Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion Update

Additional Information on the Mobile Commerce and Personalization Summer 2012 Promotion: A Notice of Price Adjustment was filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on February 21, 2012, and the promotion is still pending PRC approval.

Building upon last summers mobile barcode promotions success, the USPS is offering it again from July 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012. In the final rule Federal Register posted today on Postal Explorer, they describe the conditions for eligibility for the promotion and the revised mailing standards to implement it.

Here is information to help you take advantage of this revised special offering:

· Qualifying mailings are Presorted and automation mailings of First-Class Mail cards, letters, and flats and Standard Mail (including Nonprofit Standard Mail) letters and flats with a mobile barcode inside or on the mailpiece.

· The mobile barcode must lead the recipient of the mailpiece either to a webpage that allows the recipient to purchase a product or service on a mobile device, or to a personalized URL, which leads to a web page that is unique to an individual recipient.

· Qualifying mailings may receive an upfront price reduction of 2 percent of the eligible postage.

· Participation requires electronic documentation.

· Commingled, combined and co-mail mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for pieces with mobile barcodes.

Using mobile barcodes is a great way to integrate direct mail with mobile technology.

For more information visit our previous blog on This Summer’s 2012 Barcode Promotion or visit the RIBBS website. You can also email mobilebarcode@usps.gov

Raving Consulting tells its fans about 21% response rate from QR code direct mail campagin

Raving Flash. Late Breaking News, Compelling Ideas, Just Plain Good Stuff for the Gaming Industry!

We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast! This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.

Read the original article here.

CSG Direct Mail has over two decades in variable data printing, casino direct mail, variable direct mail maps, US Mail Tracking, randomization, personalized emails, personalized websites, QR codes and much more.

For more information about Raving Consulting call 775-329-7864.
To learn more about CSG Direct Mail visit the CSG direct mail website.

21% Direct Mail Response Rate

Digital Personalized Christmas Cards

Personalized Christmas Card Campaign

There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing the light bulbs come on when I teach people how to use player databases to personalize the players direct mail experience. Personalization is not about using your customer names in the art anymore, that isn’t the secret sauce.

Instead of “telling you” about personalization I am going to show you how. You’re about to learn how to personalize the content of your direct marketing to get better results on your next mailing. I have a great example of a mailing that many of you got to play with recently.

Our personalized Christmas card program got a 21% response rate.
Sharing the details of our own database marketing efforts is the best way to share some of our better ideas. It’s a behind the scenes look at a high response campaign you’ll get ideas from.

Campaign Layers make it fun and effective
We never think of marketing as a 1-touch experience so we did our Christmas mailing as a 5-Touch Campaign. 5 easy touches created better results fast so lets walk through them.

Personalized outgoing campaign touch 1

Touch 1: They received a personalized Christmas card with multiple fascinating components worth sharing with co-workers for greater brand sharing and interaction. This included variable maps from Santas house to show how Santa would travel to deliver gifts to you. It also included a personalized message and a personalized QR code embedded with customer# that was scanned to get a gift.

We also created variable outside envelopes to personalize and localize the message from our closest facility.  Customers nearest to our Las Vegas direct mail plant received their mailer from our Las Vegas plant for example. Variable envelopes are very effective and a huge upgrade on traditional ‘static’ direct mail envelope mailings.

Try the Mobile Site here

Touch 2: is our clients interaction with the personalized card and their smartphone. 21% of our recipients scanned these barcodes with their phones so don’t underestimate the smartphone evolution. The personalized QR Code (a working sample to the right) was used to drive a personalized mini-site. We built the QR Code so that no log-in is required and we could track who is using the program. There is a hundred uses for these barcodes when tied to mobile mini-sites.

High Response Direct Mail Mobile Site

Direct Mail Mobile Site

Touch 3: was a personalized mobile-website driven with auto-login we built into the QR Code in Touch#2. These really are easy to make and there is no end to the automated tasks that can be triggered by these small but powerful mini-sites. Our mini site was a Christmas question to see if you were naughty or nice. Your response drove a variable gift card held by Santa on your cell phone.  This was very cool as we watched the live tracking behind the scenes as entire marketing teams were playing with this and sharing it with co-workers. Gifts were tiered and variable.

Database drives personalization

The database varied gifts and triggered campaign steps

Touch 4: was triggered by the live program database to send a timed text-only personalized email. We integrated our normal corporate email footer and personalized message from your favorite member of our staff congratulating you for winning something in our Christmas program. I love this part for many reasons; it plays to our service brand and engages the customer with their CSG rep in a positive way. (a real behind-the-scenes tour)

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Final Direct Mail Campaign Touch

Touch 5: was the final campaign step where gifts cards were sent out each day triggered by the database. We designed a gift card mailer for delivery of Santas gift card. The primary mailer and the followup mailer were designed together and the second mailing was triggered for immediate response to the first mailer. This easy step is not done enough these days.

That was easy and fun!
This program was creative, inexpensive and easy to execute. In the past this kind of campaign was intimidating for most people. But now you can enjoy the giant response rates and stay within your budget too.

The symbol versions of QR Codes

Each QR Code symbol version has a max data capacity according to the amount of data, character type and error correction level. In other words, as the amount of data increases, more modules are needed to make up the QR code. Let’s say for example you have a rather long web link or you want to include multiple fields in a contact form. This is what makes larger QR Code symbols.

The symbol versions of QR Code range from Version 1 to Version 40. Each version has a different module configuration or number of modules. The module refers to the black and white dots that make up QR Code.

“Module configuration” refers to the number of modules contained in a symbol, commencing with Version 1 up to Version 40. Version 1 is 21 x 21 modules and Version 40 is 177 x 177 modules. As you can see in the image below each higher version number comprises 4 additional modules per side.

Error Correction

QR Codes have error correction capability to restore data if the code is dirty or damaged. Four error correction levels are available. Raising this level improves error correction capability but also increases the amount of data QR Code size. The bigger the QR code, the better chance it has of being read properly without error.

To select error correction level, various factors such as the operating environment and QR Code size need to be considered.
Level Q or H may be selected for factory environment where QR Codes get dirty, whereas Level L may be selected for clean environment with the large amount of data. Typically, Level M (15%) is most frequently selected.

From a graphic design perspective Level Q or H are great to work with. One can remove parts of the code, implement an image, icon, or design and still get full functional readability. On thing to keep in mind while doing this is that most people don’t have a fancy smartphone and may be using an older less effective camera-phone when scanning your code. You want to make sure that the code will work with all smart phones.

You can color a QR code as long as you use dark enough colors that maintain good contrast for the camera to recognize. You can also use the black areas as a mask over a photograph. Indeed you can be very creative with QR and not have the boring robotic look of generic QR codes.

Another thing to keep in mind while designing is to leave the white border around the code. This border allows the camera to zero-out and know what areas to read and decode. A general rule-of-thumb is to maintain a 4:1 scale of white border to the smallest module, or pixel, within your QR code.

QR Code Placement Guide

The Mobile Barcode Promotion from the U.S. Postal Service® runs July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011. Business Mailers can get a 3% upfront discount on First-Class Mail® and Standard Mail® letters and flats.

To help you out a bit we’ve made our very own QR code placement guide to help you when designing your mailers.Direct Mail QR Barcodes

You can download the QR Placement Template here.

The template is designed for a 9×6 postcards but the guidelines seen apply to all letter rate mail pieces. Additional the mobile barcode should not be placed within 2″ of the actual postage indicia when the indicia is not placed in the described “indicia zone”.

Mobile barcodes provide a connection between print and the digital world. They are two-dimensional and can be read by smartphones that have a 2-D barcode app/reader. When scanned, these mobile barcodes can motivate your audience to take immediate action. For example: make a purchase, register for an event, or download a coupon.

Be sure to follow these rules and for more information click the link or scan the QR code at the bottom of this post.

• Mobile barcodes must be two-dimensional and readable by a mobile smartphone. One-dimensional barcodes do NOT qualify.

• Mailing documentation must be submitted electronically, and mail must be sent with postage paid through a permit imprint. Current methods include: Mail.XML, Mail.dat, and Postal Wizard.

• Participating mailers are required to affirmatively claim this promotion in electronic postage statement submissions, certifying each mailpiece contains a mobile barcode either within the contents or on the outside of the mailpiece.

• All mailpieces in a postage mailing statement must contain a mobile barcode.

• With the exception of the Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb) full-service discount, only one incentive per mailing will apply.

• The objective of the two-dimensional mobile barcode on eligible mailpieces must be to initiate interaction with consumers via mobile smartphones to market, promote, or educate. Two-dimensional barcodes used for other purposes – such as internal corporate operational processes, or postage evidencing – are not eligible for the discount.

• Mail must be tendered for acceptance during the promotion period, July 1, 2011, through August 31, 2011.

For more information about QR code placement and deadlines for this promotion, visit the USPS Mobile Barcode Promotion press site or scan the QR code below.

QR Barcodes in Direct Mail

U.S. Postal Service wants you to use QR Codes

From humble beginnings to one of the nation’s foremost innovators in direct mail tracking and data-driven direct mail , CSG Direct Mail is a local business making big waves. With decades in Database Marketing experience, CSG Direct Mail has a long history of creating innovative new direct mail marketing programs including their new QR code promotion.

Quick Response codes (aka QR codes) are barcodes primarily used by smartphone users to get more information on the product or service being advertised. The camera portion of the phone reads the barcode and acts on the information placed within it. A QR code can contain 4,296 Alphanumeric characters and usually takes the user to a web page that has more actionable functions like order processing and data collection.The barcodes can drive personalized landing pages, shopping cart functions, automated social networking and any other functions coded in the web pages themselves. You could also direct them to phone numbers since they are already being scanned by phones.

Direct mail QR codes add a new dimension of interaction and is the least expensive new technology being used today. All you need is a QR code reader app for your smartphone to scan them. Check your phone’s app store for a QR code reader app that works best for you.CSGDirectMail,alongwiththe U.S.Postal Service, is helping spread the use of QR codes by offering a 3% discount on all mailable pieces which include a QR code throughout the month of August.

Scan the QR code above with a smart phone to receive a special offer from CSG Direct Mail!
For more information visit: http://www.csgdirectmail.com

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Customized QR Codes

Customized QR Codes

QR Codes in Direct Mail

Quick Response codes (aka QR Codes) are barcodes primarily used by smartphone users to get more information on the product or service you’re advertising.  The camera portion of the phones read the barcodes and act on the information you placed in the barcode.

The QR Code usually take the user to a web page that has more actionable functions like order processing and data collection. The barcodes can drive personalized landing pages, shopping cart functions, automated social networking and any other functions coded in the web pages themselves.  You could also direct them to phone numbers since they are scanned by phones.

Direct Mail QR Codes add a new dimension of interaction with your clients and is the least expensive new technology being used today.

Sample QR Code Direct Mail Piece:

QR-Code-Mailing

QR-Code-Mailing

LANDING PAGES

In a recent CSG Direct Mail QR Code mailing we printed variable personalized envelopes with variable QR Codes that take users to personalized web-site landing pages on their smartphones. These personalized landing page sent detailed messages to our team to let us know who is interested.

We placed an “action button” on the landing page and everything the customer does is recorded and actionable.  That is one dynamic function of landing pages with QR Codes.

COMPLEX OPTIONS

A QR Code can contain 4,296 Alphanumeric characters.  In a related example we converted driving directions and embedded those driving directions into QR Codes for a special event.  These will not be going away as new ideas come up every day.

Uses for QR Codes in Direct Mail

QR Codes… What are they? …What do they do? Are they for me?

These are all good questions and we will cover them. You should be asking “What do I want to appear on someone’s smart phone when they scan it”?.
…an image?
…a webpage?
…a signup page?
…a Facebook page?

Let’s start from the basics. QR codes or Quick Response codes are just like any barcode, they hold bits of information in them a computer can read. They only take it one step further! With the use of a smart phone they can connect to your company’s website, your social media site or even contact information.

These codes originally developed in Japan. If you ask anyone that’s been there they will tell you that QR Codes are everywhere and everyone has a smart phone. Here in the United States they are starting to become popular, but the downside is that not everyone has a smart phone.

There are lots of options but the most common option would be to have a QR code connect to your website, sign up page, or a certain promotion going on at your website.

Other options can be:

1. Variable Driving Directions
2. Email signup form on your site
3. Your social media promotion page, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.
4. Hotel Registration page
5. Event calendar
6. YouTube Video
7. Special casino promotion
8. Shopping cart
9. Contact information
10. Coupon

Just tell us what URL you’d like embedded and we’ll take care of the rest!
Of course at CSG Direct mail you know they can have variable content too!