Believe it or not the answer is the new pilot program from USPS® “Informed Delivery”. The optional service for Business Mailers is ABSOLUTELY FREE (at least for now ...) and needs just a basic preparation and setup of the mailer side. Campaign setup and Ad design fees may apply.
Informed Delivery is a FREE feature of USPS® that allows the subscribed consumers to preview their upcoming mail via email. The users receive a morning email with grayscale images of the addressing side of incoming letter-size mailpieces.
Informed Delivery integrates physical mail, email and internet providing multiple touch points which gives business mailers the ability to interact with their prospects after the direct mail drop.
The pilot started in November 2016 in New York, and since April 14th this year is available to the most of the ZIP codes throughout the USA.
“Did you know? The acronym ZIP refers to Zone Improvement Plan, an initiative implemented by the USPS® in the early 1960’s improving the sorting and delivery of mail.”
1. Consumer signs up for Informed Delivery.
2. Grayscale images are generated during mail processing.
3. Images are then matched to physical address.
4. Business Mailer interactive campaign is implemented.
5. Emails are deployed to the subscribers.
6. Users receive physical piece in their mailbox.
The service is Free for consumers and USPS® makes multiple marketing efforts to subscribe as much as possible consumers.
Using earlier projection numbers the Informed Delivery service should have about 15 million users by now, concentrated in the major cities and metro areas.
Almost 2/3 of the subscribers are males. Over 50% are with annual income of up to 150K. 76% are between 25 and 55 years old.
RIDE-ALONG INTERACTIVE CAMPAIGN - The business mailer provides a JPEG image (max 300x200 pixels) of an offer, special, announcement, etc accompanied by an URL. The clickable image and URL will be displayed below the scanned grayscale image of the actual physical mailpiece.
For best result - use your brand, logo and special offer with a clear CTA (Call-to-action) clickable message.
REPRESENTATIVE CAMPAIGN - The USPS® Informed Delivery program gives the mailers an added perk, also at no charge! Direct Mailers may supply a full-color JPEG image of the mailpiece to replace the scanned grayscale one which comes by default. The image must be maximum width 780 and max height of 500 pixels, the best part is that the image provided does not need to match the scanned addressing side. Image may (I think is a must, if you want to increase the response rate) include again your brand, offer and call-to-action along with clickable URL.
DUAL CAMPAIGN - When both campaigns mentioned above are used.
Even though the Flat-Size mailpieces cannot be scanned and emailed to the Informed Delivery subscribers at this moment, Business mailers can still run a Digital Campaign!
For technical details, help with execution, and to follow the above requirements, the best idea is to contact your direct mail service provider.
1. Prepare and review campaign with USPS®. Analyze the penetration of your current mailing list. Read about the “The Perfect Mailing List - All You Need To Know”.
2. Prepare JPEG images and physical mail.
3. Provide your campaign details.
4. Execute your multi-channel direct mail campaign.
5. USPS® share insights - email open rate and click through rates. Analyze the results!
As a conclusion, I must say that with their new Informed Delivery service USPS® stepped up their game and by creating these new digital marketing opportunities for the business mail customers, the Direct Mail high response rates will go even higher.
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