USPS’s Mobile Shopping Promotion Still Available for 2020

The USPS has confirmed that despite the current pandemic, all discount programs are still in place, including the 2020 Mobile Shopping Promotion. This program encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create a convenient way for consumers to online shop, as well as earn a postage discount.

The USPS has confirmed that despite the current pandemic, all discount programs are still in place, including the 2020 Mobile Shopping Promotion. This program encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create a convenient way for consumers to do their online shopping; provides a 2% postage discount for standard and nonprofit letters and flats; and runs from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.

The registration period runs from June 15 through Dec. 31, 2020, giving marketers some time to consider the program and how they can benefit from the popularity of mobile shopping to boost response rates. So how can you take advantage of this discount? Qualifying mobile print technologies include one of the following:

  • Open-sourced barcodes: QR Code or Data Matrix code. “QR” stands for “Quick Response”, which refers to the instant access to the information hidden in the barcode. A Data Matrix barcode code can store up to 2,335 alphanumeric characters.
  • Proprietary barcode or tag: SnapTags or MS Tags. SnapTag technology is very similar to QR code technology, but, consumers with any camera or smart phone can take a picture of the tag. From there, information is sent via text or email. Microsoft Tag allows data to be stored in a graphical bitmap using shapes and colors. The difference is not using square pixels, but triangle shapes and colors to store data.
  • Image embedded with a digital watermark: A digital watermark is a kind of marker covertly embedded in a noise-tolerant signal such as audio, video or image data.
  • Intelligent print image recognition such as augmented reality: Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, and more.
  • Shoppabble Video: Today’s technology enables you to set interactive touch points in any video (or image), allowing your audience to expand on any product with more details and the ability to purchase.

You can use one on these options on your mail piece to send prospects and customers to a page where they can purchase the product or service you’re marketing on your mail piece. This particular promotion has been around for a while now and is very popular with both marketers and customers, especially because it extends through the whole holiday season.

New for this year is the Shoppable Video option. The experience involves viewing a video on a mobile device which contains clickable spots on the video where customers can make a purchase.

The easier you make it for your customers to buy, the more and faster they do so. Because of promotions like this from the USPS, marketers can capture impulse buys with direct mail. The Mobile Shopping Promotion also shows how the buying experience does not have to be boring. You can add elements to spice up your landing page and still be able to make transactions like the promotion rules call for. Think of all the fun and creative ways you can integrate mobile technology, while benefiting from a savings of 2% on your postage! It is a good time to try something new.

This is not the only promotion the USPS is offering this year. If interested, check out my previous coverage of two other promotion programs that are currently running, but with registration still open:

Are you ready to get started?

 

Postal Promotions: Reduce Postage Costs and Improve Response Rates

For several years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has offered promotions to encourage marketers to integrate mail with new technologies and help increase customer engagement — enabling incentives to see how direct mail can best be deployed in an increasingly mobile and digital nation. The six USPS promotions for 2017 and their promotion periods are:

This week, I’m away on vacation, but blog readers have a special treat — an expert opinion from GrayHair Advisors’ Jody Berenblatt on postal savings in the offing for 2017 calendar year, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service and its plans for postage promotions. Plan and save! — Chet Dalzell

USPS postal promotions 2017For several years, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has offered promotions to encourage marketers to integrate mail with new technologies and help increase customer engagement — enabling incentives to see how direct mail can best be deployed in an increasingly mobile and digital nation.

The six USPS promotions for 2017 and their promotion periods are:

1. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion: January – June 2017

The Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion enables the USPS to automate the reply mail accounting process. At $0.05 credit per mail piece, this promotion is the easiest postage credit to earn. To qualify, you must use an Intelligent Mail barcode on the reply device for postage paid by the customer (courtesy reply mail) or postage paid by the business (aka business reply mail).

2. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mail Piece Engagement Promotion: February – July 2017

What could make mail irresistible? The tactile, sensory and interactive mail piece engagement program encourages marketers to invest in the experiential aspect of mail (textures, scents) to earn a 2 percent postage credit on future Standard mailings. The USPS recently won a ‘Webby’ Award for its own “irresistible” catalog.

3. Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion: March – August 2017

To connect mail with mobile, the emerging and advanced technology promotion creates an opportunity for marketers to experiment with augmented reality, virtual reality, near-field communications, beacon technology and earn a 2 percent postage credit on both First-Class and Standard Mail.

4. Direct Mail Starter Promotion: May – July 2017

The Direct Mail Starter Promotion is aimed at digital marketers and newbies to advertising mail; earn a 5 percent postage credit on Standard mailings of 10,000 or less.

5. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion: July – December 2017

The Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion encourages businesses to transform statements with colorful, personalized, targeted marketing to earn a 2 percent credit on First-Class Mail.

6. Mobile Shopping Promotion: August – December 2017

To earn this 2 percent credit for Standard mailings, marketers must create a call to action that allows the mail recipient to take action with his or her mobile phone. Easy.

For the balance of 2016, marketers also can enroll in both the Personalized Color Transpromo and the Mobile Shopping promotion. Simply register before the mailing enters the mail stream in order to qualify for either promotion.   For more information about the promotions and, importantly, program requirements, click here.

These savings are significant — so they are very much worth planning for and participating.

5 USPS Direct Mail Promotion Programs for 2016

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the USPS proposal for five programs offering incentives to mailers to increase mail volumes.

Mail StarThe Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the USPS proposal for five direct mail promotion programs offering incentives to mailers to increase mail volumes. Many are the same or similar to last year. Direct mail has many unique qualities that the following promotions try to exploit. They grab recipient’s attention and increase ROI. Which ones would you like to try out?

1. Emerging and Advanced Technology/Video In Print Promotion
March 1 – Aug. 31, 2016.
You earn a 2 percent postage discount. This is for First Class, Standard and Nonprofit letters, cards or flats. The mail piece must incorporate any of the following technologies including: standard NFC technology, video in print (ViP), beacon technology or an “enhanced’ augmented reality. These technologies will allow the recipient to engage in an interactive experience using the mail piece and mobile devices, tablets, etc. This year’s promotion includes an option for A/B testing. Click here for all the details.

2. Tactile, Sensory and Interactive Mail Piece Engagement Promotion
March 1 – Aug. 31, 2016.
You earn a 2 percent postage discount. This is for Standard and Nonprofit letters or flats. Print elements can be incorporated into direct mail to engage a multi-sensory experience through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, or even taste. In addition, interactive features such as pop-ups, infinite folds, or other dimensional creations also qualify. Click here for all the details.

3. Earned Value Promotion
April 1 – June 30, 2016.
You can earn a $0.02 – $0.03 credit per piece of returned mail for both First Class Business Reply Mail and First Class Courtesy Reply Mail. The credits will be added to your USPS account for use in future mailings. Click here for all the details.

4. Personalized Color Transpromo Promotion
July 1 – Dec. 31, 2016.
You earn a 2 percent postage discount. This is only for First Class mail. Adding a color message on a statement or invoice to sell other products or services is a great idea. Remember that it must be personalized, however an image is not required. Click here for all the details.

5. Mobile Shopping Promotion
July 1 – Dec. 31, 2016.
You earn a 2 percent postage discount. This is for Standard and Nonprofit letters or flats. The mail piece must include a mobile barcode such as a QR Code or print/mobile technology such as NFC that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and then takes the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website in order to make a purchase. Click here for all the details.

Many of the promotions listed above are great ways to enhance your direct mail. Check out the 2016 USPS Promotion Calendar by clicking here. I especially like the Tactile, Sensory and Interactive one because there are so many creative ways to take advantage of saving on postage and really making a great impression with customers and prospects.

All of the promotions require mailers to register for them in order to qualify for the up-front discount. In many cases, there are other stipulations after mailing as well, so make sure to check out all of the requirements for each one you are interested in.