When it comes to building customer connections, generating interest, and closing sales, print marketing is an effective way to reach out. But there’s no doubt that customers are becoming more mobile as smartphone popularity continues to increase and digital content is becoming more important as a result. Enter QR codes. These simple 2D barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone, create a bridge between print marketing and digital content.

QR codes can be used effectively on any printed material you can think of – direct mail, brochures, fliers, postcards, sales letters, posters, leaflets, menus, event programs, and business cards. If you can print it, the chances are you can use a QR code on it.

Get it Printed – And Get a QR Code on It

To be effective, QR codes need to be easy to scan, and what could be easier to scan than a high quality piece of print? Your printed material 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. This bridges the gap between print and online and allows you to enter the mobile marketing arena.

Think Information Not Just Destination

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 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 some examples of ways you can use QR codes to add value for your customers: 

  1. Link to exclusive or time-limited content

  2. Provide specific information about you, your products, or services

  3. Connect your customers with media such as a video or gallery

  4. Direct your customers to a landing page, email sign up form, or even dial a phone number

  5. Send out special offers such as coupons or discounts

The Do’s and Don’ts of QR Codes

As with any other kind of marketing or informational campaigns, there are do’s and don’ts of using QR codes. Knowing them will help you make the most of your QR codes.

Do offer an incentive to scan. QR codes are a fast and easy way for your customers to connect with you, but they 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.

Don’t assume your customers will scan the code. It’s unlikely that your customers will scan your QR code just out of curiosity. Keep in mind that it’s up to you to encourage them to scan the code by making doing so just a little bit irresistible.

Do make your destination mobile friendly. Your customers will need to use their smartphone or tablet to scan your QR code, so make sure the place they’re headed is optimized for mobile viewing.  If you don’t, they’ll click away and your opportunity will be lost.

Don’t 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.

Do include a call to action. Treat your QR code as you would any other printed material, with a clear call to action that lets your customer 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.”

Don’t 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. Printed materials are great for this – a brochure, postcard, or even business card is easy to hold and scan. Posters work too as long as they’re in a place your customers can easily stop and reach them.

Do 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.

Don’t waste it. QR codes provide you with an opportunity to track customer activity and find out what they like and respond to. By tracking how customers respond to your QR codes you can see what works best and what doesn’t, providing you with usable information to make your next QR code campaign even better.

Learn how Mobile Marketing can make your Direct Mail better!

QR codes are an effective way to make your print materials more interactive, connecting your customers with vibrant digital content that they won’t want to miss. We can help you do that!

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email info@eyecomm.org. We are glad to help!