Paper Mail's Digital Future
The USPS is testing its new Informed Delivery service in two US Mail markets (Northern Virginia & New York, NY). The “consumer facing service that enhances hard copy mail delivery” has been called “paper mail’s digital future.”
We sat down with our resident expert, Senior Resource Manager Darin Marks, to understand the service and its potential benefits for our nonprofit partners:
- What is Informed Delivery?
It is a service the USPS is developing & testing to give consumers more flexibility and interaction with direct mail. Initially called “Real Mail Notification,” the program works through the My USPS website, and provides consumers with images of their daily mail before it is delivered.
- What does that allow us to do?
This allows subscribers to see important mail before it’s delivered, and can even provide the opportunity to take action before a mail piece arrives.
- What are the benefits for Nonprofits?
Well, for starters, the nonprofit mailer can generate multiple impressions from a single channel. They can engage direct mail recipients in new ways, and drive traffic to their websites through interactive digital content. There are even implications of recipients having the ability to donate via interactive images linked to donation pages.
This service could also have the potential to extend the life a direct mail piece has when it arrives electronically first, then in hard copy. Nonprofits can really dream big when it comes to interacting with donors.
- How do consumers feel about this?
According to the results from the Virginia pilot test, 93% of subscribers check their mail alerts daily, and 92% say they are likely to continue using the service..
- OK, what’s the catch?
There isn’t necessarily a catch. It’s important to understand that this service is just in its infancy, we are still a good ways out from the end product. We should also understand that some features of the service will likely be at an additional cost to the mailer, so it will be important for fundraising and marketing teams to come together and take a strategic look at budgeting, planning and implementing a campaign leveraging this service.
- So what should we do while we wait?
I’ll continue to keep our team informed as I learn more, but I would encourage nonprofits to dream big. Why not? This service has the potential to be a game changing tool for nonprofits of all sizes. If we can imagine the possibilities now, we can be ready for them when they get here.
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