The United States Postal Service has introduced a new service that you may — or may not — find useful. Informed Delivery lets you preview the front exterior of incoming mail on your computer or phone; you can also track packages and leave delivery instructions for those packages.
This isn’t something that the USPS has developed just for its customers. According to an FAQ on the post office’s site, the USPS is already creating digital images of the front of your letter-sized mail; however, it is now making those images available to customers before the mail is actually delivered.
Once you’ve signed up for the service, and your address has been verified, you will receive an email from the USPS with up to ten grayscale images of the front of any letters that are on their way. If you’ve got more than ten pieces of mail coming, you can see them all using the online dashboard. You’ll also get a list of packages, along with their tracking numbers.
How useful is this service? Quite frankly, not very. If you’re anxious for a particular piece of mail or a package to show up, the service can let you know the day it’s arriving. It also might be handy if you have a post box and would like to be informed when you have mail there. On the other hand, if you see that you’ve gotten a mysterious letter from the IRS, you can spend the rest of the day worrying about what it says.
However, if you would like to try out Informed Delivery, here’s how to do it.
Once you’ve been verified, it will probably take two or three days for the services to kick in. After that, you will receive an email each morning showing you what you can expect in your mailbox when you get home from work or school.