For a limited time this summer, the U.S. Postal Service is offering reduced mailing rates for direct marketing campaigns that incorporate mobile 2D (two dimensional) bar codes on their mailers.
Dubbed the 2012 mobile commerce and personalization promotion, the USPS will offer business mailers a two-percent discount on Standard Mail and First Class Mail letters, flats and cards that include a 2D mobile barcode. The promotion runs from July 1 through August 30, 2012.
A similar promotion is scheduled for November, 2012 to coincide with holiday mailings. The USPS is offering the promotion to build awareness of mobile technology and demonstrate to mailers how mobile barcodes can increase the value of mail.
The promotion’s guidelines require the 2D mobile barcode to direct the recipient to either a web page that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device, or a personalized URL that leads to a web page unique to an individual recipient.
SpyderLynk will offer those same customers a 10 percent discount for using their patented SnapTag 2D mobile barcode during the summer promotion. SnapTags are similar to QR (Quick Response) codes but with the advantage of being more aesthetically pleasing than regular QR codes. The SnapTags can be branded with logos or in other ways to strengthen the brand.
The recipient needs only a standard or smart phone camera to access the information; no app is required. SpyderLynk touts the SnapTag as a way to track, reuse and build relationships in mobile interactive communication.
Satori Software also offers a mobile 2D QR code program that’s compatible with the USPS promotion through its Bulk Mailer services. Companies can use a free 2D QR code generator online, turning corporate information into a graphic image.
Genesis Direct is on the bandwagon, as well. Their services, called Next Generation Direct Channel Marketing, provide technology assistance to direct marketers, and the company is poised to help mailers take advantage of the USPS promotion.
For example, connecting print catalogs with digital media delivered via smartphones or the Internet, Arandell provides 2D QR Mobile Barcodes to retail and catalog direct mailers. The company cites three primary reasons for integrating 2D mobile QR codes into marketing messages and media: versatility, expansion of marketing reach, and convenience.
The USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion gives direct mailers the perfect opportunity to test the marketing potential of mobile barcodes, and makes this an optimal time for direct mail marketers to integrate print and mobile technology in their campaigns.