Using Barcodes to Improve Direct Mail

Improving Direct Mail with Barcodes

Barcodes are a great tool to utilise with direct mail marketing.
Simple to use, but highly effective, barcodes can be used to:

  • Improve campaign effectiveness
  • Provide live progress updates
  • Monitor delivery rates
  • Lower costs and reduce wastage
  • Drive traffic to digital content
  • Promote social media

What is a Bar Code?

A barcode is a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths, printed on and identifying a product.

There are two types of barcode, 1D and 2D. 1-dimensional barcodes are generally used for quick identification purposes and store data in an assortment of vertical lines, with limited capacity whereas 2D codes are able to store a greater variety of complex information.

Quick Response (QR) Codes

QR codes are one of the most commonly seen codes in direct marketing, they are different from a regular barcode. QR codes are a type of two-dimensional bar code read using smartphones or other devices that are capable of QR code reading.

Where regular barcodes are used to simply identify objects and products, QR codes have a wider variety of uses. QR codes store data vertically and horizontally enabling for far more information to be stored within the code.

Regular bar codes on the other hand store data in an assortment of vertical lines, limiting the capacity for information storage.

How can QR codes be used in Direct Mail?

QR codes are basically a hyperlink in the form of an image.

Any URL can be easily turned into a QR code and will open any webpage automatically upon scanning. This means you can use QR codes to direct traffic to both long and short-form content.
QR codes are particularly effective at generating traffic for social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat as well as viral content and website landing pages. They can be used to raise awareness of brands, and are proven to drive engagement from younger audiences.

On top of this QR codes can be easily placed within magazines, brochures, leaflets, as well as on business cards, posters, labels and packaging. They are easy to apply and easy to use even for consumers with limited technical knowledge, on top of this they represent a strong call to action that will provoke an immediate response from recipients.

Timing and Managing Direct Mail Campaigns

Timing is crucial for direct mail campaigns. Understanding where your mailings are, how they are progressing and when they will be delivered are huge advantages that can be utilised to improve performance and give you the edge over the competition.

Barcodes can provide crucial information that when used correctly will improve the success rates of your mailings.

Live Monitoring

Barcodes can be used to provide live progress updates and end-to-end visibility of mailings. This information is invaluable to marketers as it enables the coordination of multi-channel marketing efforts such as social media releases, email contact and follow up calls that will help convert prospects into customers.

In addition to this, understanding the number of items that were successfully delivered to customer mailboxes, as well as the dates on which they were delivered helps when measuring campaign success and assessing areas for improvement in future.

Mail Marks

Mail marks are a form of scannable code that provides fast and easy access to the basic information needed to organise a mailing. A regular 2D mail mark can contain a variety of information including the carrier, supplier, service, mailing house and bill payer.

Mail marks make the organisation of direct mail campaigns easier and generally result in a more accurate service with a higher rate of correct deliveries. In addition to this, mail marks help to save money by reducing the amount work hours and organisation time required for mailings as well as reducing print wastage through delivery errors.

Return Address Information

Return address information can also be stored in barcodes and included on mailings to assist with undeliverable content, the addresses can be located with a simple scan, enabling mail items to be identified and returned easily.

Adding Value

Barcodes are a quick and easy way to add value to any direct mail campaign. They can be used to generate additional traffic, save money on mailings, monitor delivery rates and improve the overall success of campaigns.

For more information, or to learn more about how barcodes can boost your direct mail campaign result get in touch today.

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