The US Postal Service will send email alerts to people after it delivers their mail as part of a test it is conducting. Online sellers might be the beneficiaries of having shipping carriers alert buyers when orders arrive, though the current USPS pilot program only includes letter-size and flat-size mail (large envelopes).
The feature works through the USPS Informed Delivery program, which has more than 23.5 million subscribers. The opt-in program allows users to receive digital previews of their incoming mail and manage their packages from smartphones, tablets and other devices.
The Postal Service uses the word “flats” to refer to large envelopes, newsletters, and magazines. The words large envelopes and flats are used interchangeably. Whatever you call them, flats have the following characteristics:
- Have one dimension that is greater than 6-1/8 inches high OR 11-½ inches long OR ¼ inch thick.
- Be no more than 12 inches high x 15 inches long x ¾ inch thick.
The April 9th announcement of the USPS test program follows:
USPS testing new Informed Delivery feature
USPS is testing a feature that sends email notices to Informed Delivery users within 20-30 minutes of the time their letter-size and flat-size mail is actually delivered.
The Postal Service is testing a new Informed Delivery feature that lets users know when their mail has been delivered.
Informed Delivery, which has more than 23.5 million subscribers, allows users to receive digital previews of their incoming mail and manage their packages from smartphones, tablets and other devices.
During the test, users receive email notices within 20-30 minutes of the time their letter-size and flat-size mail is actually delivered. Package delivery notifications will not be affected by the test.
In April, USPS began testing the mail delivery notification feature for approximately 90 days in select ZIP Codes in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington, DC.
Customers in those locations are invited to participate in the test and asked to fill out surveys to provide feedback.
The test only involves letter-size and flat-size mail delivered to a physical, residential address or a personal PO Box.
Informed Delivery is part of the Postal Service’s broader strategy to add digital capabilities to mail, making it more valuable, predictable and accessible.