The post office is yet again offering discount programs to mailers who qualify, with 4 promotions throughout 2015. The goal of the USPS is to encourage customers to see how linking direct mail to digital can increase response rates and provide more interactions with customers/prospects. Let’s take a look at one of the promotions.

2015 Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion: Promotion Period: July 1 – December 31, 2015. As mobile technology continues to grow, direct mail has the potential to offer an even greater value to marketers. The post office wants to show that direct mail is a relevant part of the marketing mix. The USPS is encouraging customers to use technologies that enhance the way that consumers interact and engage with direct mail. This promotion encourages customers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create an easy way for recipients to shop. This promotion provides business mailers with a 2% postage discount on standard mail letters and flats.

Mail piece Content Requirements:

1. Mobile Barcode Requirement: All qualifying mail must contain a mobile barcode or other equivalent print/mobile technology that when scanned by a mobile device leads to a mobile optimized website. Qualifying technologies include open-sourced barcodes, such as a QR Code, a proprietary barcode or tag, such as SnapTags, an image embedded with a digital watermark, and intelligent print image recognition, including an augmented reality.

2. Directional Copy Requirement: The mail piece must contain text near the barcode or image providing instructions for the recipient to scan the barcode or image and information about the landing page. The text must be prominently displayed to ensure a customer sees it. The directional text and the cues from the landing page should clearly inform the recipient that the intent of the barcode is to facilitate a purchase. Examples include but are not limited to: Scan here to shop our mobile website, Scan here to see our products, Scan here to purchase

3. Website Requirements – Mobile Optimization: The landing pages must reside on a website platform that contains or is deeply integrated with a check out option. This will allow the customer to complete the purchase of the product or service referenced in the mail piece through a complete mobile optimized experience. There must be a guest check out option available if the consumer does not have an account.

4. Website Requirements – Purchase of Product: The mobile barcode must lead the recipient to a mobile optimized website where an advertised product/service can be conveniently purchased through a mobile optimized shopping experience on a mobile device.

Purchase Requirements: For purposes of this promotion, the recipient must be able to complete the purchase in one of the following ways:

  • an electronic payment method (such as a credit, debit or prepaid card) made through the internet on the mobile device

  • a person-to-person payment method (ex. PayPal) made through the internet on the mobile device.

Product Requirements: For the purposes of this promotion, a product is defined as a tangible and physical item that needs to be distributed or manufactured and can be shipped via a mailing or shipping product offered by the Postal Service (delivery by the Postal Service is not required). Products that can only be fulfilled via private carrier example: local pizza delivery would not meet the requirements.

Sale of Services and Charitable Donations: In some instances the sale of services and charitable donations may qualify for the promotion discount provided a financial transaction can occur at some point during the scanning of the mail piece or a purchase is able to be completed. Either one of these options must be done to qualify for the promotional discount. Also these mailings will qualify if all other promotion requirements are met and:

  • a tangible item such as a hard copy certificate, thank you note or voucher is mailed to the recipient upon purchase via the US Postal service (does not include invoices, billing statements or receipts), or the mail pieces contain a Business Reply Mail (BRM) or Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) enclosure.

Examples of Ineligible Mobile Barcode Uses (include but are not limited to)

  • Pay a bill (Bill me Later, etc)

  • Make payment online for prior purchases or recurring services

  • Sign up for email list, text messages or mailing list

  • Sign up for online billing or paperless statement services

  • Download a deal or coupon (and no hard copy certificate or voucher is mailed)

  • Enter a contest or sweepstakes

  • Sign up for a newsletter (electronic or hard copy)

  • Proxy stock vote

  • Take a survey

  • Confirm a reservation (like a doctor or haircut appointment)

  • Any link to a non-mobile optimized website

  • Download and/or receive text information such as directions/contact information

  • Link to sign-in page for online account

  • Link to webpage with information

  • “Like” or “share” on social network site

  • View a video

  • Link to phone number or make a phone call

  • Product for in-store pick-up

  • Credit Card Application

  • Insurance Quotes

Registration Requirements

Participants and/or Mail Service Providers must register on the Business Customer Gateway via the Incentive Program Service. Promotion participants must complete their registration (including agreeing to the promotion terms) at least 2 hours prior to presenting the first qualifying mailing and specify which permits and CRIDs will be participating in the promotion. It is recommended that mailers register several days in advance of the first qualifying mailing.

***As part of the terms of participation, all participants must complete a survey about their participation in the promotion at the end of the promotion period.

A user guide for enrollment is available on our RIBBS pages at:

How To Effectively Use QR Codes

If you have any questions about this promotion call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email We are glad to help!