It’s Official! The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the USPS 2011 Mobile Barcode Promotion. And it’s not just any barcode we are talking about. Of course it’s our beloved 2d codes commonly referred to as QR codes. You know, those quirky little pixilated squares that are popping up in magazines, on products, and yes, in direct mail.
For a limited time, from July 1 through August 31, 2011 the Postal Service is offering mailers an upfront 3% discount on First-Class and Standard Mail letters and flats that include these mobile barcodes. And unlike other promotions offered by the USPS, this one is pretty straightforward and available to most all mailers and marketers.
To qualify for this Summer Sale, these guidelines apply:
- Mobile barcode must be two-dimensional and readable by a mobile smartphone. One dimensional barcodes do NOT qualify.
- Mailing documentation must be submitted electronically and postage must be paid using a Permit Imprint. Current electronic submission methods include: Mail.XML, Mail.dat and Postal Wizard.
- Participating mailers will be required to affirmatively claim this promotion in electronic postage statement submissions, certifying each mailpiece contains a mobile barcode either within contents of mailpiece or on outside of mailpiece.
- All mailpieces in a mailing statement must contain a mobile barcode.
- With the exception of IMb full service discount, only one incentive per mailing will apply.
- Mobile barcode must be used for marketing and advertising purposes. Mailpieces containing mobile barcode that convey information about the postage value, destination, sender and machine serial number for security do not qualify.
- And to make it even more appealing, Non-Profit mailers are eligible for the discount as well. (They were excluded from the original proposal.)
So why the Summer Sale?
Like so many marketers are currently doing, the USPS wants to take advantage of the recent buzz being generated by QR codes. The Postal Service sees the use of these codes as a great way to link the physical and digital world of direct marketing, and this gives marketers another opportunity to include them in their marketing strategy. Additionally, the Postal Service hopes to demonstrate to mailers how this tool can increase the value of direct mail.
If you need a little more detailed information on this promotion, go here.
If you would like more information on marketing uses for QR codes, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss ideas with you.