The U.S. Postal Service has released its promotions calendar for 2013 – offering discounts on first-class and standard mail by integrating mail with mobile and emerging technologies. Included among the 2013 USPS promotions are: direct mail mobile coupon and click-to-call; emerging technology; and mobile buy-it-now.
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All of the promotions are pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Direct mail mobile coupon and click-to-call promotion
This promotion encourages mailers to integrate direct mail with mobile technology. The USPS is offering business mailers two ways to participate and achieve greater value in the mail that they create and produce.
To be eligible for a 2% postage discount, mailers can use a mobile barcode or other technology on their mail pieces that leads the recipient to a digital coupon or to a site that initiates a one-touch phone call on a mobile device.
According to the promotion description, high growth in digital coupons (mobile/online) is expected to continue as Internet and smartphone adoption increases, consumer comfort with technology rises, and newspaper circulation declines. This promotion seeks to drive awareness and increase the value of direct mail coupons in today’s digital world.
The physical mail piece must be a coupon. The promotion runs from March 1 through April 30.
Click-to-call is a web-based communication tool in which a person initiates a phone call by clicking a button, image or text to connect with another person. Click-to-call can be initiated by hyperlinks on websites and emails or through any other Internet-connected object including 2D barcodes.
This promotion runs from March 1 through April 30.
Emerging technologies promotion
This promotion is designed to build on the goals of past mobile barcode promotions and to continue to promote awareness of how innovative technology, such as near-field communication, augmented reality, and authentication can be integrated with a direct mail strategy to enhance the value of direct mail.
This promotion runs from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.
Mobile buy-it-now promotion
As mobile technology continues to evolve, the USPS seeks to reinforce direct mail as a relevant part of the marketing mix and to ensure the long-term value of the product. This strategy provides substantial advantages and opportunities for innovation in future years. With this promotion, the USPS seeks to demonstrate how direct mail combined with mobile technology can be a convenient method for consumers to do their holiday shopping.
This promotion, which runs from Nov. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013, provides business mailers with an upfront 2% postage discount on standard mail and first-class mail letters, flats and cards (presort and automation) that include a two-dimensional (2D) barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device.
The technology must directly lead the recipient to a mobile-optimized webpage that allows the recipient to purchase an advertised product through a financial transaction on the mobile device.