US Postal Service Offers Discount for Using QR Mobile CodesMay 17th, 2012
I’ve written about QR codes for years now and still have hopes that they will take off here in the U.S. as they have in Japan. A QR code (displayed on the left) is a 2-D barcode that is similar to the UPC barcodes found on merchandise except that it is a much smarter barcode. There are lots of Internet startups focused around helping companies push these barcodes into marketing literature.
What’s really awesome about these new codes is that today more and more of the smartphones come with readers pre-installed which was something that wasn’t so readily available when I started posting about these codes in 2007/2008. Once Apple includes a code reader in the iPhone, the usage of these codes by marketers will explode.
This week I noticed that the US Postal Service is now pushing the value of adding a QR code (they refer to it as a 2-D barcode) to direct mail. And they are offering a discount on direct mail that features a 2-D barcode. Called the, “Mobile Commerce & Personalization Promotion”, you can save 2% by just simply adding a 2-D barcode. It looks like someone at the post office will be reviewing the codes and they need to point to either:
- A mobile optimized web page that allows the recipient to purchase an advertised product or service on the mobile device. The entire purchase and checkout experience must be mobile optimized.
- A mobile optimized and personalized web page/URL that is tailored to an individual recipient. The web address and content of the web page must be unique to eachrecipient.
Here’s the simple program overview, “Thanks to mobile marketing technologies, the concept of direct mail is changing. The 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion provides business mailers with an upfront 2 percent postage discount on qualifying Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats, and cards with a 2-D barcode that can be read or scanned by with mobile device.”
Please make sure to read all of the documentation to make sure that you receive the discount. On the postal service webpage, you need to register for the promotion and also read the faq, program requirements and user guide documents.