~June 16, 2023~
Hello again! Let’s continue our deep dive into the USPS 2023 Promotions.
As you know, USPS is offering some pretty awesome promotions this year that may offer you generous savings on your direct mail campaigns, and this promo is no different!
So, what’s the Emerging and Advanced Technology promo all about?
Is it the right fit for your organization?
The answer is a resounding YES!
This promo encourages marketers to get innovative using the latest technologies to increase brand awareness, highlight product features, share key information, or engage with customers in new ways.
Direct mail itself already has a high response rate as a marketing channel—and when you shake it up with new technology, your DM gets noticed. Response rates go even higher. Which is pretty sweet, right?
You receive a simple postcard from a local restaurant advertising a fundraiser in conjunction with a nonprofit whose mission is rescuing feral cats.
The postcard includes a QR code, which takes you to a landing page that informs you that adults get free drinks and pizza from 2 – 4 pm during the event. The landing page also includes details about a silent auction and how to sponsor a rescued cat.
On the back of the postcard you see a voice command for Alexa, which you decide to try out, just for fun.
“Alexa, tell me how to make a Meow-tini.”
Alexa gives you the recipe for the event’s signature cocktail so you can try it out at home!
At this point, you’ve interacted with the mailpiece you received. Each positive experience led to another positive experience. You’re interested in the fundraiser event. You want to try the Meow-tini. You might even adopt a cat.
At the least, you’re going to ask your bestie to go with you to the fundraiser to check it out.
This scenario illustrates how incorporating emerging and advanced technology makes it easy for recipients to engage with your offer/brand. This postcard created a positive experience. It also potentially started an ongoing relationship with the recipient for both the restaurant and the rescue organization.
That’s a lot of bang for your buck!
Here are the eight different technologies you can take advantage of for the Emerging and Advanced Technology promo, as well as the discount offered for each kind.
Enhanced Augmented Reality—use a QR code or an app to provide an interactive / augmented experience for the recipient.
Basic Integration with Voice Assistant—incorporate basic voice commands for Alexa or Google Assistant to give more information on your organization, product, concept, etc.
Mobile Shopping—include a QR code, image recognition, or digital watermark that will take the recipient directly to a webpage to make a donation/purchase.
Advanced Integration with Voice Assistant Requirements—develop pre-built or customized skills or actions using toolkits like Alexa Skill Kit (ASK) or an action developed using Google Console for Google Assistant.
Video in Print Requirements—leverage playable video content integrated into catalogs or mailpieces
—Integrated video screen within a printed, mailable piece
—Integrated Video/Picture utilizing translucent paper
—360-degree Video View
Near Field Communication—NFC chips embedded in the mailpiece get triggered by tapping a mobile device to the mailpiece, or waving the device over the mailpiece.
Mixed Reality—integrate a trigger leading to an MR experience. Must incorporate a wearable (e.g., goggles, headset) to deliver the experience. The wearable can be included in the mailing, or belong to the user.
Virtual Reality—include a VR experience. Incorporating a QR code® or an NFC chip can simplify engaging the VR experience through a mobile device and goggles/viewers.
Integration with Voice Assistants—Americans are increasingly using voice assistants in their daily lives as a way to help simplify their busy lifestyles. Direct mail can be an effective way to educate recipients about the benefits of voice branding and how to interact with voice assistants.
Keep in mind, whatever technology you choose to use to engage your recipient, the interaction that takes place must relate to the key message of your direct mail piece.
For instance, in the imaginary scenario above, the QR code takes you to a landing page about the fundraiser. Not a general page about the nonprofit organization. The voice command takes you to specific content related to the fundraiser.
Sending your recipient to a general page like your home page is NOT considered eligible. BTW, if you need help with package design or copywriting, EdgeMark has a fantastic creative team!
The Emerging and Advanced Technology promotion encourages marketers to get innovative using the latest technologies to engage with customers in new ways and ultimately increase response. If you’re interested in including emerging and advanced technologies in your next campaign, EdgeMark can help with everything from producing and mailing your campaign to designing it.
The Emerging and Advanced Technology has specific requirements by USPS including eligible and ineligible tactics.
Please refer to USPS’s promotion guide for more details. EdgeMark is highly experienced with USPS promotions—when we produce and mail your DM campaign, we can set this up for you so you don’t have to think.