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How does USPS informed delivery work?

Joanna Heep

June 23, 2021

USPS Informed Delivery, a no-cost, opt-in U.S. Postal Service service, gives customers the ability to preview incoming mail electronically before it arrives at their mailbox. Users receive an email notification with a preview of some of their letter-sized mail. Those previews aren’t always accurate and don’t allow you to do anything but get a glimpse at what’s arriving. 

USPS Informed Delivery only shows the exterior of your mail 

USPS Informed Delivery subscribers receive emails with a low resolution, gray-scale digital image of only up to 10 pieces of mail a day.

USPS Informed Delivery doesn’t show customers all of their mail. Some letters arrive without ever showing up as a preview. The mail users do get previews of will only show them the outside of the envelope. This helps you know what to expect to see in your mailbox. 

You can’t see what’s inside your mail, forward it, or reject it. 

Is USPS Informed Delivery available for businesses?

The postal service limits who can use Informed Delivery. Currently, it isn’t offered to businesses, and is only available for residential addresses and PO boxes in eligible zip codes. 

Businesses who are looking to manage their mail can digitize it completely with a virtual mailbox. Virtual mailboxes give users more than a mail preview, they get an entire virtual mailroom. 

USPS Informed Delivery doesn’t filter out junk mail 

Junk mail is annoying...and time consuming. In the United States, the average person receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year, adding up to the 76 billion pieces of junk mail sent annually.

Unfortunately, USPS Informed Delivery does not filter out junk mail from your previews, which can overload your dashboard. 

You don’t have to deal with junk mail. There are many ways to put an end to it, such as a virtual mailbox that automatically filters out junk mail or taking the time to remove yourself from mailing lists

USPS email notifications aren't always accurate

You may have mail coming in, but it doesn’t always show up on the USPS Informed Delivery dashboard. Even if you do receive an email notification with a mail preview, there have been instances where the mail is still delayed and stays in your dashboard for days without delivery. 

USPS Informed Delivery only supports USPS 

Because of its affiliation with USPS, it’s understandable that Informed Delivery only shows incoming mail and packages from the postal service. Unfortunately for customers, mail comes from multiple carriers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, and more. 

Informed Delivery gives you a preview of your mailbox, but is not a mail management solution. If you need that, a virtual mailbox could help. 

Upgrade your USPS Informed Delivery with a virtual mailbox 

Virtual mailboxes have been around longer than Informed Delivery, and have more robust features.

With a virtual mailbox with Earth Class Mail, you’ll be able to select from more than 80+ virtual addresses where you can receive your mail. These addresses can give small business owners real street addresses for their home-based or remote business. 

When you receive mail, you'll have access to the full digitized contents of your incoming mail and packages, and decide whether to shred, share, or forward your mail. 

Virtual mailbox services also allow you to check your mail from anywhere, make sure your contents are securely shredded, and get your checks deposited automatically. 

Learn more about Earth Class Mail’s virtual mailbox.

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