The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is pushing direct mail campaigns with yet another initiative. USPS will offer a 3 percent discount in July and August to people mailing letters or flats with a Quick Response, or QR code. The two-dimensional mobile barcodes are readable by smartphones, which allows any iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phone to scan items in order to access more details, such as online content, special deals or competitions.
Post&Parcel recently interviewed Thomas Foti, the Post Service manager of marketing mail: “We firmly believe that mobile barcodes add significant value to mail—they help increase response rates and they help establish relationships with those that don’t necessarily already have a relationship with mail—for instance those in younger generations,” said Foti. He hopes the summer sale will inspire the use of mobile barcodes, which he says will only improve usage rates in the future.
“As customers continue to use QR codes, we think this increases the effectiveness of mail, which encourages the demand for mail and hopefully longer term it increases our volume,” he said. “We recognize that the online world will continue to grow and thrive, and we just want to make customers aware that mail can be an integral part of that communication, and in fact online campaigns that do utilize direct mail are more effective.”
Foti believes the relationship between mobile technology and physical mail will enhance direct marketing campaigns. To validate this assumption, during the discount promotion, USPS will track how many customers use the barcodes and to what extent, in order to best access the usage and potential demand for this new technology.
“We believe this is just the first of things to come,” he said. “We believe that the innovation is just going to continue.”
The 3 percent discount will apply to First Class Mail and Standard Class Mail. The promotion will officially run from July 1 through August 31.
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