Created in 1955, the United States Postal Service (USPS) established Certified Mail to act as a “proof of mailing” solution for those sending packages, parcels, and letters via first-class delivery. A major step forward for the USPS, the service was considered to be a much more affordable solution compared to Registered Mail – a service that have been available through the USPS since the 1800s, but one that was getting more and more expensive on a regular basis.
Certified Mail was an immediate hit. Senders were provided with a “proof of delivery” with the opportunity to order a Return Receipt separately. All of this gave a lot more confidence to individuals looking to send important pieces of mail domestically (and later internationally) and millions Certified Mail still today.
One of the biggest reasons that people like to switch to Certified Mail is because of the built-in tracking features. Providing you with the same tracking data and information that you would have with a traditional package, you’re able to watch every step that your first class mail makes as it goes from you to its ultimate destination. Of course, all that tracking information is only helpful and only ever useful if you know how to use the tracking data in the first place. That’s what this quick guide has been put together to help you with. Let’s get right into it!
Almost Everything You Need to Know About Tracking Certified Mail
A lot of people are surprised to learn that there are a lot of different ways you can actually track the Certified Mail that you are sending. Most are under the impression that you are only able to track that piece of mail using the tracking data that you provided by the USPS website in the official “tracking tools”. That’s not exactly the situation, though.
Thankfully, there are a couple of different ways you can go about tracking your Certified Mail. Below we cover all of the most common ways you want to use the tracking information, keeping up to date (as accurately as possible) with every move that your first class mail makes. It is important, though, that we share this with you before moving any further.
While it is pretty easy to track your mail as it moves across the country, the USPS will have to scan and every step of the way for your tracking information to be accurate, relevant, and up-to-date. If there are any delays on the end of the USPS you’re probably not going to see as accurate a tracking history as you would have hoped. For the most part, though, the organization does a fantastic job and you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
Use Your Tracking Info from Your Certified Mail Receipt
The easiest way to track your Certified Mail is to simply use the tracking code that you’ve been provided with when you ordered your Certified Mail in the first place. This is going to become prominently on your receipt, a number that is immediately generated when your Certified Mail is scanned into the USPS logistics system. It’s also going to be printed directly on the envelope itself, so if you need to take a quick snapshot with your smart phone to make sure that you don’t lose that tracking data it’s not a bad idea.
All you have to do is visit the USPS website, navigate directly to the TRACKING section of the site itself, and then input your actual tracking number. If the Certified Mail is currently in the system you’ll be provided with detailed information about its travels already, including where it is right now, where it has already been, and an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for actual delivery. Best of all, you’ll also receive a delivery notification because you purchased Certified Mail in the first place. This means that your guaranteed to get a notification when your first class mail arrives at the address that you intended. That’s a big bonus for sure!
Leverage the USPS Electronic Signature Online Services
If you are expecting Certified Mail to be delivered to your address in the near future, you’re going to want to look into both the Informed Delivery and USPS Electronic Signature Online Services. Informed Delivery is a 100% free service available through the USPS that lets you know about any pieces of mail that are going to hit your mailbox that day or the in the near future. The service scans each piece of mail as it comes through the USPS logistical system, recording the digital image for and providing (again completely free) in your own secure digital dashboard. You can login to Informed Delivery at any time to see what mail you have currently waiting in your mailbox or ready to be delivered to your address, but you’ll also be able to see any Certified Mail parcels that are expected to be delivered in the near future as alerts in this dashboard, too.
Combine Informed Delivery with the USPS Electronic Signature Online Services and you are able to avoid having to be home to sign for important packages, parcels, or your Certified Mail. Your digital signature will be put on the USPS platform, allowing you to accept mail the moment that it is delivered, even if you cannot physically be there. You’ll still get a receipt and notification that your mail has arrived with the added convenience of not having to deal with the headache and hassle of waiting around all day for a piece of mail to actually get to your home or office.
Track Your Certified Mail via Phone
Another cool (and free) service provider by the USPS is the ability to track your mail through your cell phone, with nothing more than the tracking information and a simple text message. You don’t have to download anything. You don’t have to install anything. And you don’t have to worry about creating some kind of crazy account and remembering names and passwords, either. All you have to do is send a text message to the phone number “28777” with your tracking number in the message body. It’ll take about 30 seconds or so for the USPS automated service to kick in and send you back information regarding the tracking information of your Certified Mail. This is maybe the easiest way to go about the process, though you will need to have the tracking number on hand. These numbers can get pretty long and difficult to memorize (and that’s an understatement).
But if you create a digital note on your phone you can always copy and paste that tracking information directly into those text messages, fire them off to the USPS, and get up-to-the-minute information about your mail and tracking data with no trouble at all.
Download the USPS Mobile App
The USPS also has a free mobile application that you can download on both Android and iOS devices, available in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store on your mobile device. This application can be downloaded directly in about 30 seconds or so, installed inside of another 30 seconds, and then set up to use in no time whatsoever. You’ll have to create a free account with the USPS to get everything rocking and rolling (providing personally identifying information like your address to confirm you are who you say you are), but outside of that the process is generally pretty simple and straightforward.
After this account has been created in the mobile app has been downloaded and installed you’ll be able to track everything you do through the USPS on this mobile application. This means you’ll be able to watch every move your Certified Mail makes, but it also means you’re going to be able to take advantage of other USPS services, maintain and manage any mail holds that you’ve put on your address, get customer service and support, order supplies, stamps, or envelopes, and a whole host of other things that you wouldn’t have been able to do outside of a post office or the main USPS website.
For a lot of folks, downloading this mobile application is going to save them a ton of time, energy, and effort. If you really want to be sure that you are on top of the moves that your Certified Mail makes this is a must-have kind of download, especially since it doesn’t take a lot of space on your phone.
Use Third Party Alerts
Lastly, there are a lot of third-party alert services out there that you may choose to take advantage of to keep a closer eye on the moves that your Certified Mail makes. Now, the only thing tricky about this is that you never really know who to trust in the third-party alert tracking world. Some companies are 100% legitimate, totally reputable and reliable, and can be trusted from top to bottom. Other companies are significantly less legitimate, untrustworthy, and even unethical or unavailable to provide you with accurate tracking data and details.
The trick here is to do your research and due diligence and know exactly what kind of organization you’re connecting with before you connect with it in the first place. You want to be sure that your giving the tracking information to your Certified Mail only to someone that you can trust completely, and that means checking the company out from top to bottom before you sign on the dotted line and provide them with ANY information – personal, private, or payment information – whatsoever.
Consider This Alternative, Too
Another alternative worth consideration has to be the Virtual Mailbox services from the folks at US Global Mail. Providing some of the most reliable and reputable alternative mail services in the United States, the reputation that US Global Mail has throughout the industry is absolutely impeccable. Handling millions of packages and parcels each and every year for their clients, there are a number of big advantages to moving forward with this alternative solution – not the least of which is some of the most comprehensive tracking capabilities in the mail world today.
We are talking about solutions that keep a laser focus on your Certified Mail, alert you to any changes to the way you mail is moving, and solutions that keep your mailbox free and uncluttered of junk and unnecessary or unwanted packages, parcels, and envelopes. Perfect for those that want the services that a PO Box has to offer without a PO Box address (but a real, physical address) as well as a combination of mail scanning and mail forwarding solutions – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there’s a lot to fall in love with when it comes to US Global Mail.
At the end of the day, there are a number of different way you can track your mail and your packages. There are a variety of solutions described above – some of them easier to use than others – but all of them will help make sure you stay on to of the way you mail moves. When you get right down to it, though, you’ll want to have a closer look at US Global Mail for sure. This company will not only be able to assist you when it comes to Certified Mail, but is really a bit of a one-stop-shop solution for all your modern mailing needs.
If you’d like to get more information about how this company can help you with their Virtual Mailbox services, or have any questions you’d like to ask directly, don’t hesitate to contact them ASAP. You also find all of their services and solutions on their website, with in-depth breakdowns (including pricing details) that are easy to find, easy to navigate, and easy to digest.
Tracking your Certified Mail is easier today than ever before, especially when you use the help of alternative mailing solutions like the ones that are provided by the folks over at US Global Mail. You’ll never have to worry or wonder what’s happened to your mail again!