Informed Delivery in 2019

Bob Schimek
Posted by Bob Schimek Senior Director of Postal Affairs Friday, November 30, 2018 - 17:28

Schimek applies his 26-plus years of mailing industry experience to provide product management and strategic direction for Quadient’s mailing business, formerly known as Satori Software. As Senior Director of Postal Affairs for Quadient, Bob Schimek serves as primary liaison between Quadient and USPS on technical matters affecting the company’s mailing solutions, which include CASS and PAVE certified software, integrated 48-month NCOALink processing and post-sort solutions. 

Customer Experience Update
Informed Delivery in 2019

The Postal Service™ Informed Delivery™ program has been a work in progress for several years.  It started out as a small pilot test in Virginia.  The pilot was later expanded to include much of the New York City and Washington DC metropolitan area.  Informed Delivery then expanded nationwide and was a major theme at both the 2017 and 2018 National Postal Forums.  

Since the nationwide rollout, both consumer and industry adoption has continued to grow.  The number of postal consumers receiving daily emails of images of mail pieces that will be delivered that day has now exceeded 9 million and with over 150,000 new subscribers being added every week, the number of email subscribers will likely be very close to 10 million at the end of 2018.  

The number of Informed Delivery mailing campaigns have continue to grow as well.  As of the November Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meeting, the number of Informed Delivery campaigns was nearly 6,000 with over 1,200 different brands being represented.  Since consumers subscribe to this email service, the average email open rate is nearly 60%.

Consumer adoption will continue to grow as we head into 2019.  The Postal Service promoted Informed Delivery in their holiday mailing which was mailed to 105 million households.  In 2018 the Postal Service also added the ability to enroll in Informed Delivery when consumers file for a change of address electronically at USPS.COM.  

Mailing industry adoption of Informed Delivery will also continue to take off in 2019 with the Postal Service offering a 3 month promotion (September 1st to November 30th) in which First Class and Marketing Mail mailers can receive a 2% postage discount on qualifying Informed Delivery campaigns.

The Postal Service has built an Informed Delivery portal which allows mailers to quickly and easily set up campaigns.  After getting familiar with the program and portal requirements, such as the size and format of the representative image and supplemental content, an Informed Delivery campaign can be created in a matter of minutes.   The Postal Service will be expanding support around the ability to receive and create Informed Delivery campaigns in electronic documentation (Idealliance Mail.dat and Mail.xml).  Currently, campaigns generally apply the same image to all the mail pieces in a mailing.  As we head into 2019 the Postal Service is working to build out additional capabilities that would allow mailers to have unique images for each version of a mail piece or even unique images and links for every mail piece in a mailing.  

If you work in the mailing industry, then you need to understand the consumer experience with this program.  If you haven’t already subscribed to this new service, then do it now.  Even if you are still skeptical, consider it mandatory job training… Informed Delivery is going to continue to evolve what we all have come to know as “the mail moment”.  Now is also the time to learn how Informed Delivery works, how to create campaigns, and start doing some testing on the impact this technology has on the overall effectiveness of a mailing campaign.  For example, those that have experimented with it have discovered that having the right “call to action” as the supplemental content can greatly impact the consumer click-through rate.  It’s not too late to work on the necessary preparation to take advantage of the promotion coming later in 2019.  The Postal Service Informed Delivery Interactive Campaign Guide can be a very helpful resource.