The U.S. Postal Service is giving online retailers a cheaper way to connect with their customers this holiday season.
Registration opened this week for the Postal Service's 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion, which is designed to drive online product purchases by putting mobile-optimized promotional offers, coupons and catalogs into shoppers' hands in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The promotion offers online merchants an upfront 2 percent postage discount on standard and first-class letters, flats and cards that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology, such as a Quick Response (QR) code. The promotion will run between Nov. 7 and Nov. 21.
Gary Reblin, vice president of domestic products for the Postal Service, said direct mail, combined with mobile technology, is a convenient way for businesses to inform consumers about products and promotions this holiday season.
"This is the third promotion we've offered to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating mail and mobile technology, and we're convinced that once marketers try it, they'll make direct mail and mobile technology a regular part of their marketing mix," Reblin said.
Mailers may also qualify for an additional 1 percent postage rebate on their discounted mailings if portions of their product orders are sent via Priority Mail between Nov. 9 and Dec. 31.
For additional information on the promotion or to register, online retailers can visit the Postal Service's Rapid Information Bulletin Board System website.