If your business or everyday life depends on shipping and receiving, then you know how confusing things can get. From providing your consumers with a delivery selection that keeps them happy to finding suppliers and fulfillment partners that keep you in the money, managing your shipping practices is a vital part of running a company.

If you’re a private citizen, staying on top of the mail is no less important. No matter who you are, it’s probably wise to understand the different options and how they work, especially where your inbound mail is concerned. Here’s what USPS Informed Delivery is and how to tell whether it might be right for you.


The Basics of the Service 

In early 2018, the U.S. Postal Service, or USPS, announced that it would start offering an Informed Delivery option for any customers who wanted to opt-in. In short, the service entails the USPS taking photographs of the mail it’s going to deliver before it actually reaches its destination.

“Wait,” you ask. “Isn’t this the same as what Amazon already offers?” Although the online retail giant does indeed take snapshots of the parcels it sends to shoppers, there’s an important distinction: Amazon only generates photos upon delivery to help consumers know where their items are.  Also Informed Delivery does not take pictures of parcels (packages).  It only takes grey-scale (black and white) images of envelopes.

With USPS Informed Delivery, opt-in recipients get photos in advance. The idea behind this is to let you know what you can expect to receive. If you participate, then you’ll be able to stay in the loop via your choice of text messages, emails or the notifications that the USPS mobile app pushes to your iOS or Android device.


Who Might Want Informed Delivery? 

Informed Delivery has obvious advantages for private citizens since it lets them screen their mail. For instance, allowing your junk letters to pile up until the mailbox is overflowing no longer carries quite as great a risk of you missing an important bill or your tax refund.

On the other hand, small business owners are also likely to appreciate the service. Commercial addresses often receive way more trash mail than their residential counterparts do, but they typically have far less time to sort through it all. Running a firm may soon become easier for those who have limited human resources.

One possible benefit of the Informed Delivery program is that it might make it easier to hold USPS accountable. If something that’s supposed to show up fails to do so, you can take your carrier to task or initiate an inquiry to uncover the missing parcel’s location. This marks a massive improvement over having to waffle between waiting or dealing with United States Postal Service’s customer service department.


Putting Informed Delivery to Work 

What will you need to take advantage of Informed Delivery? In addition to proving that you have a physical address, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are who you say you are. You can accomplish the whole signup process for free online.

It’s worth noting that Informed Delivery isn’t a catch-all solution to your mail woes but it does provide a nice notification service. If you are looking for a full service virtual mail and business address partner, then check out PhysicalAddress.com.

PhysicalAddress.com is a cloud-based virtual mail and virtual address service. Travelers, Students, Military personnel or anyone who would like access to their postal mail via a computer or smartphone can leverage the virtual mail service. Access to mail is available across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. The mailbox forwarding service allows clients to view, open and forward mail from anywhere at anytime.Business clients can setup a business address by leveraging multiple premium physical addresses offered by PhysicalAddress.com to attract international clientele, set up a Corporation or LLC, market their company and virtualize their postal mail.