If you like being able to track the packages you ship through companies like FedEx(R) or UPS(R), you’ll like hearing about this new service from the US Postal Service…
Example of IM barcode (courtesy Wikimedia)
The USPS IM barcode is an Intelligent Mail barcode that can provide you tracking details of the mail you send. Similar to the barcode already used on most US mail, the USPS IM barcode is 65 vertical bars that encodes 31 digits of data for USPS scanners.
Based on the 31 digits, the USPS will be able to know: the type of service for the item (1st class, 3rd class, etc), the identity of the sender, a sequence number and the Zip Code of the delivery point.
The sequence number is what’s really interesting. This is assigned to the sender; it identifies the mailing piece from the thousands the sender might be mailing.
So now a mailer will be able to know when (and if) their mailing piece made it to the doorstep. Before, it was a matter of faith.
Also, by confirming delivery, mailers will be able to update their mailing lists for future mailings.
And marketers will have end-to-end tracking of their campaigns, just like they do with email campaigns! It’s nirvana for those using analytics.
The new Intelligent Mail service will start this May. Mailers will need to use the IM barcode to qualify for automation prices.
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