Do you know about “Informed Delivery” from the United States Postal Service?
One of the newer services from the USPS in the last year or so is what they call “Informed Delivery.” If you’re not familiar with it, once you’re signed up you get an email every morning (usually about 9 AM in my case, sometimes earlier, sometimes later) that includes a scan of the outside of every letter-sized piece of mail that will be delivered to your mailbox that day. At the bottom of the list is also a list of packages that the USPS will be delivering today or in the next day or two. You can check your mail from anywhere using your cell phone, tablet, or computer.
My mailbox isn’t a long way from my front door, but it’s far enough away that these days I have to put pants on and take a short walk to get my mail. I hate having to go to all that trouble only to get to the mailbox and find out it’s only election flyers, or, worse, nothing at all. Yeah, at least I got some exercise. But I’d rather have a carrot at the end of that stick. It’s definitely more motivating if there’s something good there — like, maybe, a $1,200 stimulus check.
The service is free — all you need to do is sign up for it. I will mention that it’s not perfect. Once in a while the email never shows up, but that’s relatively rare. More common is that it includes a message to the effect that you have mail, but they don’t have a scan of it. Usually, that’s like the grocery flyers you get every Thursday, or sometimes other junk mail or oversized pieces. But almost always there are scans of all your “good” mail, and the “bad” mail (bills), too.
Before you go off on a rant that the USPS is wasting good money on an unnecessary service, let me explain that it is a sponsored service. Interspersed between the images of your daily mail are small ads for services you might use or need: banks, credit cards, insurance, etc. The ads are relatively unobtrusive. My email today, for instance, included scans of four pieces of mail, interspersed with two ads. Two of the envelopes were direct mail from Progressive Insurance and Citibank. And there were two ads from — you guessed it — Progressive and Citibank.
Not every zip code and address is eligible for the Informed Delivery service. To check your address for eligibility, for more information, and to sign up for the service, go to: