USPS Offers Mailing Incentives for Mobile Barcodes
The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) announced a new market test, planned as a limited time mailing incentive program, for mailers who include mobile barcodes in or on certain mailpieces. The USPS has filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) for approval to offer this special incentive. The targeted dates for this incentive are July 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011.
What are Mobile Barcodes?
are popping up everywhere these days, and are also referred to as QR codes (Quick Response codes). These are two-dimensional matrix barcodes
that are readable by dedicated QR scanners and camera phones equipped with QR applications. First used to track parts in the automotive industry, these codes 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.
What is the USPS Incentive for Mailers?
plans to offer 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 mailpiece. 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
. The mobile barcode incentive
is not available on nonprofit Standard mailpieces. All pieces in a mailing
must contain the mobile barcode
in order to be eligible for the incentive
filed the incentive
request with the PRC on April 12, and the notice was published in the April 20 Federal Register
have until May 2, 2011 to comment on the filing, which is Docket R2011-5. Among comments expected to be received are those from Periodicals rate mailers
, who will likely be asking why their mail class has been left out of this special incentive
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