December, 2014 – This article from Target Marketing discusses the effective use of QR codes combined with direct marketing. (http://email@example.com#utm_source=today-target-marketing&utm_medium=enewsletter_headline_story3&utm_campaign=2014-12-11)
By Summer Gould
Direct mail is an effective way to reach prospects and customers. But, we have to admit that both customers and prospects are becoming more mobile, and therefore digital content is becoming more important. QR codes are simple 2D barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone or tablet to create a bridge between direct mail and digital content. To be effective, QR codes need to be easy to scan, so make sure that you leave room for the barcode.
Your direct mail is already in your customers’ hands, which means you have their attention. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage further engagement by using a QR code to invite them to connect with digital content. You want your QR code to work for you—simply linking to your homepage isn’t enough. Your code needs to offer something valuable to your customers/prospects that will catch their interest and encourage them to get in touch, make a purchase, sign up for information or come back for more.
Here are five examples of ways you can use QR Codes to add value for your customers/prospects:
- Link to exclusive or time-limited content.
- Provide specific information about you, your products, or services.
- Connect your customers/prospects with media such as a video or gallery.
- Direct your customers/prospects to a landing page, email sign up form, or even dial a phone number.
- Send out special offers such as coupons or discounts.
As with any kind of marketing campaign, there are do’s and don’ts of using QR codes. Knowing them will help you make the most of your QR codes. Check out four of each listed below.
QR Code Do’s:
- Offer An Incentive to Scan
QR codes are a fast and easy, but people still need a good reason to grab their phone and scan your code. Make sure scanning the code is worth their while by offering them information or an offer they won’t want to miss.
- Make Your Destination Mobile Friendly
When scanning customers/prospects will need to use their smartphone or tablet, so make sure the place they’re headed to is optimized for mobile viewing. If you don’t, they’ll click away and your opportunity will be lost.
- Include a Call to Action
Treat your QR code as you would any marketing materials, with a clear call to action that lets your customer/prospect know what they should do next, and why. Tell them why they should scan your QR code, for example “scan here to receive your free gift” or “scan to watch our two minute marketing 101 video.”
- Test It
Just like everything else you send out, your QR code tells your customer something about your business. That means that as well as offering value and being convenient to use, the QR code destination needs to work, too. Make sure it’s tested for functionality, quality, and mobile compatibility before you send it out to your customers.
QR Code Don’ts:
- Assume Your Customers Will Scan the Code
It’s unlikely that your customers/prospects will scan your QR code just out of curiosity. It’s up to you to encourage them to scan the code by making doing so just a little bit irresistible.
- Link to Information That Could Be Easily Found Elsewhere
If your QR code links straight to your homepage or Facebook profile, you’re not making the best use of it. Use it as a shortcut to something informative or exclusive.
- Make It Hard to Scan
QR codes need to be as easy as pie to use. That means making them at least an inch square, clearly printed and positioned so as to be accessible.
- Waste It
QR codes provide you with an opportunity to track customer/prospect activity and find out what they like and respond to. By tracking how customers/prospects respond to your QR codes you can see what works best and what doesn’t. This information will help to make your next QR code campaign even better.
QR codes are an effective way to make your direct mail more interactive, connecting your customers with digital content that they won’t want to miss. When you bridge the gap between offline and online marketing you provide a better experience for your customer/prospect. This in turn will provide you with better results.