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Beginner’s Guide to Informed Delivery®

Written by Michelle Toivonen Director of Strategic Marketing

What is Informed Delivery®?

Informed Delivery® was introduced by the USPS® in 2014 as an email channel paired with a household’s daily mailings. Since the launch, over 32 million people have opted-in to receive a daily email containing a grey-scale scan of the mail pieces they are expected to receive on that day, including packages. This gives households the ability to preview their mailings before they reach their mailboxes and potentially take advantage of limited-time offers early. 

Hear Our Interview with Bob Dixon, USPS, discuss Informed Delivery!

What does this mean for mailers?

When you send out a mailing it is processed and scanned by the postal service, if the recipient is signed up for Informed Delivery® they will see that low resolution, greyscale scan in their inbox as well. Participating in Informed Delivery® gives you the chance to upload your artwork to replace that scan and add a link to a landing page, gaining further control over your brand, and added touchpoints. 


Why use Informed Delivery®?

Informed Delivery® can make a big impact on engagement with your mail piece and adds an additional channel and touchpoint to your campaign.

  • Access your audience in a new channel - increase the chance that your recipient will act by hitting them with the same message in two channels.
  • Manage your brand - customize what recipients see in their email and stay on brand.
  • Engage sooner and more often - recipients often receive the email before the mailpiece, making it so they can interact with your message sooner, and some find it easier to save and revisit it later in their inbox or mailbox. 
  • Learn more about your audience - get information like density and email statistics, email open rates, and click-through rates.


How do you develop an Informed Delivery® Campaign?


One of the great things about Informed Delivery® is that, if you are already sending out a mailing, you already have almost everything you need to add Informed Delivery® to your campaign. The recipients of Informed Delivery® will consist of anyone on your mailing list who has opted-in for the USPS® email. We can help you set up your account with the USPS® and when you upload your mailing list to their system you will know how many households on your list are enrolled to receive the email. 


If your mail piece has an offer, then you have your Informed Delivery® offer. Informed Delivery® campaigns can include both a representative image and a ride-along image. The representative image is meant to replace the greyscale scan and we recommend you just use the color art of your mailpiece - especially if you are mailing a postcard. The ride-along image is your call-to-action space or your ad space and is necessary to run the campaign. This should include the offer from your mailpiece and direct the recipient to your website or landing page, preferably not your home page. In the example, you will see the offer on the mailing is the same as the offer on the ride-along image. 


Your representative image can be the same artwork you use for your mailing. If you are already running digital ads with your mailing, you may be able to use that design for your ride-along image. If not, we suggest something as simple as your logo, the offer, and a colored background. Once the recipient clicks on the ride-along image, they should be lead to your website or a specialized landing page for whatever you are offering. Once again, if you are sending out a mailing with this offer already, this page should already be built. 


Recipients usually receive the Informed Delivery® email in the morning. This means they probably open the email before they receive the mail. By adding the Informed Delivery® email to your mix, you may track additional engagement. 

While you’re adding Informed Delivery®, why not add a few additional channels and added tracking to create a fully integrated multi-channel campaign. Double your marketing power, improve customer experience, and gain more relevant data to inform you on your buyer’s behaviors. Learn more about integrated marketing with Midwest Direct’s digital+post.


We have a few extra tips

Creative Requirements

Just like any other channel, there are creative requirements you must follow in order to have your campaign approved by the postal service. Those requirements can be found in our Informed Delivery® Booklet, or with the USPS®. 

Best Practice Suggestions

  • Our clients have reported that Informed Delivery® performs better when paired with additional channels.
  • Always include your offer on your ride-along image, for example, “Get 20% Off and Shop Now!”
  • If you’re mailing between September 1st and November 30th, 2021 your mail may qualify for a 2% discount in postage via the USPS®. Registration for the USPS Informed Delivery® program begins July 15th and ends November 30th, 2021. If you’re mailing with Midwest Direct, we can auto-enroll you for this program, we’ll discuss Informed Delivery® with you and any additional channels and tracking you may wish to add.
  • Match up your landing page with your mail piece, and you could receive a higher conversion rate with a more accurate match. 
  • You will likely receive your data on the Friday after your mailing. So — don’t panic if you don’t receive it the day after the mail was supposed to arrive.
  • Midwest Direct has extensive experience with Informed Delivery® and is ready to help you get started with your campaign.


Getting Started 

Midwest Direct believes in the power of multi-channel campaigns. We offer Informed Delivery® as a stand-alone service or as part of our multi-channel campaign package. While a multi-channel campaign may seem complicated, we’re here to help guide you. Download our Informed Delivery® ebook or reach out and discuss your next campaign with our marketing pros as soon as possible. We can help reduce stress and share best practices and results!


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