USPS Formally Announces QR Code Discount, Touts Savings from Contract

WASHINGTON, DC—May 23, 2011 —To help propel the mailing industry into the age of mobile interactivity, the U.S. Postal Service announced a promotion designed to help direct mailers enter the age of interactive mail with Quick Response (QR) barcodes.

During July and August, the Postal Service will offer a Mobile Barcode Promotion that rewards mailers launching campaigns incorporating two-dimensional, smartphone-friendly barcodes with an upfront 3 percent postage discount on qualifying Standard and First-Class Mail letters, flats or cards.

Customers receiving these special mailpieces will be able to use smartphones to scan QR codes to obtain more information or qualify for additional offers posted on mobile-enabled websites.

“This promotion is another step in our long-term strategy to ensure mail remains relevant as a key element in the overall advertising mix for an increasingly interactive marketplace,” said Tom Foti, manager, Marketing Mail. “By creating a promotion for placing mobile barcodes on mailpieces, we’re providing marketers with a compelling way to reach an Internet-savvy customer base.”

Foti says the two-month Mobile Barcode Promotion marks the first mailing industry promotion based on a multimedia approach, and is designed to demonstrate how the value of mail is increased by interfacing with technology to engage customers.

“Consumers have become more comfortable with digital devices and online technologies, and the industry should consider incorporating elements that reflect these trends into direct mail campaigns,” says Foti.

The Mobile Barcode Promotion is open to mailers—including non-profit mailers—who submit qualifying First-Class or Standard Mail letters, flats or cards electronically using a permit imprint payment method. All mailpieces must include a mobile two-dimensional barcode on the outside of the mailpiece or within the mailpiece. The marketing information relayed in the mobile barcode must be relevant to the contents of the mailpiece. A separate postage statement is required for all mailpieces with mobile barcodes. Complete details can be found online at delivermagazine.com/mobilebarcodepromotion/.

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