The U.S. Postal Service just expanded Informed Delivery, a service that lets customers preview their mail in email form. Users who sign up for the free service get a morning email with photos of the envelopes that will hit their mailbox that day.
Informed Delivery was piloted in some zip codes in 2014, and last month it expanded to the majority of the U.S. It’s especially helpful for people who travel often and want to keep track of their mail back home.
It’s also useful for large households: Family members or roommates can check the email and know if any letters will arrive for them that day, even if they don’t usually check the mailbox.
And on a more serious note, Informed Delivery is also a great way to find out if someone is stealing your mail.
The program is also meant to keep snail mail relevant in our email era.
"[Informed Delivery] makes postal mail more interesting to millennials, who are on their devices all day long," Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, told NBC News. "And it just might change the equation of how millennials think about the post office longer term."
USPS already photographs every piece of mail that runs through its automation system, so this isn’t a new level of surveillance. But there is one tiny thing to note: For now, only envelopes are included in Informed Delivery, though there’s a possibility that packages or magazines may be included in the future.
You can sign up for Informed Delivery on the program’s website.