Are you looking for a way to make your B-to-C direct mail more relevant and responsive, as well as providing tighter integration with your digital channels? If so, Informed Delivery may be just the tool you are looking for. It is a tool that allows you to digitally preview your day’s mail and is available to residential customers for both First Class and Standard mail – all at no extra charge!
The United States Postal Service has developed this platform to unite physical and digital advertising by allowing marketers to provide hyperlinks to direct mail ads and promotions. Informed Delivery has just completed pilot testing and is currently available in areas of California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The feature will be rolled out nationwide in mid-2017 through an intensive advertising campaign.
Informed Delivery will allow consumers to sign up to receive a daily email that contains photos of what will be delivered to their mailbox that day. Users will be able to view up to 10 images of mail pieces within the email. For consumers that receive more than 10 pieces of mail daily, they can view all mail piece images on their online dashboard at informeddelivery.usps.com.
Business mailers will have the ability to display relevant digital content related to the mail piece images included in the notifications. By clicking on the image, the consumer can be taken directly to a designated website or video. Or, their click could launch a phone call from their mobile.
The Informed Delivery pilot, conducted in Northern Virginia with 6,600 users, generated the following results, which marketers will be interested in:
- Direct mail expands to a wider audience. In most households, one member regularly retrieves, sorts and opens the mail. Informed Delivery insures that others within the household are seeing it, too.
- 93% of the users opened their email alerts within 2 hours of receiving them.
- 90% of the users said they would continue using the free service when it is made permanent.
- 88% of the users stated they would recommend it to their friends and family.
- The average response rate of Informed Delivery subscribers was 5.9%, compared to 0.5% for a control mailing.
- 81% of those that responded did so through the click-through option.
- Users were also twice as likely, as the control group, to type in a URL.
- Response rates are 2-10 times higher with Informed Delivery, according to the 2016 National Postal Forum.
According to Joe Cochrane, CMO of the USPS, “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.” Additionally, marketers will have analytics that indicate when mail pieces are viewed and what actions were taken. Informed Delivery should help support personalized brand experiences.