PRC Approves Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion

In June 2012 the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) applied to the Postal Regulatory commission (PRC) requesting approval for a “Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion” (Mobile Shopping Promotion), scheduled for November 7, 2012 through November 21, 2012 (the promotion period). On Tuesday August 7, 2012, the PRC approved this promotion making it official!

The incentive is a two percent (2%) up-front discount on mail containing mobile (2-dimensional) barcodes. Additionally, mailers may qualify for an extra one percent (1%) rebate if a portion of the orders stemming from the promotional mail pieces are fulfilled using Priority Mail® between November 9, 2012 and December 31, 2012.

What is eligible?

The promotion will be available for mailings of Pre-sorted and automation First-Class Mail cards, letters and flats, and Standard Mail letters and flats that contain a mobile barcode on the outside of each piece or on the contents within each piece. When scanned, the mobile barcode must lead the recipient to a mobile optimized web site which allows them to purchase an advertised product (sale of services is not eligible)

The Rules

As with the current Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion, which is scheduled to conclude August 31, 2012, to be eligible for the 2% mobile barcode discount, customers must register on the USPS Business Customer Gateway at, and specify which permits and CRIDs will participate in the promotion. Mailers also need to identify a Mailing Payment Account to which the USPS may credit the one percent rebate – should they be eligible for that. Registration will open on September 15, 2012 and must be completed at least 2 hours prior to the first mailing date.

  • Eligible mailings must be accompanied by electronic documentation (eDoc). Mailings that are prepared by an entity other than the mail owner must indicate the identity of the owner in the eDoc. The eDoc must also identify the mail owner and mail preparer in the “By/For” fields for all mailings, either by Customer Registration ID (CRID), Mailer ID (MID) or other account type that is assigned by USPS.
  • Mailings of automation letters or flats must have Intelligent Mail® barcodes. Mailpieces with POSTNET™ barcodes will not be eligible for the price reduction.
  • The promotion discount does not apply to single-piece First-Class Mail pieces – including residual single-piece First-Class Mail pieces on a postage statement for Presorted and automation mailings.
  • Mailers must provide the USPS acceptance unit with an unaddressed sample of the mailpiece that contains a mobile barcode. Mailers must retain a sample of each mailpiece claiming a discount until January 15, 2013.
  • Participants must agree to participate in a survey conducted during or after the promotional period.
  • Commingled, co-mailed and combined mailings are allowed, but a separate postage statement is required for mailpieces with Mobile Barcodes.
The rebate

A new wrinkle in this promotion is the ability to obtain an additional postage rebate on top of the up-front discount. Mailers participating in the promotion may receive an additional one percent (1%) rebate on the pre-discount postage for their qualifying mailings, if they send a certain number of Priority Mail packages with a unique trackable barcode (Delivery Confirmation barcode or Intelligent Mail Package barcode) between November 9, 2012 and December 31, 2012 (the fulfillment period). In order to claim the rebate, mailers need to demonstrate that during the fulfillment period, the number of Priority Mail packages delivered to customers exceeded .05 percent of the total number of qualifying mailpieces sent during the promotion period.


Additional details may be found by accessing the USPS RIBBS web site dedicated to promotions and incentive programs.