Customers that use innovative technologies like near-field communication, augmented reality, and authentication in their mailings will receive a 2 percent discount from August 1 through September 30 as part of an emerging technologies incentive.
Ryan Joe highlighted this discount in a Direct Marketing Magazine story titled “The USPS in the Digital Age.” In an interview with Gary Reblin, VP of New Products and Innovation at USPS, he highlighted what the company was working on to integrate technology into print mailings. Reblin added that using these technologies can improve campaigns.
A document on the USPS website states that this promotion will build upon previous promotions and continue their strategy of incorporating direct mail with mobile technology. Mailers must use one of the follow components to qualify for the 2 percent discount:
Augmented Reality enhances physical pieces with text, video, or graphics. The technology must have relevance to the mail content, must be interactive, and must have images overlaid across the mail piece. This type of technology can be interactive in real time, and is in 2-D or 3-D. Examples of augmented reality vary; publications could use this technology to check the online version of an article, or to see more information about a specific object in a photo.
Near-Field Communication (NFC) enables data transfer based on proximity. In his interview with Joe, Reblin reported that this type of emerging technology would take time but is a “natural fit” for consumers. NFC could be used to engage attendees at meetings, check-in online at events, to make payments, and to network.
Authentication is the process of verifying the claimed identity of an individual, workstation, or originator. Once identified through a log-on ID, authentication is achieved when the user provides the correct password, personal identification number (PIN), or other authenticator associated with that identifier.
Below is a list of mailing requirements customers must meet before receiving the 2 percent discount:
Registration Period: June 15, through September 30, 2013
Program Period: August 1 through September 30, 2013
Discount Amount: 2% of eligible postage. The discount is calculated in PostalOne!® and applied to the postage statement at the time of mailing. The 2% discount is deducted from the postage amounts of qualifying product categories that are paid at the time of mailing. Normal postage prices listed in the published Price List (Notice 123) apply to the mailing and the discount is applied to those prices.
Eligible Mail: Standard Mail® letters and flats
Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats
First-Class Mail® presort and automation letters, cards and flats
Ineligible Mail: First-Class Mail Residual Pieces
Periodicals (includes Pending Periodicals mail)
Bound Printed Matter
First-Class Mail and Standard Mail parcels