In previous posts we made the case that direct mail is still a lucrative and worthwhile form of advertising and we looked at tips for formatting and creating a simple but effective postcard for your campaign. In both posts, we mentioned using QR codes to increase customer interest and make your direct mail interactive.
Today, the focus is on QR codes: what they are, when to use them and how to create them. With these ﬁnal pieces of information you should be able to launch a fully interactive, and very effective, direct mail campaign for your business.
QR stands for Quick Response. A quick response code is essentially a double bar code that is read as an image by electronic devices. The QR code is designed to create instant gratiﬁcation for the customer by delivering extra information, great deals and fun content to their personal electronic device. QR codes can be scanned by smartphones, tablets, computers, and even some readers and ipods. Any device that can download an app can read a QR code.
Using a QR code in your print media will help you generate leads and build online trafﬁc while still providing the tactile dependability of printed products. Since a QR code is attached to a URL you can use it to refer people to a youtube video, mobile website, whitepaper, webinar or even just a line of text. Any additional information that you want your customers to see can be included using this little box.
Iʼm sure by now your head is spinning with all of the marketing possibilities you could apply to your own QR codes. Before you get too far ahead of yourself, though, you need to take each idea and put it up against two questions:
1. Do I beneﬁt from using the QR code? Put yourself in the customerʼs mindset for a minute. A QR code that leads to a simple line of text or some additional contact information may seem like a good idea, but is it really worth the time and effort it takes to scan the code? If your content is not dynamic in some way then it may be best to ﬁnd new content before moving on.
2. Do I beneﬁt in such a way that I want to share this experience? A truly effective marketing strategy is one that people want to share. If your content is not sharable then it still needs work.
Once you have decided on the content that you want your QR code to point to, all that is left is to create the code itself. There are a lot of services online to choose from when it comes to QR code generators. The services range from free services that just generate a quick code to paid services that will generate the code and monitor it to track individual results.
You can even generate a code that is color coordinated to your marketing materials or put the code directly into your logo. Microsoft Tag is a free service that offers several style options and tracks a limited amount of analytics. Kaywa is a popular paid service that is very user friendly and makes it easy to generate codes.
Take some time to browse through the available services and choose the right one to create a great QR code for your business.