QR codes to promote direct mail in USPS program

Quick response codes are getting another endorsement for adoption – this time from the United States Postal Service.

From July through August, the USPS will be giving businesses a 3-percent discount if they include QR codes on their direct mail pieces, including letters, flats and packages.

The codes, which the agency hopes will demonstrate the utility of cross-channel marketing campaigns, allow owners of smartphone devices to scan them to access online content, special deals and even competitions.

"We firmly believe that mobile barcodes add significant value to mail – they help increase response rates and they help establish relationships with those that don’t have necessarily already have a relationship with mail – for instance those in younger generations," Postal Service manager of marketing mail Thomas Foti told the source.

However, businesses hoping to take advantage of the promotion must use the discount and the QR codes only for marketing purposes, not for internal tracking.

QR codes have been quickly gaining ground in marketing circles, especially as the number of smartphone users continue to increase. According to a recent report from comScore, approximately 70 million Americans own the devices.