The US Postal Service has begun sending letters to businesses explaining the Intelligent Mail Barcode. From what we can tell, the communication is not entirely clear, but they are letting businesses know to expect some changes with their statements and direct mail campaigns.
As all mailers nationwide implement the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) by May 2011, it will be interesting to see if companies take advantage of the potential benefits – or if the entire IMB program will be a wasted effort. Designed as a cost-saving measure for the USPS, the IMB does have some potential benefits for LKCS clients.
- The IMB can potentially provide proof of mail delivery on every piece – financial institutions will be able to verify delivery of each and every mailed statement, for instance.
- This mail piece tracking capability could also provide signficant cross-media campaign opportunities. Launch newspaper and radio ads on the same day that direct mail pieces are arriving in mailboxes. Send follow-up e-mail messages a few days or a week after the direct mail piece was received.
- And the IMB provides an address cleansing service, providing a way for LKCS clients to keep account holder and in-house list addresses up to date.
Of course, nothing is free. Will businesses nationwide be willing to pay for the tracking capabilities? And will businesses keep their lists updated or face the possibilities of additional charges from the USPS?
Mailers around the country are scrambling to get IMBs in place. Will the benefits outweigh the effort? Anyone want to take a guess?