USPS To Offer Mobile Barcode Promotion

Apr 19, 2011 2:23 AM  By

Looking for an incentive to try QR codes? The U.S. Postal Service has submitted a proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission that would give a 3% discount to catalogers who use two-dimensional mobile barcodes between July 1 and Aug. 31.

“The PRC is looking to the USPS to be more creative with multichannel engagement,” says Lynn Noble, product manager, catalogs, for the USPS. “This promotion plays to that.”

The promotion provides commercial mailers an upfront 3% discount on the prices for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail letters and flats, which
include a mobile barcode inside or on the mailpieces.

Noble says there are some setup costs for companies looking to implement mobile barcoding and the 3% discount can be used for that.

The PRC has 45 days to approve the proposal, which was submitted last week. But Noble thinks the PRC won’t take too much time with the proposal, which is available to Standard and First-Class mail.

One important piece of the proposal is that mailpieces must include a two-dimensional barcode inside or on the mailpiece that can be read by a mobile smart phone. Although one-dimensional barcodes can be read by smart phones, they do not qualify for the promotion.

The USPS hopes the program will promote integration of the direct mail and mobile channels. “We’re looking at every opportunity to promote awareness where the value of mail is enhanced,” Noble says. “We want to build excitement about mail.”