Scanning QR Code Amy Goodman Art

Many were quick to judge last year and announced the horrible fate of QR codes – oblivion. Then again, it seems that QR codes are certainly not dead.

More and more marketers start to see value in them – once more. In fact, QR holds great potential for bridging the gap between print and mobile and boosting the performance of your all-round marketing campaign. This becomes even more relevant as Apple and Android will be offering QR code scanners preloaded on their phones. Coupled with the fact that wireless connectivity is more and more prevalent, this means that QR codes will escape the fameless death they were predicted.

As with many methods in marketing, it’s all about how you use it, of course. An applied and integrated wholesome marketing approach can make it or break it for your marketing efforts, and the same counts for using QR.

What kind of businesses can benefit from QR codes in their marketing strategy? Certainly many. The ones that will reap the biggest results are the companies that offer online orders of products and services. Still, even if your business is offline-based, you can make greater use of your mobile communication. Boosting sales with online coupons is one of many possibilities.

The way to successful QR codes use is definitely not difficult but it does require some effort. Still, your business can benefit greatly if you integrate the QR in your marketing strategy alongside other tools with proven effectiveness such as direct mail.

Usable mobile landing page

QR code on smart phone and paper
Integrating QR codes with mobile landing pages. -- eePaul / Flickr / CC BY

Many QR code campaigns have failed due to this. Once you get somebody to scan the code on your product, poster or direct mail, you need to keep them engaged. Arriving on a landing page that is not optimized and does not offer any interaction is like opening a door that leads to a blank wall.

That’s why it is essential to provide a mobile-optimized landing page that actually allows people to do something with it. QR codes that lead to product specifications or detailed information about your services are likely to be quite useful for your target audience in their consumer choices. So definitely consider the mobile experience you will offer them once they have used your code.

Effective call to action

Without it, it’s like you haven’t had a marketing strategy. A sensible call to action provides your potential customers with the next step they should make by making them feel the freedom to act – and to benefit from your goods or services.

One of the easiest ways to tackle this point is to go for free merchandise offers through QR codes. People like gifts and promotions and they bring extra sales, so why not use this kind of incentive?

You can also promote your new products or services, introducing their new features and prompting people to check their characteristics via QR. Offering a trial is also a good tip.

Seamless integration with direct mail

Where's my mail?

One of the best ways to use a QR code in your marketing campaign is to place it in your effective direct mail.

It’s useful to invest some time and resources in the design of your mail. Effective design means more digestible information that reaches its target. There are great postcard templates that can be of great help in this process.

Here you have to be careful with two main things. The first one is to place the QR code in a prominent space on your postcard. This ensures that your customers will not miss it. The second thing refers to the previous point on call to action. You should motivate your audience to use the code. Effective campaigns have used promotions, sales and coupons as a strong prompt for QR use.