The most recent and exciting buzz from the USPS® is Informed Delivery®. This service provides consumers with scanned images of their mailpieces via email before it arrives in the mailbox each day. It also allows mailers to submit a designed image and link along with each mailing so that the addressee can preview and directly access special offers electronically. This eliminates the need to include a complex and rarely scanned QR code on mailpieces, as the consumer can now click directly through the image in their email to see the site and offer.
BCC Software team members have consumer experience with Informed Delivery first hand. We receive an email each morning around 8:00am EST from the USPS entitled the “Informed Delivery Digest.” In normal circumstances, this email features scanned greyscale images of our daily mail, pulled from the USPS sorting machines. This is done for every letter sized mailing. Occasionally we will get an image of a mailpiece that has links and color photos, including one of the mailpiece itself, and one of the offer contained within – these mail pieces are part of a campaign created by a mailer.
Interested in leveraging Informed Delivery for your next marketing campaign?
To create a campaign within BCC Mail Manager™, you need to provide the Mailer ID (MID) being used and, potentially, a serial number or date range to narrow down the scope. When your Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb™) and mailpiece are scanned for Informed Delivery, both the MID and serial number will connect to your campaign and populate the appropriate image(s) and link for the consumer to receive in their Informed Delivery Digest. It is recommended that you create the campaign at least two days prior to the start date to ensure everything is setup and linked correctly.
Using Mail.dat®, you can include the campaign details right in your electronic submission, allowing you to create the campaign when you enter the mailing into PostalOne!® If you choose to go this route, you will need to provide all the relevant campaign information within the Mail.dat wizard on the Informed Delivery page. The first step is to select the Informed Delivery checkbox on page six, which will add an entire new page to the end of your Mail.dat wizard where all the campaign information will need to be filled in.
This page is broken out into two sections – Campaign Information and Referenceable Mail. Campaign information is where the details live, including the title of your campaign and the code which allows you to distinguish between multiple parts of a single campaign. It also includes the display name, different from the campaign name, which is what will show up for the consumer as the title of the mailing. Lastly, it has the serial number or date range selection which will allow you match pieces from your MID to each specific campaign.
The Referenceable Mail section is where you fill in all the details of the mailpiece. The template code allows you to select one of the templates the USPS has previously setup to display your Informed Delivery information. Currently, only template A is available, but there are plans to add additional templates from A-Z down the road. There is also the ID type, which identifies what is included in your submission to identify each mail piece. Next, we have the three URLs used to supply the images and links to the USPS – the Additional Image, Additional Target, and Replacement Image URLs.
The Additional Image URL is where you can include the picture to accompany the scan of the mail piece in your addressee’s Informed Delivery Digest. The Additional Target URL is the link to the company website or product that consumers can click on to claim their offer, or complete whichever Call-to-Action the image boasts.
Finally, there is the Replacement Image URL, which will replace the greyscale scan of your mailpiece with an image of your choosing for letters. For Flats, there is never a scanned mailpiece image, so the replacement image will be used to represent your piece along with an additional image and/or link if you wish to include those.
Once you have all that filled out you can complete the rest of your Mail.dat file set up as normal. Upon submitting, the campaign will be created. You can then work with the Informed Delivery team through the USPS to make sure your campaign is handled correctly. You can contact them at USPSinformeddeliveryCampaigns@usps.gov.
As always, please reach out to BCC Software Customer Support at 800.624.5234 with any questions.