News on the 2012 USPS Barcode and Mobile Promotion
By Guest Contributor on February 20th, 2012
The 2011 Mobile Barcode Promotion was so successful because it utilized emerging technologies and the prevalence of smartphones to integrate direct mail with modern devices. Customers and businesses alike benefited from the ease of use and the postal savings affiliated with this promotion.
The following information describes the proposed 2012 incarnation of the promotion:
The 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion provides mailers with an upfront postage discount on qualifying Standard Mail® and First-Class Mail® letters, flats, and cards that contain a mobile barcode or similar print technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device. The technology must lead the recipient to either:
1. A webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device.
2. A personalized URL, which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient.
Registration Begins: May 1, 2012
Program Period: July 1 through August 31, 2012
Discount Amount: 2% of eligible postage. The mobile barcode discount is calculated in PostalOne!® and applied to the mailing statement at the time of mailing. Normal postage prices as listed in the published price schedule apply to the mailing, and the discount is applied to those prices.
Eligible Mail Classes: Standard Mail® letters and flats, Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats, First-Class Mail® presort and automation letters, cards and flats
Program Registration: Participants and/or mail service providers must register on the Business Customer Gateway. Mailers agree to participate in a survey about the promotion. Registration opens May 1, 2012 and will continue throughout the promotion period.
Mailing Submission Requirements
Documentation/Postage Statement: Mailings must be submitted electronically via mail.dat, mail.xml or Postal Wizard.
Participating mailers will be required to affirmatively claim this promotion on electronic postage statement submissions. All mailpieces in a mailing statement must be eligible for the promotion. Note, the discount must be claimed at the time of mailing and cannot be rebated at a later date.
Mailing Date: Mail must be tendered for acceptance during the promotion period, July 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012. Qualified PVDS mailings that are verified and paid for by August 31, 2012, will be accepted at destination entry postal facilities through September 15, 2012.
IMB Requirements: Automation mailpieces must contain an Intelligent Mail barcode.
Postage Payment Method: Postage must be paid using a Permit Imprint, or Precancelled Stamp permit. Some Meter Permit mailings may qualify. OMAS and “Official Government Mail” mailings are not eligible for the promotion.
Mailpiece/Mailing Content Requirements
The two-dimensional barcode or similar print technology which takes a consumer to a mobile optimized site that either enables mobile commerce or is personalized for the recipient. All qualifying mail must contain a mobile barcode or equivalent technology that can read or scanned by a mobile device (this includes two-dimensional barcodes, tags, and watermarks). The mailpiece must also contain text near the barcode or image providing guidance to the consumer to scan the barcode or image. Additional requirements are listed below.
If the barcode is used to facilitate mobile commerce:
- The destination web page(s) must contain information relevant to content of the mailpiece, and some or all of the service(s) and/or product(s) advertised in the mailpiece must be available for purchase on a mobile device.
- The destination web pages must reside on a web site platform that contains (or is deeply integrated with) a checkout functionality so that consumers can complete the purchase of the good or service referenced in the mailpiece through a complete mobile optimized experience.
- Websites used for e-bill payment of prior purchases, or regularly scheduled payments (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.) for goods and services are not eligible.
If the barcode leads to a personalized website:
- For each mailpiece recipient, the web address is unique to the recipient, as is the content of the web page.
- Unique web page content is based on relevant customer data such as prior behavior, life stage, segmentation, and demographics.
Requirements at the time of mail acceptance and post- mailing
At Mail Acceptance: The mailer must provide a hard copy, unaddressed sample of the mailpiece showing the placement of the mobile barcode to the acceptance clerk. If a mailing contains mobile barcode mail from multiple mailers, a hard copy sample of each mailer’s mailpiece must be presented. If mobile personalization is used, at least two samples must be submitted in order to demonstrate that the web addresses are unique to each recipient.
Post Mailing Requirements: All mailers who receive the discount must retain an electronic or hard copy sample of the mailpiece until October 31, 2012, and if requested by the Postal Service must forward such sample to the promotion program office.
This post was provided by Rich Cicha who writes for the SourceLink blog. It provides excellent information for the direct mail industry from a company who specializes in “connecting data, design & delivery.”