What is USPS Informed Delivery? Here’s how this free service can help you stay on top of your snail mail

Mailbox - USPS informed delivery service

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USPS Informed Delivery means you won’t miss the memo

When you were a little kid, there were probably few things as exciting as getting almost anything in the mail.  

We loved saving box tops and sending away for kitschy branded freebies from cereal and candy companies — and probably half the reason those old mail-order record clubs did so well is because of the dopamine rush we got every time a new bunch of vinyl LPs or cassette tapes showed up.

And when you didn’t have anything in your mailbox? Charlie Brown-style sadness.

Charlie Brown empty mailbox

As an adult, though, getting a steady stream of bills and piles of junk mail pretty much wiped out any excitement, and replaced it with something closer to dread.

While most of what used to be placed in your physical mailbox is now delivered by email, that doesn’t mean that everything has gone electronic.

Don’t miss the good stuff

Some important things still will only come your way via good ol’ snail mail. Think of stuff like birthday cards from your great aunt, some checks and rebates, and new credit/debit cards.

If you want to be sure you don’t miss anything (or that it’s not taken from your mailbox, or accidentally recycled by someone else), there is a perfect tool out there for you. Best of all, it’s free.

It’s called Informed Delivery, and is a service offered by none other than the US Postal Service.

Six days a week, you can get an Informed Delivery email that contains black & white scans showing the front of any qualifying mail that should be coming your way that day. (Notifications aren’t sent on Sundays or holidays, or if you don’t have mail coming.)

The mail previews look like this:

USPS-Informed-Delivery-example

What do we mean by qualifying? Well, you won’t see everything that will be shoved into your mailbox — anything larger than a flat letter-sized envelope (so that excludes catalogs, large envelopes, packages, and most circulars) will not be there.

In the words of the post office: “Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.”

Unfortunately, not every address is yet eligible for the Informed Delivery service. If you live in a building with lots of apartments or condos, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to set it up right away, every building has to be coded to the unit level.

In other words, if you’re in apartment 221B, the system won’t send you notifications for your loudmouth neighbors next door — or vice versa.

Where to sign up for Informed Delivery

You can find out more and sign up at informeddelivery.usps.com.

Who knows? It might just be enough to get you excited about mail again.

Lilyvolt Editors

Lilyvolt Editors

This site is for you, Gen X. It’s taken us all a long time to get here, so let’s make the most of what we’ve got. That’s why we say Lilyvolt is for Gen Most Xcellent. (We’re betting Keanu would approve.)

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