Archive for June 1st, 2011

Mobile barcode promotion, USPS FAQs Clarified – aka, What a Tangled Web

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In addition to clarifications, new FAQs were tacked on at the bottom.  This info supplements the original FAQs published at the Mobile barcode site. There are now three FAQs listed:

FAQs – Moblie Barcode Promotion Rules – Final (which, obviously since there was an update, is not really Final)
FAQs – Mobile Barcode Promotion Fact Sheet (which are not FAQs at all)
and the FAQ Clarification and Update detailed below

As mentioned at MTAC by the mailing industry, to USPS leadership – FAQs are no way to communicate participation specifications.  Ever.  In this case, it now makes it look like everything was thrown together at the last minute (probably because everything WAS thrown together at the last minute, but still).  Now that the program details really are finalized, a new document should have been put together and posted, replacing the current tangled web.


Postal Wizard Clarification:
Mailings submitted via Postal Wizard claiming the Full Service IMb discount cannot exceed 9,999 pieces. All other Postal Wizard mailings (including IMb Basic option) are not subject to this limitation.

“Co” Clarification:
If all of the mailpieces on a postage statement contain eligible mobile barcodes, but are different mailings from multiple clients, this mailing can qualify for the discount. One sample from each client must be presented to the BMEU for verification at the time of acceptance.

Placement Clarifications:
The mobile barcode cannot be placed within the barcode clear zone.
A pictorial description of the barcode clear zone on letters can be found in Quick Service Guide 602 at the link below:
In addition to the barcode clear zone, the mobile barcode cannot be placed in the “indicia zone.” Further guidance about the indicia zone is provided below:
For Flats:
There is a published clearance of 1/8” clear zone above or below the IMB or Postnet in the address block. For optimal processing, we strongly advise you avoid placing the QR Code in the destination address block and indicia.
For Letters:
The QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) barcodes similar to the Information Based Indicia (IBI) codes used in Meter labels and PC Postage. The “Indicia Area” on letter mail is the top-right corner, our Barcode Sorters look for these IBI codes in the zone 2” from the top edge x 4” from the right edge of the mailpiece. More than one 2D code in the “Indicia Zone” will overload our barcode readers and could result in missed valid IBI scans and low read rate of routing codes. This is why we exclude QR codes from this section of the mailpiece.

New FAQs (updated May 27, 2011)
Q: I have a First-Class Mail presorted mailing that contains some residual pieces that are paying the single piece First-Class Mail price. Can these qualify for the discount?
A: Yes, the residual pieces that are included on the postage statement can qualify for the discount.

Q: I see that the Postal Service is reviewing and scanning barcodes from mailpiece samples from July 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011. What should I do if my barcode links to a webpage that goes inactive prior to October 31st?
A: You will need to save a screenshot of the website and, if requested by the program office, forward it to them.

Q: Can the mobile barcode link to a page that allows customers to sign up for online bill paying or paperless statement service?
A: The mobile barcode must be used for marketing, promotional or educational purposes. Barcodes that direct consumers to sites that encourage enrollment to online bill paying or paperless statement services are not considered marketing, promotional or educational for the purposes of this initiative and are not eligible for the discount.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 1st, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Posted in USPS

Dead Tree Edition: Junk Journalism and the Bogus Postal Statistic

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“Junk mail” is a bit like “pornography”: It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it…

…One more complaint: I had to flip past a lot of junk pages for companies like Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, and Siemens to get to the article. Oops, I forgot: Businessweek doesn’t call those “junk pages”; it calls them “advertising”.

Dead Tree Edition: Junk Journalism and the Bogus Postal Statistic.

Excellent piece by D. Eadward!  I waffled on posting or passing on a link to the Business Week article cited because I thought it was “off”.  (Add to that a deep dislike for BW – I spent many brutal Thursday nights as a bindery stitcher operator, running a changeover from Business Week to The Economist.  You never forget the good old days).  Dead Tree took it head on, and makes some excellent points.  Worth taking a look at.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

June 1st, 2011 at 7:02 am

Posted in USPS