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USPS, SpyderLynk reinforce direct mail?s relevance via mobile bar code implementation

The United States Postal Service has teamed up with SpyderLynk for its mobile commerce and personalization promotion that offers direct mail customers a discount on letters, cards and flats that include a mobile bar code.

According to the company, the promotion is intended to reinforce direct mail?s continuing relevance as a marketing channel. USPS is offering an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards that include a 2D mobile bar code and SpyderLynk is also providing those same customers with a 10 percent discount for using SnapTags.

?There?s technology now that is making mail interactive,? said Gary Reblin, vice president of domestic products at USPS. ?We want mail to become more of an experience.

?Mobile bar codes are really tying us in with digital,? he said. ?Technology is going to evolve and what we need to do is make sure that we?re part of that innovation.?

You?ve got mail
As mobile continues to grow, Mr. Reblin said USPS is making sure mobile technologies continue to be one of the fastest-growing marketing sectors, and marketing resources will be increasingly diverted to this medium.

By encouraging customers to adopt and invest in technologies that enhance how consumers interact and engage with mail, the Postal Service is looking to improve the long-term value of the product.

By partnering with SpyderLynk, USPS is putting mobile bar codes on its direct mail pieces to serve as marketing tools.

?If you look at the mobile space there?s a lot going on,? Mr. Reblin said. ?Mobile bar codes can drive more information.

?Mobile is really changing the way that mail can be viewed,? he said.

Mobile efforts
USPS has been testing QR codes for a while now.

Last year, the organization rolled out a mobile bar code promotion that provided business with a 3 percent discount on products.

USPS teamed up with Scanbuy to power the mobile initiative.

When consumers scanned the bar codes, they could view exclusive offers, video demos and social networking.

According to the company, the mobile campaign was designed to build awareness around how mobile bar codes can make any piece of mail more engaging and can be used as a trackable marketing tool (see story).

?We see the value of the integration of mobile and mail, but we need people to try it,? Mr. Reblin said. ?When they try it, they?ll get their A-ha moment.

?It?s about getting a better response and using technology to make people?s lives easier,? he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York