Direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketers who embrace the USPS Informed Delivery program open up new avenues for reaching and engaging with their target audience. The benefits of Informed Delivery, such as extended advertising capabilities, precise targeting options, and seamless integration with digital marketing, offer a unique opportunity to increase brand exposure and boost conversion rates.
Plus, the Informed Delivery postal discount registration period has begun, for significant postage savings.
What is USPS Informed Delivery?
As a D2C marketer, you’re probably looking for innovative ways to connect with your target audience, with an eye toward coordinated messaging across all of your channel marketing. There’s a powerful tool at your disposal that can help you do just that, and you might not have given it the attention it deserves. It’s the United States Postal Service (USPS) Informed Delivery program.
Launched in 2017, as of March 2023 USPS Informed Delivery has over 54 million consumer subscribers and a 16% YoY growth rate. The program combines the best of both worlds – traditional mail and digital advertising.
From the consumer perspective, the USPS describes Informed Delivery as:
… a free and optional notification feature that gives residential, business and eligible PO Box™ consumers the ability to digitally preview their letter-sized mail and manage their packages scheduled to arrive soon. Informed Delivery benefits the entire household by allowing users to view what is coming to their mailbox whenever, wherever – even while traveling – on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.1
In a nutshell, consumers who subscribe to Informed Delivery receive a greyscale digital preview of their daily mail pieces, either via email or through an online dashboard.
But Informed Delivery goes beyond convenience for the consumer. The program offers several exceptional benefits to marketers, including seamless integration with digital efforts, increased audience touchpoints, campaign analytics, and more. Let’s explore some of the benefits in more detail.
Extend Your Advertising Capabilities
When marketers create a USPS Informed Delivery campaign, they extend digital capabilities to their direct mail campaigns. Informed Delivery enhances the consumer experience by including clickable images in their daily mail preview notifications. There are two types of interactive images: Ride-along Images, and Representative Images.
Representative Images: Reinforcing Your Brand’s Identity
You have the option to replace the grayscale photograph of your mail piece that consumers see in their Informed Delivery notifications. The replacement image is called a Representative Image, and is typically a full-color version representative of your mail piece content. While Representative Images are not interactive, they do serve a crucial role in boosting brand recognition and enriching your campaign visually, with much more flexibility than a mail piece snapshot can provide.
Ride-along Images: Ignite Customer Interaction
The Ride-along Image serves as an enhanced call-to-action (CTA) button meant to bolster your campaign goal and increase your brand messaging. The 300 x 200 image is displayed directly below the default greyscale image of the original mail piece, or your Representative Image, included in the consumer’s preview. The image is clickable and can be linked to any supporting online content you want your audience to engage with, such as an ecommerce website, a Facebook business page, a YouTube video, an online survey – the possibilities are endless.
Using complementary assets such as these, you gain additional omnichannel touchpoints, coordinated messaging, and increased opportunities for consumers to engage with your campaign.
Plus, Informed Delivery allows you to use the same precise targeting that you would use for any typical campaign. In fact, there’s no need to change your campaign list at all. Simply run a pre-campaign analysis report to determine the number of Informed Delivery subscribers on your list.
For reference, as of June 2023, there are 56.6 million Informed Delivery subscribers.2 With an estimated 128,579,000 households in the U.S.3, that’s approximately 43% household saturation. 92% of Informed Delivery consumers say they check their notifications every day or almost every day.4
Seamless Integration with Digital Marketing
USPS Informed Delivery provides marketers the opportunity to reinforce their direct mail efforts by creating additional touchpoints through digital channels. By combining the power of traditional direct mail marketing with digital advertising, you can create impactful campaigns that drive results.
To make the most of Informed Delivery within your channel mix, consider the following strategies to create a multi-channel campaign that strengthens brand recognition and encourages prospects to take immediate action:
- Consistent Messaging: Ensure that the messaging across direct mail, digital ads, and online marketing materials aligns seamlessly. A cohesive brand experience across multiple touchpoints reinforces your message and increases the likelihood of conversion.
- Personalization: Segmenting your mailing list into separate campaigns allows you to create personalized content that resonates with each target audience segment. Tailored messaging fosters a sense of connection, increases campaign relevance5 in the eyes of the consumer, and boosts recipients’ engagement.
- Call-to-Action Optimization: Craft compelling CTAs within the Informed Delivery email digest to encourage recipients to interact further with your brand. Consider how the Ride-along image will display in conjunction with the greyscale mail image. Does the combination greyscale image plus Ride-along create a seamless message? Does that message coordinate with the click-through landing page? Does the consumer know to click the Ride-along image? Be sure to use enticing offers, limited-time promotions, and clear instructions to drive click-through rates and conversions.
Analytics and Tracking Information
USPS Informed Delivery provides marketers with valuable analytics and tracking information to evaluate the success of their campaigns. Key metrics include:
- Physical Mail Pieces – a count of the mail pieces that were delivered to Informed Delivery subscribers. This should approximate the information you received in your pre-campaign analysis. Compare this number to your overall list size to gauge your audience’s participation in Informed Delivery. Keep in mind that the program has seen a 16% YoY growth rate, so your list’s participation is bound to increase over time.
- Emails Sent – the number and percentage of email previews that were sent to Informed Delivery subscribers. A small percentage of consumers choose to opt out of email notifications and use only the online dashboard to preview their mail.
- Click-throughs – the number of clicks includes activity from email, the dashboard, or the mobile app; therefore, the CTR is based on clicks versus the number of mail pieces sent to subscribers. Be sure to include tracking codes with your Informed Delivery links so you can further analyze the traffic. Keep in mind you’ll have many more views than clicks, which still has brand impact and influence on conversion from the physical mail piece.
The analytics and tracking information provided by USPS Informed Delivery allow you to measure the success of your campaigns effectively. By monitoring metrics such as email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Use this data to refine your campaigns and maximize your return on investment.
Informed Delivery Discount
The USPS is offering a 4% postage discount to marketers who create and send an Informed Delivery campaign between August 1 and the end of the year. The campaign must include an eligible mail piece, an active URL, a Ride-along image, and a Representative image. You can download the 2023 USPS Informed Delivery Promotion Guide for specific requirements to receive the discount. Or, get professional guidance from our experts at SG360°, where we execute Informed Delivery campaigns with up to five variations for free on behalf of our clients (and more variations for a small fee).
Additional Resources to Enhance Your Informed Delivery Campaign
- SG360° has the expertise to help you qualify for and execute Informed Delivery and additional USPS promos throughout the year. Download the 2023 USPS Promotions Overview calendar to explore the various postage savings available to you.
- The USPS Informed Delivery Business Site is a launching pad for in-depth Informed Delivery information.
- SG360°’s Audience Insights can help identify audiences most likely to convert and create precise campaign lists for your Informed Delivery campaign.
- Take a look at Informed Delivery through your prospects’ eyes by becoming a subscriber yourself.
- Informed Delivery – The Basics, USPS, May 17, 2023, https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Informed-Delivery-The-Basics.
- Informed Delivery Year in Review, USPS, July 2023, https://www.usps.com/business/pdf/informed-delivery-year-review.pdf.
- Average Household Size by State 2023, World Population Review, 2023, https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/average-household-size-by-state.
- Create Campaigns that Convert with the Informed Delivery® Feature, USPS, 2023, https://www.uspsdelivers.com/create-converting-campaigns-with-informed-delivery/.
- For more information on the importance of audience relevance in your direct mail campaign, see the Future of Direct Mail 2023 research report.