Maximize the Effectiveness of your Online and Print Media Using QR Codes
We’ve all seen them. Many of us have scanned them on our smart phones.
Some thought they were the new marketing magic bullet – linking print media to online media. But most businesses have been underwhelmed by the effectiveness of the QR Codes, matrix bar-codes, printed on nearly everything now. There’s even a parody page on the Tumblr web site of the ineffectiveness of this marketing tool.
If your organization is looking for new ways to engage your customers, donors and target audiences, QR Codes are a unique means to bridge online and print media, while differentiating yourself in the process. In order to use QR Codes correctly it’s imperative to be strategic in your approach.
Using QR Codes Correctly?
QR Codes provide a convenient one-step process for directing users to a website, phone number, directions, promotions or other information. They cost nothing to produce; their use is only limited by your marketing strategy. QR Codes can be integrated with a wide range of marketing materials for just about any purpose, including print collateral and direct mail. QR codes, as well as the landing pages they link to, can be viewed on all popular smartphone models and do not require special development for different platforms (e.g. iPhone vs. Android). Actions triggered via QR Codes can be traced with web analytics for true measurement of response to your marketing message.
Key Considerations for Proper Use of QR Codes in Marketing Campaigns
The biggest mistake most advertisers have made in using a QR Code in their materials is not “closing the loop.” If someone is taking the time to scan a QR Code – and let’s be honest, it takes a steady hand and foresight on the part of the user to have downloaded the app – make it work their while! In order to utilize QR codes strategically in communications there are a few key considerations to take into account:
- Call to Action – Scanning a QR code requires action by the user. The QR code should direct the user to exactly what they want — learn more, make a donation, register to volunteer or gain insight about the product or company. Simply pointing a QR code to your website’s homepage isn’t likely to be a positive experience for the person who took the time to scan it.
- Make it Usable – This should go without saying. Put your QR Code on something that your customer can hold in their hand and scan easily. If you can’t scan it easily, your customers can’t either. Billboards, clothing, on the bus ceiling, on your website (the one you’re trying to get people to visit) are not good options!
- Mobile Landing Page – It’s a safe bet that the person who scans the code will be doing so through their phone or tablet. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you direct users to a mobile-friendly landing page for an optimal user experience.
- Tracking & Reporting – If you’re using QR codes in a marketing campaign it’s important to be able to track the number of scans over time, capture geographic data and other information. Find out what sparks your customer to take action and hone your marketing message based on higher response rates. After they’ve hit your landing page, measure whether or not they dig further into your site. Where are they going and what peaks their interest?
There are numerous ways that QR Codes can be used to strategically bridge your printed pieces with online media. Following are a few examples of using QR codes in your marketing materials to increase the effectiveness of your overall campaign:
- A business card contains a QR code that links to a landing page with client testimonials, or a VCard to download your contact information.
- A direct mail piece for a nonprofit organization includes a QR code that links to a volunteer and donation page.
- A business includes a QR code on their printed materials that links to Google Maps for driving directions.
- A restaurant includes a QR code on a takeout menu, which links to a phone number to call to make reservations or a take-out order.
- A participant at a trade show places a QR code on their printed materials, promotional products or signage so attendees can conveniently scan and save the participant’s information as they pass by or pick up information.
- A realtor places a QR Code on a direct mail piece or a For Sale sign in front of a residential property, providing additional home specifications, interior photos and Google Maps location for later reference.
- A retail store displays a QR Code next to in-store products to view product demonstrations and reviews.
Learn More About QR Codes
If your organization is looking for new ways to engage your target audiences, QR Codes offer a unique opportunity to bridge online and offline media, while differentiating your company in the process. Want to learn more? Feel free to contact us to discuss how QR Codes can be applied to your print materials and incorporated in your overall campaign to work with your marketing goals.