USPS to run “more refined” QR code promotion this summer

From Post & Parcel:

qr code readerThe US Postal Service is set to run another summer promotional campaign this year, offering a small discount for advertising mail sporting a two-dimensional “QR” barcode.

The campaign aims to make physical mail “more exciting”, linking it through to online information, offers or competitions, or perhaps videos to better engage customers in a direct marketing message.

The major difference with this year’s campaign will be that the QR codes will actually have to link through to something meaningful.

Last year’s campaign, run during July and August, was very successful at getting mailers to add the QR codes to their mailpieces, with around a third of mailpieces including the codes during the period.

But industry observers found that a significant number of these codes either did not link to a website, or linked to a website not worth a consumer’s time.

This year, USPS aims to make the campaign “more refined”, with stricter requirements on the content to which the QR codes are linked and how they are interpreted by QR Code reader iPhone apps and Android apps.

While last year a 3% discount on First Class Mail and Standard Mail saw advertising mailers scrambling to quickly apply the codes to their mailpieces, this year’s discount is likely to be around 2%.

Paul Vogel, the USPS president and chief marketing/sales officer told Post&Parcel: “It will be similar to last year – it’s about showing how mobile barcode solutions can build the capabilities and add value to the mail, and therefore stimulate this technology.

“This year it will be more refined, with more requirements for the content linked to the codes – they will have to link through to a mobile-optimised website offering information that is relevant to the message the mailpiece is providing,” said Vogel, who was speaking at this week’s World Mail & Express Americas conference in Miami.

Postmaster General Pat Donahoe confirmed this morning (9 February) that the USPS governors approved the plans yesterday for this year’s promotion, but the details remain subject to the approval of the Postal Regulatory Commission.

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