Digitize your Mailbox with USPS ® Informed Delivery ®
By: Rudy Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The only time the mail demands your immediate attention is if you are waiting for something you ordered, or an important letter you expect is arriving soon. What if you knew when it was coming, and what it looked like?
USPS® introduced a new digital feature so that consumers can see their incoming mail in a digital format online. They started back in February with a pilot program that included just six states, and is now available throughout the U.S. It not only allows consumers to view the daily mail from an online digital dashboard, but it allows the mailers to actively engage those consumers by serving up alternate creative. As a Marketer I was curious and excited to see this new digital channel in action, so I signed up to see the program for myself. I was underwhelmed. Not by the service itself, but by how little it was being used by the marketing community.
Informed Delivery is a work in progress, but has the potential to offer benefits to potentially increase ROI of a direct mail piece by a significant margin. Mailers can enhance their hard-copy mailings by conducting a campaign that includes custom images and a website link (URL). This information will appear in the user’s email notification and online.
Informed Delivery helps mailers:
- Take advantage of a new digital channel.
- Tie hard-copy mail to digital content.
- Connect with customers wherever they are using a computer or mobile device.
- Experience higher than normal email open rates (~70% daily average).
- Coordinate multi-channel campaigns with text, social media, other emails, etc.
- Gather information on campaign reach and results (e.g., open rates, click-through rates) through data analytics.
You’ll have to remember some things when you begin creating pieces with informed delivery in mind.
- Remember mail previews are grayscale, so if you’re using colorful envelopes to attract attention be mindful of the tonal qualities so they convert well, and alternate creative should complement the mailings color scheme.
- Informed delivery only captures letter sized mail. Consider switching campaigns you’d like users to preview to a letter sized envelope format, or testing a one format against another to see how redemption rates compare.
- Make your URL count. Serve up digital content that is meaningful and delights
All this means greater consistency in reaching prospective customers and demonstrating value for them. There is great potential here for marketers to bring back some sense of excitement when getting your physical mail.