Ad Space Available on Sought-After Content Platform: USPS® Informed Delivery
Nearly everyone is interested in what will be in their mailbox today. Mailers now have the ability to get messages to consumers as they preview their mailbox contents online.
Informed Delivery™ lets consumers digitally preview their mail before it arrives. Each morning, Informed Delivery subscribers receive an email that displays the front of letter-size mail, provided it is processed on automation equipment, showing who the sender is and to whom the letter is addressed. No action from the mailers is necessary to have mailpieces included in this program.
The emails, by default, contain grayscale images of up to 10 digital snapshots (see: sample image) of the mail that are delivered to subscribers’ mailboxes later that day. In addition to the email option, the USPS also offers a personalized, online dashboard that shows all daily images, as well as a mobile app. This program currently supports letter mail but will soon support magazines, catalogues, and other flat-sized pieces, as well.
Another important feature of the new program is that mailers have the ability to customize the images presented to their mail recipients. For example:
- Using electronic documentation to facilitate the data exchange, mailers can substitute custom color images in place of the standard black and white photos of the physical mail piece.
- Also, mailers can supply a click-through link that provides Informed Delivery recipients with a convenient response mechanism.
Customization and Analytics Features
Marketers are regularly looking for new channels to reach customers and prospects with targeted messaging. This new service offers mail marketers an opportunity to reach consumers via a platform in which there should be a very high level of engagement. I am a current subscriber to the service, and it has now become a daily ritual to check my email to see what I can expect to receive that day.
In addition to providing marketers a new channel for engagement, it now provides the easiest means for connecting physical media to digital response. QR codes, and other scannable images, have been around for a while, but tend to be awkward and inconvenient. Having a simple click-through at your fingertips – whether on your tablet, PC, or mobile device – will provide a host of new digital metrics for mailers to assess their physical campaigns. This also helps make physical campaign results more comparable at a metrics level to digital campaigns.
Postal Service CCMO, Jim Cochrane, recently talked about the power of this new service: “…What we can do is measure when recipients engage with Informed Delivery and then when they go to your site or convert. This is going to do a lot for the attribution issue.” Analytics that track which mailpieces consumers view, when they view them, and what actions they take, will certainly give rise to more personalized brand experiences.
This service is poised to elevate the role of direct mail in the everyday consumer experience, engaging consumers in the environment of their choosing. It will also continue to make mail relevant in the digital world. Smart marketers will leverage this new platform to create opportunities for enhanced interactions with their audience.