June 2012


You Can Save Money - Use Mobile Barcodes!

Great news for anyone sending direct mail. The United States Postal Service is dropping its rates - if you use mobile barcodes like QR Codes, Microsoft TAG, or JagTag, that is.

Starting July 1, the USPS is offering a temporary promotion for presorted and automation First-Class and Standard Mail cards, letters and flats. All you have to do is use two-dimensional mobile barcodes or equivalent print technology such as watermarks or tags. The promotion is a follow-up to the USPS's highly successful mobile barcode promotion last summer. This year's promotion will run from July 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012.

To be eligible, each mail piece must have a mobile barcode either on the outside or inside of its contents. The barcode must be used for marketing purposes (codes used for POSTNET or machinable serial numbers don't count). When scanned, the code must lead the recipient to a Web page that allows the recipient to access a personalized URL or to purchase a product or service. In both cases, the Web site must be mobile-optimized.

How much can you save? Eligible mail pieces receive a price break of 2%. So if you've been wanting to jump into the world of mobile barcode promotions or if you've been kicking yourself for not participating in the USPS discount promotion last summer, here's your chance.

In addition to the USPS's requirements for this specific promotion, you may want to use the best practices accepted by the mobile marketing industry to get the best results: 

  • Don't just send people to your company URL. Make sure the codes serve a specific marketing purpose. 
  • Offer recipients an incentive for scanning the code. 
  • Provide unique mobile content that provides high value to the person scanning the code. 
  • Make the code easy to read (for example, use URL shorteners, make sure there is sufficient white space around the code, and don't use high-gloss substrates with distracting reflections).
  • Provide instructions for the non-mobile-barcode initiated. 
  • Test, test, test - just like you would any other campaign. 

Registration must be completed at least 24 hours prior to the first mailing date.