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What Is USPS Informed Delivery and How Does It Work?

March 29, 2023 | 3 min read
Read on to learn more about the upsides and the limitations of United States Postal Service’s Informed Delivery.
So, What’s Informed Delivery?

Offered by USPS, Informed Delivery allows residential customers to preview images of incoming mail and packages before they arrive.

The service is free and available to eligible residential customers. Some of the features include:

  • Daily email notifications (or access through the website or app) containing images of the outside of letter-sized mail and the labels of incoming packages.
  • The option to redirect a letter or package to a different address or to arrange for pickup at the post office.

Informed Delivery works with letter-sized mail, such as personal letters and bills, and small packages and parcels.

Note, however, that magazines, large envelopes, or items marked as confidential or private are not generally eligible.

Benefits of Informed Delivery
  • Convenience: By receiving images of your incoming mail and packages, you know what mail you’re getting in advance without needing to check it physically. Convenient for when you’re out of town.
  • Package Tracking: You can easily keep track of packages and anticipate arrival times.
Informed Delivery’s Limitations
Drawbacks worth considering are:
  • Limited Functionality: Only images of the front of letters and the outside of packages are provided, which doesn’t help when you need to know the contents of the letter or parcel.
  • Privacy Concerns: In today’s world of frequent hacking and cybercrime, the implications of the USPS storing images of your personal mail can be a tad worrisome.
  • Limited Availability: Informed Delivery is currently only available to residents in certain geographic areas so you might be out of luck if you reside in a more remote location. It may also be unavailable in some apartments and condos that don’t have uniquely coded addresses.
  • None of Your Business: As of right now, business addresses are not yet eligible.
You’ll also still need to physically go to your mailbox or post office to retrieve your mail. For digital nomads, people working remotely, and frequent travelers, this doesn’t really work.
Are There Alternatives to Informed Delivery?
If you want more practical and convenient features than Informed Delivery, some alternatives include:
  • Private Mailbox Services: Some private mailbox services offer mail and package receiving and can provide notifications when mail and packages arrive.
  • Package Locker Systems: Package locker systems allow for secure delivery and retrieval of packages. These systems deliver packages to a secure locker and notify you when they arrive.
  • Package Forwarding Services: Package forwarding services receive packages on your behalf and then forward them according to your directions. This can be a good option if you’re traveling or live in a different country from where you want your packages shipped.
  • Virtual Mailbox Services: Provides a physical address at a staffed location that you can use for mail and package receiving, whether personal or for your business. All mail received at the physical address is scanned, uploaded, and made available to you immediately via an app. You can then remotely manage your mail and packages with a few swipes.
A Virtual Mailbox Service Worth a Look

Anytime Mailbox is a virtual mailbox service that offers consistently dependable service to customers who need a more comprehensive option than Informed Delivery.

With modern technology and user-friendly interface, Anytime Mailbox allows you to control your postal mail and packages securely every step of the way.

From mail and package scanning to forwarding, storage, and disposal, it’s by far the most seamless mail management experience available. It’s like having your mail and packages accessible through your phone, anytime, anywhere.

Anytime Mailbox is a smart solution for individuals, businesses, and travelers who need to manage their mail and packages remotely. Whether you’re a busy professional or just someone constantly on the go, check out Anytime Mailbox to see if it might make sense for you.

It’s likely that it just might.