A Mobile barcode is also known as a QR (Quick Response) Code. Direct Mailers and marketers are embracing this technology, and extending it to their campaigns in many different ways. One of the key benefits of using a Mobile barcode is the fact that it gives marketers a clearly measurable way of gauging response rates with a high level of accuracy. This makes the ROI easy to calculate and use in planning future campaigns.

The USPS has filed a proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission regarding a Summer Mobile Barcode Promotion. Approval is expected by the end of May. If approved, there will be an upfront, 3% discount off the total postage on any Standard or First-Class mailing, letters and flats, that include a Mobile barcode. The barcode can be either inside or on the outside of a mailpiece, and must be able to be read or scanned on a mobile device such as a smartphone. The time frame for mailing will be between July 1 and August 31, 2011.

Requirements include:
--All pieces in the mailing are required to carry a Mobile barcode
--Barcode must be a 2D barcode
--Permit Imprint mailing
--Electronic postage documentation
--Barcode must be used for marketing/advertising only

The state purpose of the promotion is to increase awareness around the idea of integrating this technology, and increasing the value of the mail piece and promotion at the same time. Mail service providers using a permit imprint are included in eligibility. Notably not included are Periodicals and Non-Profit mailers. You can still claim the Full Service Intelligent Mail discount in addition to the Mobile incentive; however, you cannot combine incentive programs, you can only claim one incentive per mailing. There is no advance registration process, making this easier to take advantage of.

The USPS has an informational website and FAQs for reference and more details: