Make QR Codes Work for You

If you prefer to watch the video version of this blog post, it is available here.

QR Codes have had some buzz for quite some time. Those of you in the marketing or technology industries have surely heard of them either in passing or through direct experience. While they have been growing in popularity, they are also often misunderstood as well as misused.

Many companies could greatly benefit from QR Code integration in their advertising, but they simply don't understand them well enough to create effective QR marketing.

We have personally seen the success that can come from the proper integration of QR Codes and it's great! In this video, I will explain QR Codes in a simple and easy to understand way. Once you understand the concept and purpose of QR Codes, you'll be able to integrate them into your own business model and improve customer relations while building your list.

At their most basic, QR Codes are a shorthand that can be read by mobile devices. They are an easy way to relay information more conveniently than typing in information manually.

The emergence of QR Codes on the scene is directly related to the increased adoption of portable devices. Modern smartphones can use their cameras to scan the codes and then perform actions based on the information. The most common use of QR Codes is to send the user to a link. The user scans the code and the website is brought up on their mobile device minimizing the effort from the user.

Marketers can use these codes in conjunction with a “call to action” or a way to persuade someone to immediately act. The customer can be enticed by some type of benefits, maybe a coupon, free entree, or  additional information and the marketer is rewarded when the customer submits their contact information.

One of the odd behaviors we have seen from our users, is that they want to put a QR Code in an email. This rarely makes any sense. QR Codes are used to circumvent lengthy user input when they are on the go, on a computer this is unnecessary because providing a link serves this purpose even more efficiently. QR Codes should be used primarily at physical locations and in print marketing as a tool to build an email marketing list and gather customer information.

QR Codes should not be used on emails or on websites except for some rare circumstances to provide continuity of appearance with print marketing. They should be used in situations where a potential customer is not on their computer, but would still like to interact with something online. For example,  if someone is at a restaurant and they would like to sign up for the email newsletter of said restaurant, they will not have a computer with them. If the restaurant owner provides a QR Code on the menu or on a business card, anyone with a mobile device can quickly and easily access the website and sign up for the newsletter. It's even better if the restaurant provides an incentive for their customer's to sign up. For example, if anyone who scans the code and signs up for the newsletter gets a coupon for a free appetizer, a busy restaurant may collect hundreds of new email list members in a single evening.

QR Codes are also effective in advertising.  QR Codes can quickly take a potential customer to a coupon page, or display more information about a product or service. The marketers can then use this opportunity to add the interested party to their mailing text messaging list. 90% of QR codes are a wasted opportunity – the goal is to begin building a relationship with a potential new or existing customer!

This works in print advertising, but not in other mediums like billboards along the interstate or television. Posters, storefronts, menus and direct mailing pieces are prime places for QR Codes. Using a call to action and incentives to entice potential customers to scan the QR code will increase the likelihood of success and can lead to a much more active customer/business relationship.


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