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USPS encourages mailers to bridge the physical-digital divide

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Businesses that use direct mail as part of an overarching multichannel marketing strategy may have a new means of linking their physical and digital advertising. Post & Parcel reports that USPS has decided to run its barcode incentive program again in November.

The promotion - which is currently running July through August - offers a 2 percent discount for mail that carries a two-dimensional barcode which can be scanned by mobile phones. Commercial mailers that add a quick response code or other form of mobile barcode could benefit from the program.

Although the source points out that the program does not apply to direct mail which promotes a service, mailers would have to include a code that, when scanned, leads the customer to a web page which is tailored for mobile viewing and presents a purchase opportunity or personalized message.

"The promotion aims to boost mail volumes in the long term by highlighting the effectiveness of direct marketing mail when it is linked to online media," Post & Parcel explains. It also notes that the QR codes enable recipients to "use smartphones to scan the mail, directing their phones to websites supporting the direct mail campaign."