What’s new at the nation’s most trusted postal carrier?
It’s been nearly 50 years since the United States Postal Service (USPS) began delivering our mail. Your business has probably sent and received its fair share of mail via the USPS in that time. But did you know that the USPS delivers more than just mail?
Here are the five most exciting USPS services you may not know about.
1. Informed Delivery
Since starting as a pilot program in 2014, Informed Delivery now includes thousands of zip codes nationwide. The service scans your mail and sends the digitized images to your email inbox, letting you read your letters long before they arrive in the post.
If you’re anything like us, being able to access all your mail in one place will save your time and your sanity. Just think about the times when you’ve lost important application forms or – heaven forbid – mislaid letters from the IRS during tax season. With Informed Delivery, costly mistakes like these will be a thing of the past.
Speaking of mistakes, you might be wondering how the USPS prevents breaches of all your personal data. To sign up for Informed Delivery, you have to verify your identity with two forms of ID. Still, if you’re the kind of person who wouldn’t trust a sibling, let alone a federal agency, with your personal data, you can rest easy. Opting out of Informed Delivery is as easy as contacting the USPS Informed Delivery Help Desk.
2. Sunday Delivery
If you experience a surge in sales during the build up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the USPS has your back. With their new and improved Sunday delivery service, you can ship orders throughout the festive period, and last minute shoppers can step up their gift-buying game without even leaving the house.
Widespread Sunday delivery is still only available during busy holiday periods. That said, for an extra fee, the USPS delivers Priority Express Mail on Sundays all year round.
The service was incredibly popular when it launched in November last year, and it played an instrumental role in Amazon’s record-breaking holiday season success. You can bet it’ll be running again this year.
3. Metro Post
Metro Post is the USPS’s same-day delivery pilot programme. Before you rush to cancel your Amazon Prime subscription, you should know that it’s currently only offered in San Francisco. But there’s a lot of interest in rolling it out elsewhere, and the idea is catching on fast with competitors.
What’s great about Metro Post is that it passes through the same safe hands that deliver the rest of your mail. As long as you make your purchase by 2pm, it’s guaranteed to get delivered between 4-8pm the same day. Costs vary by retailer, but when delivery is this fast, we don’t mind paying a little extra for it.
4. AmazonFresh (Grocery Delivery)
AmazonFresh, the grocery delivery partnership between USPS and Amazon, is one to watch. It isn’t offered everywhere – 11 cities, at the time of writing – but with so many of us doing our shopping online these days, grocery delivery services are primed to explode soon.
The service is available to Amazon Prime members for an additional monthly fee of $14.99. For that, you get guaranteed same-day or next-day delivery, so your fruit and veg is still super fresh by the time gets to your door.
5. Forward Mail
If you’re making a long term move but want to keep your old mailing address, USPS Forward Mail is your answer. For $1 per piece, you can get your mail forwarded to your new address for up to a year. Or, for $20.10 a week plus an $18.45 enrolment fee, have your post shipped extra speedily by Priority Mail.
Unfortunately, options for forwarding mail internationally with USPS remain limited, but if you travel frequently within the US, Forward Mail is a must-have.
So there you have it – five services that keep USPS a cut above the rest. So much for snail mail.
Still, with the exception of AmazonFresh, standard postage rates apply to all of these USPS services. You should check out the updated USPS mailing rates for 2021 before signing up for any of them, as you may be able to save quite a sum by using a postage meter.
Postage meters remove the hassle from sending business mail, even at low volumes. Excellent options, such as those offered by FP, can cut your annual mailing costs by as much as 30%. You can request more information from postage meter suppliers using our quick quotes-finding tool.