In the world of robot delivery services, mobile payments and voice-based ordering, the United States Postal Service has been struggling, as still reflected in the USPS proposed 2018 budget. But the clouds might be clearing just a bit for the organization, which just announced a brand new notification service called Informed Delivery -- a refreshing innovation in an industry that badly needs it.

The service in a nutshell

In essence, Informed Delivery is an optional, free service that gives you email notifications about what's in your mail. When you open the email, you can actually see images of the exterior, address side of up to 10 letter-sized pieces of mail. If you get more than 10 pieces of mail for a particular delivery day, you'll get a link in the notification email where you can see the rest of your pieces on the USPS dashboard ( You also might have links that can direct you to websites related to mail you've received. Currently, Informed Delivery is only for residential customers and doesn't apply to P.O. boxes or businesses.

Flexibility, monitoring and efficiency in one package

Informed Delivery means that:

  • Customers potentially can handle tasks related to their mail faster or adjust daily planning--you can take action before the important mail you need actually is in your hand.
  • Everyone in the household can see the delivery if desired, promoting better efficiency and communication.
  • You can monitor your mail from anywhere, which can provide flexibility for vacations or your general work day.

USPS Vice President of Product Innovation, Gary Reblin, weighed in on the innovative strides:

"The Postal Service is enhancing the value of physical mail by seamlessly integrating it into a rich, digital experience. The divide is disappearing with the introduction of Informed Delivery, an innovative feature that creates a new marketing channel for mail owners, mail service providers and other agencies and businesses through an unprecedented opportunity that complements both physical mail and digital messaging, thus maintaining the relevancy of mail and growing mail volume in the Digital Age."

But the coolest thing about Informed Delivery?

Informed Delivery is a simple extension of the technology the organization already had for automating the sorting and delivery of mail--the organization digitally scans everything anyway. So rather than let that data go to waste, leaders found a way to turn it into a completely new service that's totally in line with today's mobile, on-demand lifestyle. It's proof that you don't have to start from scratch to add relevancy. You just need fresh eyes.

Thank you for saving me a trip to the mailbox.