Deb Malewski
Contributing Writer

It’s winter in Michigan, and some days it’s just too cold to go out to check the mail, especially if your mailbox is out at the street or at the end of a long driveway. There is always the risk of slipping and falling on a patch of ice in the pursuit of what often turns out to be junk mail or maybe a few bills. Or maybe you are expecting an important piece of mail but aren’t home to see if it’s been delivered.
The United State Postal Service has reacted to this situation and has come up with a pretty good solution, known as Informed Delivery. Informed Delivery provides digital previews of the exterior address side of your mail and sends those previews to your email or through the dashboard online or through their app. You can check the status of your postal delivery from anywhere, at any time.
The digest email is sent out first thing in the morning, before 7:45 a.m., so recipients will know what should be in the mailbox when it’s delivered later that day. Then you can decide if you want to wander out to the mailbox or let it go until the next day. With Informed Delivery, you can also go into the online platform and let USPS know if you didn’t receive a letter or package that you were sent a preview for.
There is no charge for Informed Delivery but it is not an automatic service; you must sign up for it. The service is available for most residential consumers and eligible personal post office boxes but is not currently available to business customers. Black and white scanned images are provided only for letter-sized pieces of mail that can be processed through USPS automated equipment.
Some things, like catalogs and magazines, are not scanned and will not appear in your Informed Delivery notification.
You can also track the status of incoming packages from your Informed Delivery emails or on your dashboard. Packages are not scanned, however. You will get tracking numbers, the delivery date, and the sender of any packages that you receive, and you can reschedule a missed delivery online.
The service has proven to be very accurate. If something isn’t machine-readable the daily digest indicates something is there, but that no scan is available. Sometimes dark colored envelopes prove difficult to process and the scan might not be legible. Some circulars and pieces of direct mail are considered junk mail and are not scanned.
“I highly recommend this service because simply knowing what is coming offers a piece of mind when you are expecting important mail,” an online reviewer wrote and awarded it five stars.
Visit to sign up for Informed Delivery and to verify that your address is eligible for the service. Or you can call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-344-7779).