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Enter the online world via your junk mail

Ok so this one took me a while to work out. The Royal Mail has announced a new smartphone app that will allow people to scan a photo on their mail, using their smartphone, which will then redirect them to a company’s facebook page, video site, twitter, website…you name it.

The more tech-savvy of you may be thinking “how is this different from QR codes?”. The less tech-savvy of you may be going “Eh?”.

The idea seems basically to be the Royal Mail trying desperately to show that snail mail is still a fantastic way to reach consumers, and to give direct mail sent by post the ability to be tracked by sending people online.

It’s certainly an interesting direction for them to take. On the one hand it’s a better idea than QR codes as you can brand up the image whereas a QR code is a random pattern of black and white shapes basically. Plus being able to track the effectiveness of a hard copy mailing campaign is tempting. But it falls down when it says you have to download the app onto your phone to make it work. So 1) you need a smartphone, 2) you need to download the app and 3) you have to be bothered to then scan the picture rather than just stick it in the recycling bin. That seems one step (or even 3) too far to really make it work.

For more information (and to read one of the most confusing headlines I’ve ever seen) check out this article in Marketing magazine

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