AMiable Solution #260: Take Two
Last summer, the United State Postal Service (USPS) implemented a new tool for consumers: Informed Delivery®. The USPS describes Informed Delivery as “a free and optional notification service that gives residential consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mailpieces and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery makes mail more convenient by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever--even while traveling--on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.”
The USPS further claims that Informed Delivery “allows users to take action before important items reach their mailbox, while offering mailers an unprecedented opportunity to engage users through synchronized direct mail and digital marketing campaigns.”
In other words, Informed Delivery gives you two chances to impress your customers and entice them to read your direct mail campaign.
So how can you take advantage of this second look?
First, make sure your envelope or mailing panel shouts “read me.” When your customers see your mailpiece for the first time in their mailboxes, you have only a precious few seconds to get their attention, and you may not even get that long, depending on the volume of mail they receive and how they sort through it. With Informed Delivery, however, you get a second opportunity at exposure. Make those few extra seconds count by making headlines and teaser copy clear, engaging, and easy to read.
Second, pay extra attention to your images. Intriguing images draw people to your mailings and encourage them to open or read on. A well-used image viewed through Informed Delivery could actually have your customers eager to see the real thing.
Informed Delivery does have limitations, however. Keep the following in mind as you strategize:
Only letter-sized mailpieces will be scanned and emailed to consumers.
Consumers will see images in their email for the first 10 letter-sized mailpieces in their mailbox only. To see the entire contents of their mailbox (again, letter-sized mailpieces only), they’ll need to log into their Informed Delivery accounts. In addition, mailpiece images are shown in the order that they are sorted on USPS processing equipment. Your mailpiece may appear in your customer’s email first, last, or not at all.
Emailed images will appear in grayscale only. Make sure your text and images convert well.
Because the Informed Delivery system is based on physical addresses and not individual names, the USPS has no way of separating mailpiece images by recipient. In other words, if an individual shares a residence and mailbox with roommates or family members, he/she could receive images of mailpieces intended for other people.
Informed Delivery is still a new program, and although is it available to residential consumers in the majority of zip codes across the country, it is not available to everyone. Taking this new consumer option into consideration now not only lets you take advantage of the extra exposure the service provides, but it also gives you time to test your take on this service while the program is still young.