
According to their website, the USPS hopes to be able to offer Informed Delivery to small business customers in the future, and a quick web search shows that many have been clamoring for it. But, there’s no guarantee that this feature will come anytime soon, and it might never come at all.
So, what do you do if you want the benefits of USPS Informed Delivery for your business?
Fortunately, there are other solutions on the market that give businesses the power of Informed Delivery.
The best part about Informed Delivery is that it allows recipients to preview their mail from anywhere, at any time. Our very own solution, Received Digital, does exactly that and more. With Received Digital, your organization’s mailroom is able to snap pictures of incoming mail and packages, automatically notify recipients, and recipients are able to preview and action their items from their very own virtual mailbox.
Unlike the USPS Informed Delivery service, recipients are not limited to just a preview of the front of the envelope. Instead, recipients can request the mailroom to recycle, open and scan, forward, send, or prepare the item for pickup, all for faster response times and more efficient handling.
It all takes place via a secure, web-based application, and no special equipment is required—just use any tablet or mobile device with a camera. Simply put, Received Digital is mailroom management software built for the modern day. You can learn more about how Received Digital works here, and try it for free now!
Interested in exploring the market for more solutions that give employees a virtual mailbox? We’ve written an entire article about the topic titled A Complete Guide to Mailroom Management Software where we break down the marketplace for software that helps you receive, track, and distribute inbound mail. We believe it’s the most helpful place to start!