PRC Approves Sequel to USPS’s QR Code Promo

The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the United States Postal Service’s request to offer a discount to merchants who use a QR code in their catalog mailings and other direct pieces this summer.

The USPS will offer the 2% discount to mailers in July and August, and merchants who want to qualify for the discount can register beginning May 1.

This is the second straight summer that the USPS will offer a discount for mailers who use a 2-D barcode within their mailings, though last year’s discount was 3%.

The USPS has stated that the 2011 promotion was successful in generating awareness of how mobile technology could be integrated with direct mail. Now the USPS wants to continue to create awareness of more innovative uses of mobile barcodes and encourage mailers to adopt “best practices” associated with those technologies, according to a posting on its website.

The “2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion” is similar to the 2011 version in that they both focus on the integration of mobile technologies with direct mail as a means of reinforcing mail’s continuing relevance as a marketing channel.

But the 2012 promotion will specify that the barcode or similar technology must lead the recipient to either a webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device or a personalized URL which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient. Best practices such as directional copy and mobile optimization are also required.

Looking to get started with QR codes, or want to see some best practices in action? Please check out this post from the Multichannel Merchant blog: Will Merchants Get USPS’s Mobile Barcode Promo Right the Second Time?

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