The “digitally watermarked” mail will take consumers to a company’s website, social network page or video when scanned with a 3G phone.
Mail that includes a digitally watermarked image will be indicated by a symbol. Recipients will have to download a free Android or Apple app to view the digital content.
The postal operator will be hoping that the technology will encourage marketers that previously thought direct mail was old fashioned to include it in an integrated campaign.
It is considering several measures to try and ensure that direct mail stays competitive with other media channels in the wake of recent price hikes. The price for higher volume business packet and mail services increased by an average of 10% on 9 May.
Dave Smith, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, says that it wants to make DM “increasingly sophisticated and engaging for the people who receive them”.
The initiative has been developed with Digital Space. It is not yet known how much the watermarked mail will cost mailers.