Informed Delivery service lets you peek at your mail before you get it

How would you like to know what's in your mailbox without looking?

The U.S. Postal Service has a new called Informed Delivery that sends users a morning email with scanned previews of the letter-size mail that will be delivered later in the day.

To sign up, go to and get a USPS account. Once you're logged in, you can start daily Informed Delivery emails.

The Postal Service scans all our letter-size mail as part of the sorting process, so it's offering to send us a digest of the scanned images each morning.

We all know nothing is really free. So what's in it for the Postal Service? Digital advertising.

It plans on rolling out ads in the emails with the ability to provide links to special promotions or websites.

I've been receiving the emails at 7:30 a.m. every delivery day for the last few weeks.

The service has been in testing for the last few months and only recently rolled out to most of the country.

Each email has a link so you can report any undelivered mail.

I can see this being really handy for people who don't necessarily check their mail daily. Perhaps they have a P.O. box and they're not sure whether there's anything of interest in it.

For now, only letter-size pieces of mail are scanned. Larger mailings, like catalogs and magazines, are not included in the Informed Delivery emails because they don't get sorted by machine. The Postal Service says those items will be included in the future.

Once you have a USPS account, you don't have to wait for the emails. You can log into a dashboard view of your mail images anytime you like. Scans for the current day's mail are available at 8 a.m., although the may come earlier.

I love the service, but my wife doesn't see the point.

Fair enough.

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