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USPS Informed Delivery: Your Direct Mail Marketing Guide
Direct Mail
March 26, 2024

USPS Informed Delivery: Your Direct Mail Marketing Guide

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Direct mail marketing helps your brand increase awareness, connect with potential customers, and drive sales. However, combining this marketing method with digital technologies can lead to even more successful results.

Using Informed Delivery is one of the best ways to do this. It shows customers a black-and-white preview image of an upcoming mail piece and lets you, the sender, include a small ad and connected call to action under that photo. That means you can link to your website, online store, or other digital experience before customers receive direct mail.

Below, learn how this all works and get some best practices for Informed Delivery direct mail campaigns.

Informed Delivery, explained

Informed Delivery is a free opt-in service from USPS used by more than 60 million people. It allows consumers to track their packages and digitally preview physical mail on the way to their homes, such as your direct mail pieces.

This service also provides marketers with a chance to connect with prospects. By including an ad — USPS calls this a ride-along image — and a call to action underneath the preview of your direct mail, you can drive potential customers to your online properties and inform them about your products and services.

Quote about Informed Delivery benefits
Learn more about the benefits of USPS technology in our recent webinar

Marketing benefits of Informed Delivery

Informed Delivery essentially gives you two touchpoints with prospects, increasing impressions:

  1. The first touchpoint happens when someone sees the preview of your direct mail in an Informed Delivery email and notices your ride-along image and call to action underneath. The person can click this link in the CTA and end up on one of your pages.
  2. The second touchpoint happens when the person finally receives your direct mail piece in the physical mail.

This one-two punch won't cost you anything. USPS doesn't charge companies to include a ride-along image and call to action in its Informed Delivery emails. Plus, not all companies know about this feature, giving you a competitive advantage.

The great thing about Informed Delivery is that it combines online and offline marketing really nicely. Instead of prospects just receiving direct mail advertising, they can click directly through to your website from an email and learn more about your company. That's quicker than typing the URL on your DM piece or scanning a QR code.

Even if some potential customers throw your direct mail in the trash, they might have seen your ride-along image and clicked on a call to action in an Informed Delivery email earlier that day or the day before. Again, you basically have two opportunities to convert.

Other marketing benefits of Informed Delivery include generating excitement about your upcoming direct mail piece and increasing brand recognition before prospects receive your DM.

Informed Delivery marketing best practices

For even more effective omnichannel marketing results with Informed Delivery, follow these tips:

Choose a landing page

You can only include one call to action in an Informed Delivery email, so choose your landing page wisely! You might want to link to your home page, online store, a video, or a customized destination page. Alternatively, direct your clickable link to your email address or phone number.

Come up with a clear CTA

Create a sense of urgency in your call to action to increase click-throughs to your landing page. CTAs like "Sign up now," "Try for free," or "Claim your offer now" can drive people to your website. If sending direct mail pieces to multiple customer segments, experiment with different CTAs to see which ones drive the most click-throughs to your site.

A screenshot of Informed Delivery in an email

Be creative with your ride-along image

Your ride-along image can't be any bigger than 300px in width and 200px in height, meaning you won't have much space to get your message across. So create an image that grabs the attention of prospects! You might want to include text that describes a special offer and then direct potential customers to a special landing page that honors the discount.

Retarget prospects that don't convert

If potential customers click on the CTA in an Informed Delivery email but don't convert, retarget them at a later date. The latest software will tell you which prospects ended up on your site but took no further action. You can then send these individuals traditional follow-up emails or reach them via text message.

Use the latest technologies

Graphic editing software can help you create ride-along images for Informed Delivery emails. Also, consider investing in a direct mail platform with features like address verification and direct mail automation. That can free up time for your hard-working marketing team.

Get more Informed Delivery marketing tips

USPS Informed Delivery can increase awareness about your upcoming direct mail pieces and encourage prospects to visit your website, bridging the gap between online and offline marketing. As a result, you can target prospects at two touchpoints and drive conversions.

Want to know more about Informed Delivery and other technologies that enhance direct mail services? Check out a recording of our recent webinar with USPS' vice president of marketing, Sheila Holman, and Lob's vice president of strategic sales, Tyler Dornenburg.

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