“…Each morning, I receive an USPS Informed Delivery email containing an image of every letter-size piece of mail addressed to me that is due to be delivered that day….

Informed Delivery is just one of three free services — the others being FedEx Delivery Manager and UPS My Choice — I use for tracking inbound mail and packages. But I don’t do this just to keep tabs on online orders. I’m more concerned about unexpected deliveries, such as donations to a silent auction I’m chairing, because, let’s face it, how can you know you didn’t receive something if you didn’t know it was coming?

It’s all about choice, control and convenience. Customers “have lives and activities, and don’t want to stick around all day waiting for something important,” says Scott Harkins, senior vice president of customer channel marketing at FedEx. They also want “to be an active participant in the process,” he says.

That’s why these services not only alert you to what’s coming but allow you to take action if needed. “With Informed Delivery you get an advance look early in the day. So, if something isn’t there, such as a check, you can follow up without having to wait until your mail is delivered,” says Gary Reblin, vice president of product innovation at USPS.”

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