USPS News Wire. Your resource for breaking news and industry trends from USPS experts at American Litho.
Informed Delivery – a snap shot of today’s mail delivery before it hits your mailbox, new program about to roll out nationwide.
American Litho was invited to preview Informed Delivery, a dynamic new digital mail service about to roll out nationwide.
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) has been pilot testing a program called Informed Delivery, which allows participants to receive a daily email notification, including black and white mailpiece images, of the mail that will be delivered to their mailbox later that day. The email notifications may contain up to 10 mailpiece images, which may be viewed on any computer or smart phone. If you receive more than 10 pieces of mail, additional images are available for viewing on an online dashboard. The pilot test is currently limited to areas of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. However, this program will be rolled out nationally sometime in April/May.
This new program is currently limited to letter size mail, it does not include flats or packages. There are plans to include flats in the future. In addition, the service is currently available only for residential addresses, although there are plans to include business addresses in the future.
Benefits for participants
One of the benefits for participants is the ability to see what is being delivered to the mailbox, even if the user is not available to pick up the mail, such as when they are traveling. Another benefit is that anyone in the household can receive the notifications and see what is being delivered, even if they are not the person physically picking up the mail. In both cases, it allows users to take action before important mailpieces reach their mailbox. In some instances, users will have the ability to interact with digital content associated with mailpiece images, such as special offers or related links. This is facilitated by data populated in the electronic documentation (eDoc) by the mailer, which allows for links to be sent in the email notification, anything from links to a color image of the mailpiece to personalized URL’s with digital content related to the mailpiece.
What is in it for mailers?
Mailers can likewise benefit from this program by including additional data in the eDoc to provide users access to links to digital content related to the mailpiece. This can greatly enhance the value of the mailpieces by allowing users advance notification of the incoming mailpiece and the opportunity to immediately access additional information.
For people interested in participating in Informed Delivery, they can log on to the USPS Informed Delivery web site. There, users have the option to check on the availability of the service in their area, sign up to participate, or log in to their dashboard.
For mailers wishing to submit an Informed Delivery mailing campaign, there are currently two methods: via email or via PostalOne! In either case, mailers must work closely with the Informed Delivery Program Office (IDPO) prior to submitting a campaign to ensure content is complete and accurate. For the email method, the mailer submits the campaign data elements to the IDPO via email, including an Excel document. The IDPO then manually enters the information into what is called the Administrative Campaign Console. Campaign data must be submitted at least two business days prior to the campaign start date. For the PostalOne! method, the mailer submits the campaign data elements as part of the Mail.dat® files used to submit the mailing. A new record, called the Referenceable Mail Record (RMR) has been added to the Mail.dat specification to accommodate this. Campaigns must be submitted electronically at least two business days prior to the requested start date.
In June (2017), the USPS will release the Informed Delivery Campaign Portal, which will provide mailers with a self-service channel to create, manage, and view the results of Informed Delivery campaigns. This portal may be accessed through the Business Customer Gateway, so both mailers who submit Mail.dat files and those who don’t are able to participate. This is currently in the design stages, so may be subject to change.
As mentioned, the USPS has a dedicated Informed Delivery web site. Available there are FAQ’s and a Fact Sheet. For mailers, you may access a PDF of the USPS Informed Delivery Overview. You may also contact the IDPO at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details.
Window Book’s DAT-MAIL software supports the new RMR record populated in Mail.dat files generated during a presort process. This allows mailers to process Mail.dat files for Informed Delivery campaigns and submit them to PostalOne! Window Book can help you process Mail.dat files for Informed Delivery campaigns in your mailing operation and automate your processes using our software and service solutions. Window Book offers a free Mailing Optimization Analysis.
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Contact your American Litho Sales Representative to learn more about the value of Standards and Flats.
We’ll cover everything from the basics to the latest trends in marketing, mailing and printing, answering all your questions about co-pal, co-mail and commingling techniques.
Ask your American Litho Sales Representative about the current USPS Mailing Promotion; here is the current calendar.
USPS WHITE PAPERS
Below is a list of white papers and links provided by USPS. These publications are relevant to today’s marketing challenges and are full of insights and cost-saving programs to optimize your mailing strategy.
These publications are relevant to today’s marketing challenges and are full of insights, cost saving programs, and help identify efficiency gains that will impact your mailing strategy.
Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response – USPS LINK
Mail Innovations – USPS LINK
Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives – USPS LINK
Advertising Mail: Future Prospects in Five Scenarios – USPS LINK
Advertising Mail: Past and Present – USPS LINK
Will the Check be in the Mail? – USPS LINK