US Postal Service: How NFC Makes Paper Mails Irresistible
Do you remember the times when most advertising mails were sent out in paper form? Combined with innovative technologies such as NFC, paper mailings could now experience a renaissance. Check how US Postal Service takes traditional mails to the next level.
It’s no secret that Postal Services around the world have to cope with decreasing volumes of (physical) mass mailings, while potential customers suffer from abundant advertising emails. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has taken countermeasures carrying a name that speaks for itself: Irresistible Mail.
Blurring the Lines between Digital and Physical
In preparation for the 2015 National Postal Forum, the premier annual mailing industry conference in the United States, the USPS, for the first time created a mouth-watering marketing piece – best described as somewhere between a brochure and a book – that demonstrated the potential that can be created by blurring the lines between digital and physical. With the digital side being represented by Augmented Reality, a NFC tag and QR codes, the book proved irresistible, instantly creating a lot of interest among marketing and mailing professionals.
Consequently, USPS presented a second edition in spring 2016. Lavishly produced and furnished with several mobile based, printing and finishing techniques, the book presents several innovations that make physical mail irresistible. Those interested can convince themselves by ordering the Irresistible Mail book on the associated web page.
The Joy of Tapping
In the book’s chapter entitled “Cinematic”, one of these featured innovations is a CIRCUS NFC tag from SMARTRAC. By tapping an NFC-enabled smartphone on the tag, a USPS website with a sample movie trailer is opened. The demo application and the tag encoding was provided by Cellotape, a long-time SMARTRAC partner and leader in creating products that provide integrated NFC and RFID capabilities. Cellotape’s application illustrates what is written on the “Cinematic” page: “With NFC technology, you can recruit legions of new fans with the simple tap of a smartphone.”
“NFC Represents the Next Wave in Digital Activation”
That claim is backed up by neutral industry insiders. Jason Compton from Direct Marketing News wrote: “Mailers can do more than deliver messages on a page. A quick scan, swipe or tap of a smartphone can turn a mailer into a gateway to personalized content, promotions and experiences. Near-field communication (NFC) represents the next wave in digital activation, because the tiny chips can be applied to virtually any form factor, and requires no effort on the recipient's part. Just putting a mobile-enabled device in contact with the NFC chip is enough.”