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How to Get More Value from Your Direct Mail Investment Using Informed Delivery

With more than 45.7 million people and more than a quarter of American households now using Informed Delivery® from the USPS®, marketers who haven’t yet tapped into the full breadth of features the tool offers might be missing out. Some may even be using Informed Delivery as a customer — and loving it, based on its wildly high user satisfaction ratings — without realizing the potential benefits to their direct mail campaigns. 

If you’re a marketer or business owner who hasn’t yet leveraged Informed Delivery, don’t worry; we’ve been helping customers use this popular tool since its debut in 2017 and we can guide you through it.


What is Informed Delivery? 

Informed Delivery allows residential postal customers to digitally preview and manage their incoming mail and packages. Customers can opt into receiving daily notification emails containing images of their letter-size mailpieces and tracking info on their packages. They can also view the information via an online dashboard or a mobile app, and in some cases can provide delivery instructions or reschedule deliveries.

Since its creation, Informed Delivery has been very popular with customers, with over 90% saying they would recommend it to friends, family, or colleagues. Informed Delivery emails have an average open rate of 63%, which marketers know is impressively high.  


How does Informed Delivery work? 

The USPS has used automated sorting machines for a long time — the first ones were introduced in the 1950s — and for much of this century those machines have been taking images so they can determine through optical character recognition where a piece of mail came from and where it’s heading. The machines then use this information to stamp a barcode on the mailpiece that allows them to sort and track it. 

It was only more recently that the USPS made these images available to the recipients of the mail themselves. Bonus: they provide a ton of value for the folks sending the mail, too!

How to make your direct mail campaigns omnichannel using Informed Delivery

For B2C business mailers and marketers, the USPS offers Informed Delivery interactive campaigns. What that means is that the grayscale image that the customer would normally see in their Informed Delivery email digest or dashboard is replaced by a full-color one, which is supplemented by a clickable “ride-along” image containing a call-to-action that is linked to a target URL. 

This is a simple way to add a digital touchpoint and turn your direct mail campaign into an omnichannel campaign. And the best part is that USPS does most of the work; all you need to do is make sure your pieces are automation compatible and contain an Intelligent Mail® Barcode, which allows them to match the campaign details to each piece of mail. If you’re working with a print services provider like Varispark, we’ll take care of this.

If you’ve been trying to go omnichannel but don’t have your customers’ email addresses or don’t have the resources to run email marketing campaigns in-house, Informed Delivery is a fantastic option.

Does Informed Delivery get results?

The USPS has found that when physical mail is combined with a corresponding digital campaign, response rates go up 37% and conversion rates go up 20%.

The way we look at it: your audience is already receiving grayscale images of your mailpieces, so trying out an interactive campaign is a great way to help your message stand out from the crowd. 

More reasons we love Informed Delivery

  • Informed Delivery gleans you an additional, digital impression for your mailpiece, often hours before the physical piece is delivered. By the time your recipient collects their mail, the physical piece can serve as a reminder to take action — if they haven’t already.  
  • Business mailers who run interactive campaigns will have access to reporting on open rates and click-through rates. This can help you refine your strategy and determine the best calls to action for your campaigns. 
  • There are USPS incentives to participate! From August 31, 2022 through December 31, 2022, if you use Informed Delivery, you can save 4% on your postage — that’s double last year’s incentive and can add up to significant savings for large campaigns. 

Questions about Informed Delivery? Ready to add some omnichannel interactivity to your next direct mail campaign? Contact us and we can help.