Hallmark launches Intelligent Barcode card line with Postal Service

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Hallmark has launched the Postage Paid Greetings card line with the US Postal Service. The company announced the product at the National Postal Forum conference on April 12, during the general session.

The line of greeting cards has Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) technology that allows customers to buy them with pre-paid first-class postage. Customers' payments are linked to cards as they enter the mail stream.

“We think this is a pretty innovative use of [USPS'] IMB technology,” said Cindy Mahoney, VP of product development at Hallmark Cards. “The Postal Service will count the number of pieces of mail as they enter the mail stream and enable us to track it.”

Bob Bernstock, president of mail and shipping services at the USPS, added: “It's the first application of IMB to a new product. It's a new tool available to all our customers, and it will help us create new products.”

Other major companies also announced initiatives with the USPS. The Walt Disney Co. has created a television commercial that will begin airing in mid-May featuring Toy Story 3 characters discussing Priority Mail. Walmart has also partnered with the Postal Service to feature Priority Mail in its pharmacy marketing, including a spot that depicts Walmart pharmacists discussing the USPS' free shipping alternative for prescriptions.

“We knew that sharing the Postal Service brand would be reassuring to our customers,” said Tyrone Ried, senior director of health and wellness marketing at Walmart.

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