My brother, The Oldest And The Wisest of the Leone siblings, was recently telling me about all the preparations he was making to move to Puerto Rico. Since he doesn’t yet have a permanent address and is still keeping his residence in Minnesota, I—The Sibling Who Cares Most About Coupons—asked what he was going to do with his mail.
He then told me about this cool new service he bought that will take pictures of his mail in Minnesota and send him scans, so he knows what’s arrived, and then he’ll ask someone to send him the mail he needs.
Me, The Sibling Who Cares Most About Coupons, But Also Works With Mail, stared at him and internally debated. Do I tell him? Would it make him feel bad? Maybe, but it would also make me feel a little smug and superior in knowing something he didn’t, and that’s so very rare when dealing with The Oldest And The Wisest, so…
“That’s called Informed Delivery, and the United States Postal Service offers it for free.” I went on to explain the other benefits of signing up for Informed Delivery, like how many mailpiece scans have attached links that will bring you to the sender’s website or bring you to a landing page with the mailpiece content or offer, and how all it takes to get these daily mail emails is a quick online sign up.
Signing Up for Informed Delivery is Fast & Painless
Which reminded me… I hadn’t signed up for Informed Delivery yet. I wasn’t particularly interested: I don’t get a lot of mail, my email is already full of emails from places I should really unsubscribe to, and the whole thing just seemed sort of… unnecessary. But at the same time, I felt a huge wave of Norwegian guilt that nagged at me to sign up, if only to support the USPS and be part of a service that’s so closely intertwined with the work my company does.
So, I took two minutes and signed up for Informed Delivery. It was bafflingly painless, to the point that I wondered if I did it wrong or missed a step. But the next day, I got an email about what would be coming in the mail—some ads, a credit card offer, and a late Christmas card from my sister. Oh—well, I wanted that card. It had photos of my niece and nephew on it that I’d been dying to get my hands on and put on my fridge. I went and got the mail, and my fridge was properly adorned with big blue eyes and chubby cheeks.
Informed Delivery Puts You in Control of Your Mailbox and Your Time
Three days later, I was exhausted and covered in paint from a bathroom remodeling project. I wanted to sleep, but remembered I hadn’t gotten my mail in the last few days and thought I should probably do that before I forgot again. I didn’t want to, though, and went back through my Informed Delivery emails to see what was waiting in my mailbox and whether a trip to gather the contents could wait until the next day. I was very impressed with my own intelligence.
Similar situations kept popping up: I was going to casually stop by a store one day, but saw that a loyalty mailer with a $15 off coupon was coming and postponed the trip. A bill from a new service I was getting antsy about not seeing for a while popped up in my morning Informed Delivery email, and I felt such a wave of relief knowing it was coming and I hadn’t somehow overlooked it and was collecting a ton of late fees or interest charges. One letter from a random address prompted me to investigate, only to learn that it was concerning something I had ordered. I can’t even tell you how often I was saved from having to put on a coat and boots, dig out my mailbox key, and risk facing neighbors in my pandemic, no-makeup-sweatpants-hair-in-a-bun glory.
It struck me today—I actually really like Informed Delivery. It saves me time (and shame that comes from being discovered by neighbors as a living troll). It crosses out going to the mailbox from my to-do list when it’s not urgent, and highlights it when it is. I feel like I’m much more on top of things like bills and statements. Yeah, it’s an extra email, but it’s a quick one that prepares me for the day in a way I didn’t realize I was missing.
You should also sign up for Informed Delivery, and I say this not as someone in the mail industry pushing a service, but as a person who was skeptical about the service, but now needs it to function as a human being. Give it a try and use the time saved to get back to your life, which in my case is wishing I was also moving to eighty-degree and sunny Puerto Rico.
Oh, and about those links that connect you directly to the mailer’s offer? If you’re a marketer looking for some help creating an Informed Delivery campaign to augment your direct mail offer, the IWCO Direct team is ready to lend a hand.