Maybe you’re anticipating getting an important piece of mail, or perhaps you're expecting an influx of Christmas cards during the holiday season, all of which you want to keep an eye on. Either way, the U.S. Postal Service can now send you pictures of mail that’s headed your way.
You've probably gotten emails before, such as when you're tracking a package. This -- the Informed Delivery system -- is a little different. These are actual pictures of your physical, letter-sized envelope mail, in addition to a list of packages you should expect. Each morning, you receive the images of the envelopes that are on their way to you.
The steps to sign up are simple, and it’s a fairly quick and painless process.
1. Create your account.
2. Verify your identity.
3. Receive notifications.
And truly, it really is that easy.
So maybe you're wondering: Why would I actually need to use this service? The better question is: Why not?
Have you ever been expecting an important piece of mail that you didn't receive? Even if you answered no, that doesn't mean the service couldn't help you in the future. So what's the harm?
Dan Meade, a letter carrier with the USPS for 20 years, said having that log can make it easier to figure out what may have happened to a lost piece of mail.
"If you have a picture of it the day before, but it never got delivered, they can go back and track down where it got lost," he said.
As it turns out, the USPS has actually been scanning your mail for some time now. It uses the system to sort its deliveries by ZIP code and street addresses.
Interested in the service? Click here to see if it is available in your area.
Have you used the Informed Delivery system? Let us know the pros and/or cons you've experienced in the comment section below.