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New direct mail rules could put scanning codes on ads

Published January 30, 2014 at 7:29 am

Are there any developments on the horizon that might prove advantageous for advertisers that send marketing materials through direct mail? How about the “scannable” QR code boxes and other digital prompts have been around for some time and play a key role in modern direct mail marketing campaigns? Now the government is investigating the value of these developments.

According to a report from the Post Office’s Inspector General last month, this method could be part of a larger attempt to stir up more digitally focused actions that could make both advertisers and consumers more interested in the possibilities of commercial mail.

The text of the report seems to anticipate some of the problems that naysayers might have with this approach by claiming it would be perfectly safe for consumer privacy and be, in the office’s words, a “win-win-win.”

“Recipients would benefit from advertising mail targeted more precisely to their interests as well as the existence of a market to compensate them for revealing their preferences,”  the office writes. “The Postal Service would benefit from a more robust, higher-value advertising mail product.”

MediaPost reports that advertising mail was 25 percent of last year’s total revenue for the Postal Service. Clearly there’s a lot of money at stake, but if the process can evolve, it can also take advantage of the trend toward digital marketing initiatives.

Putting these codes in all pieces of direct mail marketing could be a way to bring satisfaction to all parties involved, and that can include your company. Since it’s being considered by the government, it might not be a bad idea to look into what you can do to improve your direct mail marketing efforts.



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