It is safe to say that QR Codes are everywhere these days. But the real question is, are people using QR Codes correctly?
To answer that question, additional questions need to be asked. These may include: “Are the QR Codes big enough to be scanned easily and quickly? Do the QR Codes link to a mobile website? If they have been customized graphically, do they contain scannable color schemes?”
If you are wondering if you’re using QR Codes correctly, we have some help to offer you!
Below are some Do’s and Don’ts for using QR Codes.
Do’s for QR Code Usage
1. Do make sure that your QR Code is large enough. From our own testing and usage, a QR Code should be NO smaller than 1/2″ x 1/2″. If possible, it’s wise to make sure that your QR Code is at least a 3/4″ x 3/4″. As the cameras on our phones continue to get better, more people will have the ability to scan smaller QR Codes. However, there are still plenty of people walking around with phones that would have major trouble scanning a 1/2″ QR Code.
2. Do make sure that there is enough white space/padding around your QR Code.
3. Do make sure you have simple directions next to the QR Code. This can be as simple as saying “Scan the QR Code with your smartphone to learn more”, or “Don’t have a QR Code reader? Download one from your App store”.
4. Do offer some kind of incentive for people to scan the QR Code. This could be something such as ”Scan the QR Code to win an iPad”, or perhaps “For more information on this event, scan the QR Code now!”
5. Do add QR Codes to your printed materials. Business cards, brochures, magazine advertisements, etc. Make print interactive and start reaching the growing mobile audience!
6. Do add an image to your QR Code if you’d like to find a way to make it stand out.
7. Do consider changing up the color of your QR Code to make it match your design.
8. Do track your QR Codes efforts! Make sure that you know how many people are scanning and what printed materials they are responding to.
9. Do make sure that your QR Code points to a mobile website.
10. Do create your QR Code in a way that allows you to change the destination URL at any time.
11. Do shorten the destination URL when creating the QR Code.
Don’ts for QR Code Usage
1. Do not make your QR Code too small.
2. Do not have a QR code that links to a standard, desktop-based website.
3. Do not make your QR Codes in color combinations that are hard to scan. Light colored QR Codes do not scan well. Same goes for dark QR Codes on dark backgrounds.
4. Do not forget to put directions along with your QR Code or a call-to-action. Just having a plain QR Code on your piece is not going to attract people to scan it or teach people “how” to scan it.
5. Do not put your QR Codes on items that are useless for people to scan – i.e a highway billboard (no one driving 70mph down the highway is going to be able to scan it).
6. Do NOT cover or distort the 3 squares in the corners of the QR Code. If you cover any 3 of them your QR Code will NOT scan successfully.
Mobile + Print: Better Together!
We hope that you find these tips helpful as you look for ways to reach the mobile audience!
We truly believe that QR Codes are one of the best ways to integrate mobile into your printed materials.
Integrating QR Codes and Personalized URLs
QR codes offer a number of benefits for marketers. One of the most important benefit is the ability to tie together the print, mobile and web channels to increase the response rates on multichannel marketing efforts.
Since QR codes make it easy for people to jump from print to the web, this intelligent tool can add to the success of your personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, too.
QR codes have the ability to lower the barriers often surrounding customer response which, in turn, leads to an increase in overall campaign response rate.
Here are several benefits that can be easily achieved by coupling QR codes with PURLs to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:
Providing one-to-one communication
PURLs can be embedded right into QR codes, so when a customer or prospect scans the code, they are taken directly to their personalized landing page.
Once a recipient is at that personalized page, you have the opportunity to engage with them and have a one-on-one dialogue.
Making it easy to respond
QR codes make PURLs portable. They allow the recipient to access each individual PURL without the need to sit in front of a computer.
Because people are on the go, and many carry their phones with them at all times, this portability is ideal in increasing the response rate.
Additionally, QR codes eliminate the need for a recipient to type what may be a rather lengthy PURL into their web browser.
By simply pressing one button on their smartphone, your prospect or customer is automatically directed to their own personalized website. This eliminates the chance of typos and decreases the amount of effort required by the recipient to access the information.
Tracking and measuring
Every marketer knows there is nothing more important than being able to measure the success of a campaign.
PURLs provide the ability to track which recipients visit their personalized page and, depending on the level of the PURL, gather additional contact information about each individual.
Similarly, various software programs have been developed that will also record the amount of scans per day, what time those scans took place, the location of the scans, and the type of device being used to scan the code.
Together, QR codes and PURLs can provide a more complete picture of which recipients express interest and which leads are the hottest.
QR codes will only enhance the value PURLs already bring to campaigns, becoming a logical extension of the PURLs you may already be implementing. Use them to fill the gap that other cross-marketing tools cannot.
Mobile is the next big thing in marketing, and it is here now. Why should you mobilize your content? Here are five reasons!
1. QR Codes On Direct Mailers
When you mobilize your content, you should have QR codes for people to scan. Using QR Codes on direct mailers has become a popular trend because now you can encourage people to take further steps towards using your products or services. With your direct mailer QR Code, you can send people to all types of mobilized content that will give them more incentive to take action. Offer a mobilized coupon, event registration form, survey or a mobilized purchase form. QR Codes that send people to mobilized landing pages allows your audience to take these actions quickly and easily from their phone. By using a straightforward, mobilized format for your content, it will spike response rates and impress and your audience.
2. Interactive Marketing Opportunities
Having mobilized content allows for users to interact directly with your company and submit information right to your database. Offer incentives for customers to supply their email address, or give surveys that can be easily taken right from a phone. You can add these opportunities on any type of printed piece- trade show posters, direct mailers, brochures and more. Use your mobilized content as a tool to compile information and better service for the needs of your consumers.
3. Smart Phone Prominence
You have seen the statistics by now. Smart phone numbers are through the roof. Mobile marketing isn’t a niche anymore; it is a massive segment of the population.
4. No More Zooming and Scrolling
Smart phone website viewing can be a hassle. Zooming in to read microscopic text and then scrolling left to right to read just one line is awkward and unpleasant. Having mobile optimized websites, landing pages and content alleviates this problem. A mobile optimized site is designed to be read on a smart phone with minimal scrolling and no zooming necessary. Give your eyes a break!
5. Get the Word Out!
A mobile website is a great way to get out all the information you want to bring to your potential customers. And a mobile website also allows you to have additional pages, or sites, devoted specifically to particular services or products. Different QR codes can lead customers to different pages. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.
Taking the leap towards a mobile website is a big step. Maximize your investment by including these three essentials components into your new mobile site.
1. Keep Your Branding Consistent
Your mobile site is another medium that your company can use to engage with potential customers. Keep the same branding and color scheme that your existing website has. This helps with recall and recognition, two critical components of any advertising or marketing strategy. Visitors will also know right away that they are on the site they’re looking for- yours!
2. Calls To Action
Much like your desktop website, you want your mobile site to inspire some action from viewers. A mobile site offers the opportunity for commerce and immediate data collection. Give viewers the ability to sign up for newsletters or other initiatives. One great feature is “click to call”. Display your phone number on your site, and one click dials the number. Now that is instant gratification.
3. Navigation Ease
A smartphone screen isn’t excessively large, and a lot of us need glasses to read their phones (ahem). So don’t defeat the purpose of a mobile-optimized website by squeezing tiny text onto a page and adding small buttons and links. Eliminate the need for scrolling and zooming. Also, think about the type of content you are adding to your mobile website. Everything should be simplified. If your website has 3-5 paragraphs on a page, you may want to cut that down to just a few sentences.
There are plenty of examples where marketers have put QR Codes on their materials simply because they could. But there also have been a great number of QR Code applications that truly provide value to a customer or prospect, and in return, to the company as well.
Here are three ways that companies could incorporate QR Codes into their fulfillment process:
QR Codes that Point to How-To Guides and Instructions
Thus, one way that companies could reach the emerging mobile audience is to place QR Codes on packages and boxes of the material that they sell and ship.
These QR Codes could point to mobile websites and/or videos that provide step-by-step instructions and online videos that demonstrate how their items should be properly assembled.
QR Codes that Lead to Mobile Surveys and Forms
Social networks have made it easier than ever for people to tell the world if they are happy or not with a company or product. Companies could seek to acquire that information directly as well by putting a QR Code on their packages that lead to mobile website surveys.
These surveys could seek to ask the most important questions that a customer may want to answer — “Are they satisfied? Do they need help? What could be done better?”
This feedback could be provided while the company and its products are absolutely fresh in the customer’s mind… right through their mobile phone.
QR Codes that Make it Easy to Order Additional Materials
When someone needs to order a replacement part or to reorder an entire unit, companies would certainly want to make that an easy process.
This could be done by including a QR Code on packaging that leads to a mobile website. The website could either contain a Form that allows a user to request the item or a response from a sales rep; or it could even include an option for placing an order directly from the phone.
Think of QR Codes as not just an interactive marketing tool, but a mobile customer service representative. These 2D codes can offer extra assistance, gather feedback, and help give your customers more of what they want!