USPS Incents Commercial Mailers to Combine Mobile Marketing With Direct mail

Encourages Use Of QR Codes and Other Digital Tools to Increase Returns

WASHINGTON  – The U.S. Postal Service is offering the 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion to encourage commercial mailers to use mobile marketing tools — such as QR codes — on their mail.

During July and August, the Postal Service is offering an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards (presort and automation) that include a two-dimensional barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device. When scanned, the technology must activate a link directly to either a mobile-optimized Web page that allows the mail recipient to purchase a product or service or to a mobile-optimized and customized Web page uniquely tailored to the mail recipient and accessible by a personalized URL.

“Mobile technologies continue to be one of the fastest-growing marketing sectors,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Domestic Products. “During the holidays, mobile purchases were up from 5.5 percent of ecommerce sales in 2010 to 11 percent in 2011.

“The integration of direct mail with mobile technologies will not only improve the long-term value of direct mail but also increase returns for merchants,” added Reblin.

According to MarketingProfs, 2012, 48 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers own a smartphone, and one in five U.S. smartphone owners scanned a QR code with their phones, as of Dec. 2011. The Direct Marketing Association estimates that marketing mail returns $12.75 for every $1 spent.

“Personalization has always been an effective attribute of direct mail, and studies show that it improves return on investment,” said Reblin. “Tying personalization with mobile technology is the next obvious step to enhancing the value of both mail and mobile marketing.”

Commercial mailers may register for the 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion now through Aug. 30, 2012. For more information, visit