Take Advantage of the USPS Mobile Barcode Postage Discount

Odds are, if you are a retailer, you are already trying to drive traffic to your website to place orders. Adding a QR Code to your mailing pieces simply adds one more way to direct customers there. And now, through August 31st, it can also garner you a 2% discount from the USPS.

The discount is available for qualifying Standard Mail and First-class Mail letters, flats, and cards imprinted with a 2-D code that can be read or scanned with a mobile device. There are, of course, requirements to follow in order to qualify for the discount. Those can be found at https://www.usps.com/mobile-barcode.

This is an especially good deal for retailers with catalogs and direct mail cards. Obviously, there is the immediate money savings on postage, but for goodness sake, don’t simply slap the code on your mail piece and call it good enough. Use this tool wisely and it will not only save you money, it can also generate sales. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

1. Use good art.
The right placement, clarity and size are paramount to success… and failure. Nothing turns a customer off faster than being frustrated by a “convenience” that is anything but. Test the code on several different phones and tablets, if available, to make sure it works.

2. Make sure the customer knows what it is and how to use it.
Add a brief line about how/where to download the app and how to use it. It can be as simple as ”Scan this code with your smartphone using a QR Code Reader app.” Including a brief reason why they should scan is a big plus, too. That leads us to point #3…

3. Make it worth the customer’s effort.
A special offer, a promise of more details, registration for upcoming events, or an invitation to view and purchase the newest fashions are all handy incentives. The USPS discount offer is specifically for codes leading to web sites that allow shoppers to view and buy the products or services offered on the direct mail piece. But we would like to remind you that QR Codes can be used any time. And other fun ways to engage your customer include links to a video showcasing your expertise, or a downloadable song or app.

4. Be sure the code leads to a mobile device-friendly site.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but sites with Flash or those that aren’t optimized for quick viewing are doomed to annoy the very customer you are courting. And, to top it off, a non-optimized site may not qualify for the mail discount.

Using QR Codes in your direct mail is the perfect way to marry two marketing platforms to get better results. Let’s face it, search engines are great, but a potential customer often has to be aware a product or service exists before they can search for it. A well-designed direct mail piece can put you in front of potential customers who might not otherwise think of your business. A well-implemented QR Code can lead them to your site and turn prospects into customers. To paraphrase a famous leader, “We love it when a plan comes together!”