The Intelligent Mail barcode was created by the U.S. Postal Service to replace the formerly used Postnet and Planet Code barcodes, using data to help the USPS sort and track mail more efficiently. With this barcode, those that sent letters and packages can also have more transparency regarding their mail. Compared to past barcodes, the IM barcode has more information, and more accurate information. Particularly, it includes “the Barcode Identifier, the Service Type Identifier, the Mailer ID, the Serial Number, and the Routing Code (ZIP Code),” as explained on the USPS’s website.
Anyone who has received mail has seen an Intelligent Mail barcode – it’s generally a white strip with 65 black lines on an envelope or package. According to the USPS’s website, the IM barcode can be placed, the same as with previous barcodes, in the address block or in the bottom right hand corner of the envelope.
For companies that are sending out lots of mailings, it’s important to know the relevance of this barcode, not only because of where it’s going to be placed once mail or packages are sent out, but because businesses too can create their own barcode for better tracking of their mail. However, forms processing and mailing services can help companies with large volumes of mail create the best mailings, and reach the highest number of people. By creating your own IM barcode, those that sent out mail can see exactly where the mail has gone, and prepare for more and stronger mailings in the future.