For the second straight summer, the United States Postal Service is offering a discount to companies that include a mobile barcode on their mailings.
While I believe that last year’s promotion helped to increase awareness of QR Codes in the mainstream, there were also many poor uses of QR Codes by marketers.
To help prevent that from happening this year, the USPS has included additional requirements that must be followed to qualify for the discount.
The QR Code on the mailing must either point to a:
- Mobile-optimized personalized URL and landing pageor…
- Mobile-optimized website where someone can purchase an item
While I do think that those requirements may make it tougher for some companies to utilize this discount, I do think that it presents a great opportunity to service providers to help their clients benefit from the program. Last year, many marketers took the approach of, “Hey! It’s easy and free to create a QR Code. I can put one on my own mailings and save money!” But for many of them, that route ended up in failure — both in terms of ROI and in some cases, perception of their brand.
This year, service providers have the ability to truly offer a full mobile marketing solution that will help their clients achieve business objectives.
Here are a few areas where service providers can really sell their solutions in regards to the USPS promotion:
- QR Code Creation, Management, and Editing: Most free generators do not let users change where the QR Code points to once it’s been created. Service providers can offer that to their clients, which can provide marketers more flexibility than ever before.
- QR Code Tracking and Measurement: Many companies have jumped into the QR Code game without remembering marketing fundamentals. For example, they failed to set it up in a way that they could track whether people were actually scanning the QR Code. Service providers can offer this as a service to help marketers truly measure what channels are working.
- Generating QR Codes for Personalized URLs: Most free QR Code generators do not provide a bulk-upload capability. Thus, service providers can provide the solution to do this for mailing lists that contain personalized URLs.
- Building mobile-optimized landing pages: Marketers are certainly hearing the “mobile is hot” mantra. But many of them need help creating web content that is optimized for the many mobile devices.
- Following Best Practices: This USPS promotion only lasts for two months. But if it’s a success for your clients, then it may certainly create many more opportunities for you to do additional business with them in terms of integrating print, mail, and mobile. Thus, make sure to offer your expert advice throughout the process, to ensure they use QR Codes successfully, in a way that will generate ROI for them.
There are certainly other areas where service providers could offer assistance, including building mobile storefronts. But I think that the ones above are items that nearly all service providers could instantly benefit from and offer, without a tremendous learning curve or investment.
I hope that you find these tips helpful, and I hope that you find ways to capitalize on the 2012 USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion!