The United States Postal Service (USPS) made a leap in the evolution of direct mail marketing when it introduced Informed Delivery back in 2017. Over the past seven years, Informed Delivery has continued to evolve. It’s won the confidence of customers with more than 60 million active users in 2024—a number that increases every day. And, more importantly, Informed Delivery has proven to be an invaluable asset for nonprofit direct mail marketers. It is a powerful tool to engage their target audience effectively while providing an abundance of actionable data.

What is Informed Delivery?

Informed Delivery is a free service provided by USPS that gives customers a digital sneak peek of their incoming mail before it arrives. Subscribers receive email notifications containing images of letter-sized mail pieces, creating a bridge between the physical and digital correspondence worlds. Customers love the convenience and foresight that Informed Delivery offers.

Subscribers can manage their preferences for receiving Informed Delivery notifications through the USPS website or the mobile app, adjusting how they receive mail and package updates, whether by email, online dashboard, or directly through the app.

In 2024, Informed Delivery emails had an open rate of over 60%, with over five billion impressions.

Why Nonprofit Marketers Love Informed Delivery

For nonprofit direct mail marketers, Informed Delivery has created new opportunities for audience engagement and data collection. Here are several reasons why Informed Delivery stands out:

Enhanced Engagement: By providing a digital preview of upcoming mail, Informed Delivery creates anticipation and early engagement. It catches the recipient’s interest before the physical piece lands in their mailbox, making it a powerful tool for direct mail marketing campaigns.

Dual Reach: This service enables direct mail pieces to occupy both physical and digital spaces simultaneously. Given the high opt-in rates among USPS customers, nonprofit messages are more likely to be noticed and acted upon, amplifying their reach beyond traditional mail.

Actionable Insights: The digital nature of Informed Delivery allows the integration of interactive elements, such as clickable links within the digital preview. This feature encourages direct digital responses while providing nonprofits with specific actionable data on recipient engagement and behavior.

Improved Customer Experience: For recipients, the convenience of previewing mail and managing their mail deliveries from anywhere enhances the overall customer experience. This positive association reinforces the nonprofit’s image as both forward-thinking and donor-centric.

The Impact on Audience Engagement

Informed Delivery represents a pivotal shift in how nonprofits connect with their audience. By leveraging the tangible impact of direct mail and the immediacy of digital engagement, nonprofits can craft more cohesive and compelling narratives. The ability to track how recipients interact with mail previews delivers insights that were previously unattainable, enabling data-driven strategies that resonate more deeply with the target audience.

The opportunity for donors to receive a digital preview of the mailpiece generates a sense of excitement and engagement. When a well-crafted direct mail piece is anticipated, its arrival becomes an event, increasing the likelihood of a meaningful interaction. This approach ensures that nonprofit messages are not only seen but felt, enhancing the emotional connection vital for donor relations.

Cut Through the Noise

USPS’s Informed Delivery service is a significant advancement in the evolution of direct marketing that integrates physical and digital marketing strategies. For nonprofit organizations, it presents a unique opportunity to increase engagement, record important analytics, and ultimately, create stronger connections with their donors.

In an age where digital clutter is the norm, Informed Delivery is an impactful way to cut through the noise and deliver messages that resonate. With its continually growing popularity among consumers, Informed Delivery is a critical tool in the nonprofit marketer’s arsenal.

Incorporating search engine optimization strategies can further maximize the digital benefits of Informed Delivery for nonprofit organizations, enhancing their online visibility and effectiveness in reaching potential donors and volunteers.

See for Yourself

Check out these successful examples of direct mail packages that integrate Informed Delivery to get your ideas flowing. (Quick tip—click on “Filter Categories” and select “Informed Delivery.”) These packages were all awarded USPS’s Next Generation Campaign Awards, which celebrate innovative mail campaigns. Each package delivers a unique experience using interactive technologies like Informed Delivery.

You can read more detail about the service in USPS’s recent INFORMED DELIVERY Year in Review.

Get in Touch

EdgeMark Partners can help you implement Informed Delivery in your direct mail campaigns and it’s a great time to jump in. From August 1st through December 31, USPS is offering an Informed Delivery Promotion of 4% discount for mailers and 0.5 discount for edoc submitters.

EdgeMark can also help you leverage Informed Delivery to increase engagement, drive traffic online, and boost campaign effectiveness. And, more importantly, we will help you take advantage of Informed Delivery’s most valuable asset—the real-time, specific, actionable donor information Informed Delivery captures. That data is the real game-changer offered by this innovative USPS service.

To find out more, simply email John Weeks at [email protected] or give him a call at (804) 967-2000 ext.106. We look forward to helping your nonprofit organization increase the success of your direct mail campaigns by taking advantage of everything Informed Delivery has to offer.