Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion Update

Additional Information on the Mobile Commerce and Personalization Summer 2012 Promotion: A Notice of Price Adjustment was filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on February 21, 2012, and the promotion is still pending PRC approval.

Building upon last summers mobile barcode promotions success, the USPS is offering it again from July 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012. In the final rule Federal Register posted today on Postal Explorer, they describe the conditions for eligibility for the promotion and the revised mailing standards to implement it.

Here is information to help you take advantage of this revised special offering:

· Qualifying mailings are Presorted and automation mailings of First-Class Mail cards, letters, and flats and Standard Mail (including Nonprofit Standard Mail) letters and flats with a mobile barcode inside or on the mailpiece.

· The mobile barcode must lead the recipient of the mailpiece either to a webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device, or to a personalized URL, which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient.

· Qualifying mailings may receive an upfront price reduction of 2 percent of the eligible postage.

· Participation requires electronic documentation.

· Commingled, combined and co-mail mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for pieces with mobile barcodes.

Using mobile barcodes is a great way to integrate direct mail with mobile technology.

For more information visit our previous blog on This Summer’s 2012 Barcode Promotion or visit the RIBBS website. You can also email mobilebarcode@usps.gov

QR Code Placement Guide

The Mobile Barcode Promotion from the U.S. Postal Service® runs July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011. Business Mailers can get a 3% upfront discount on First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® letters and flats.

To help you out a bit we’ve made our very own QR code placement guide to help you when designing your mailers.Direct Mail QR Barcodes

You can download the QR Placement Template here.

The template is designed for a 9×6 postcards but the guidelines seen apply to all letter rate mail pieces. Additional the mobile barcode should not be placed within 2″ of the actual postage indicia when the indicia is not placed in the described “indicia zone”.

Mobile barcodes provide a connection between print and the digital world. They are two-dimensional and can be read by smartphones that have a 2-D barcode app/reader. When scanned, these mobile barcodes can motivate your audience to take immediate action. For example: make a purchase, register for an event, or download a coupon.

Be sure to follow these rules and for more information click the link or scan the QR code at the bottom of this post.

• Mobile barcodes must be two-dimensional and readable by a mobile smartphone. One-dimensional barcodes do NOT qualify.

• Mailing documentation must be submitted electronically, and mail must be sent with postage paid through a permit imprint. Current methods include: Mail.XML, Mail.dat, and Postal Wizard.

• Participating mailers are required to affirmatively claim this promotion in electronic postage statement submissions, certifying each mailpiece contains a mobile barcode either within the contents or on the outside of the mailpiece.

• All mailpieces in a postage mailing statement must contain a mobile barcode.

• With the exception of the Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb) full-service discount, only one incentive per mailing will apply.

• The objective of the two-dimensional mobile barcode on eligible mailpieces must be to initiate interaction with consumers via mobile smartphones to market, promote, or educate. Two-dimensional barcodes used for other purposes – such as internal corporate operational processes, or postage evidencing – are not eligible for the discount.

• Mail must be tendered for acceptance during the promotion period, July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011.

For more information about QR code placement and deadlines for this promotion, visit the USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion press site or scan the QR code below.

QR Barcodes in Direct Mail

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Customized QR Codes

Customized QR Codes

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Quick Response codes (aka QR Codes) are barcodes primarily used by smartphone users to get more information on the product or service you’re advertising.  The camera portion of the phones read the barcodes and act on the information you placed in the barcode.

The QR Code usually take the user to a web page that has more actionable functions like order processing and data collection. The barcodes can drive personalized landing pages, shopping cart functions, automated social networking and any other functions coded in the web pages themselves.  You could also direct them to phone numbers since they are scanned by phones.

Direct Mail QR Codes add a new dimension of interaction with your clients and is the least expensive new technology being used today.

Sample QR Code Direct Mail Piece:

QR-Code-Mailing

QR-Code-Mailing

LANDING PAGES

In a recent CSG Direct Mail QR Code mailing we printed variable personalized envelopes with variable QR Codes that take users to personalized web-site landing pages on their smartphones. These personalized landing page sent detailed messages to our team to let us know who is interested.

We placed an “action button” on the landing page and everything the customer does is recorded and actionable.  That is one dynamic function of landing pages with QR Codes.

COMPLEX OPTIONS

A QR Code can contain 4,296 Alphanumeric characters.  In a related example we converted driving directions and embedded those driving directions into QR Codes for a special event.  These will not be going away as new ideas come up every day.