Update on Mobile Barcode Incentive for mail pieces
In one of our April 2011 e-tips
, we told you about a new incentive
to be offered by The United States Postal Service®
), for mailers who include mobile barcodes
in or on certain mail pieces
. This is a limited time incentive
, available to mailers from July 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011. Since that e-tip, there have been some clarifications on the eligibility requirements for these incentives, so we thought it was a good time to provide an update
What are QR Mobile Barcodes?
As a refresher, these codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes
that are readable by dedicated QR
scanners and camera phones equipped with QR
applications. Also known as QR
codes (Quick Response codes), these codes were first used to track parts in the automotive industry and are now used for many applications. The barcodes
can be encoded with text, URL's, or other data. The diagram below illustrates how the barcodes
These codes have recently become popular in such applications as billboard ads, in-store displays, event ticketing and tracking, trade shows and conferences, print ads, websites, business cards, direct mail campaigns, email marketing, couponing and many more.
It is important to note that to fully benefit from mobile barcodes, the text, data, or links embedded in the barcode should bring the user to a mobile-friendly application. If the barcode directs the user to data or an application that is not easy to read and to use on a mobile device, it probably won’t achieve the desired results.
What is the USPS Incentive?
is offering an incentive
of a 3% postage discount on First-Class Mail presort and Standard Mail commercial letters and flats that contain a mobile barcode
either inside or outside the mail piece
. This is an up-front discount, not a rebate. One of the changes since our original e-tip is that Standard Nonprofit mail
is now included in the incentive offering. The mobile barcode
must be two-dimensional and readable by mobile
smart phones. The barcode
must be intended to "initiate interaction with consumers via mobile
smart phones to market, promote or educate. "The incentive
may be combined with the Intelligent Mail Full Service discount, but may not be combined with any other incentive
, e.g. Reply Rides Free. All pieces in a mailing must contain the mobile barcode
in order to be eligible for the incentive
There are some specific eligibility requirements in order for mailers to take advantage of this new incentive
. There has been some clarification from the USPS
on these requirements since the original e-tip was published, particularly regarding eligibility for mailings that are part of combined, commingled, or co-mail mailings. The rules for participation in this incentive
- Available only to permit imprint customers using electronic documentation (mail.dat, mail.xml or Postal Wizard)
- EDoc will be accepted in Postal One beginning June 26
- The mailer must meet Mobile Barcode requirements:
- Barcode must be contained on or within mailpiece
- Barcode must be readable by a mobile device
- Barcode must be used for marketing, promotion or educational purposes and be relevant to content of mail piece
- All mail pieces on the postage mailing statement must contain Mobile Barcodes
- Rules for Commingled, Combined and Co-Mail:
- These mailings qualify if all mail pieces on the postage mailing statement contain a qualified mobile barcode
- The postage statement can include mail from multiple clients (or versions) if all mail pieces contain mobile barcodes
- Mailings that include multiple clients (or versions) must have separate postage statements generated by client (or version) that contain mobile barcode pieces
- Commingled, Combined and Co-Mail mailings which do not separate mobile barcode mailings on separate postage statements from non-mobile barcode mailings, are not eligible for the discount
- At mail acceptance, mailers must present one sample of each mail piece (version) qualifying for mobile barcode promotion at the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU)
- All mailings are subject to standard acceptance and verification procedures and may be inspected for use of the mobile barcode.
- Mailers must retain one sample of each qualifying mail piece until October 31, 2011
Window Book is offering webinars on the topic of mobile barcodes and the postage incentive. Please visit our web site to sign up for our next mobile barcode webinar on June 30, 2011, or to view a pre-recorded previous webinar.
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