The USPS Can Now Email You Photos of Your Mail
'Informed delivery' now available in NYC area
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2015 5:41 AM CST
A US Postal Service letter carrier turns down the flag on a mailbox while delivering mail in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The US Postal Service has started emailing people about their mail. Under a pilot program called "Informed Delivery," the USPS is emailing people photographs of the front side of their mail every morning before it's delivered, reports Quartz. The free service will send up to 10 black-and-white photos of mail per day. People who get more than that will be able to check their mail online in the same place they track their packages, according to the USPS fact page, which notes that the service will help people see their mail—or at least the exterior of it—even when they're traveling.

The USPS has been photographing every letter and package sent in the US for tracking and security reasons since at least 2013. The email service, which was launched in seven Virginia zip codes beginning in 2014, was introduced to the New York City metro area last month. Direct Marketing News reports that the Virginia test "boded well for paper mail's digital future," with a much higher rate of response to direct-mail appeals. This may be because it helped bypass the person—or "mail CEO"—who tends to deal with the mail in the average household before other members have a chance to see it, DM News notes. (The USPS wants to get rid of a Prohibition-era ban.)