Tag: QR codes

QR Code Basics

Here are some basic items to consider when using QR codes.

1. Mobile-optimized. Don’t send users to an ordinary website. Create an experience that is based on portability, location, SMS, sharing, or instant fulfillment and feedback – anything but an ordinary website.

2. Audience awareness. Some still don’t know much about QR codes.  Do the obvious: include instructions to help new users engage.  Inform savvy users on what rewards to expect.

3. Usage patterns. If you plan to use QR codes multiple times for multiple campaigns, treat each as its own campaign – complete with strategy, goals, success measures, etc. Then, for each instance, caption each code with the URL, call to action and reward info. Set the stage for fulfillment by setting user expectations before they scan your code.

4. Size and placement. Make it big enough. Your QR code must be of sufficient size, placement and proximity to be easily scanned. This excludes TV (too fleeting), subway (no wireless signal means no way to access the online content) and Billboard (too distant; your own pulse will cause your handheld phone/camera to shake too much to reliably scan the code). Ideal: printed material or flat surface, within arm’s reach. Up close and personal.

5. Visual Appeal. You can dress up a QR code to make it look nicer. Contact us for detail on that.  It’s a nice touch, and we can expect this beautification trend to increase.  Whereas the lowly barcode has faded like a footnote into the borders of package labels, the comparatively prominent physical placement of a QR code could harm the beauty of your content or its location.

6. Convenience. Is a QR code the fastest, easiest and/or only way to access the content, share it, and/or fulfill some need?  If so, great; go for it.  If not, think about other ways to deliver content more effectively.  Again, an ordinary website, not mobile-optimized, is not a value-add experience and not a fulfilling one.

7. Reward. Make it memorable.  Reward users, rather than disappoint them. Give them a discount or special offer. Make your destination content instantly useful and satisfying.  Include share buttons so your audience can tweet, email, post and rave about the cool experience you provide.  Want viral?  Do that!

QR codes: end of a fad!  They are here to stay.  QR codes can help you create a delightful and amazing customer experience and you can track all of the results!


Giant Eagle Gets It

The weekly coupon newspaper arrived in my mailbox today. I quickly scanned through it to see if I could find any QR codes. I did find one. One and only one. After my initial disappointment of only finding one QR code, I decide to see what it was all about. 

As you can see in this photo, the code is inset into a photograph of watermelon which is on sale, so I can assume that the code will tie in with the watermelon somehow. The placement and size of the QR code are prominent on the page. This is a good thing because it not only draws attention (thus piquing the curiosity of the reader), but it also makes the code easier to scan. I’ve seen way too many QR codes that are so small they’re difficult or impossible to scan.

The first thing I noticed is that there is a large amount (2 paragraphs) of text included with the code. The first paragraph has the title of “Fire and Ice Salsa with Watermelon!” Then goes on to to briefly describe a summer themed salsa with watermelon as it’s main ingredient. The salsa sounds delicious but this first paragraph is important because it get’s your mouth watering and wanting for more. Enter paragraph two.

“Watch Chef John Gruver make this recipe!” Ok, I’m guessing a video or photos of the chef making the watermelon salsa. The second paragraph goes on to give instructions to “scan this barcode with your smartphone to view the video.” And there it is, confirmation that we’re about the see a video. This is a good call to action because it’s going to show us a chef making the recipe with the watermelon that’s on sale. So far so good. If we continue reading it goes on to tell us that there are many free QR code reader apps available for download. Telling the reader that they can download an app for free to scan the code is a good idea for those that don’t yet know what QR codes are or how to read them. The last line instructs the reader to visit a website address if they can’t scan the code. It’s always a good idea to include a traditional URL to enter for those who don’t have smartphones or simply choose not to scan the code. When typed into my laptop, the URL takes me to a YouTube page with the exact same video as when I scanned the code. They are delivering the same content no matter how the user chooses to access it.

I won’t go into the video too much except to say that it was short, simple, easy to understand and branded well. As an additional touch, when the video was over and the YouTube description page came up, they had included the complete recipe. Nice!

I’m not sure if Giant Eagle is experimenting or using QR codes in all of they’re marketing but one thing is for sure, they’ve been well informed about QR codes and they use them well. Good placement, large code, enticing text, thorough instructions, consistent content and a bonus complete recipe – Giant Eagle gets it. On a scale of 1-10 I give this code a 9.

We help business owners market and brand their company better through interactive print and mobile web.By helping businesses interact with their customers, we’re able to engage the consumer and track results on a level never imagined before.

 Visit our website at www.ProSourcePrinting.com or contact us directly here.

3 QR Codes, 3 Things In Common

I am always excited to get new magazines in the mail. I like reading them but more importantly, I like looking at the ads to see who is using QR codes. Today it happened to be Popular Photography that came in the mail.

I opened the magazine and started scanning through it. It wasn’t until about 1/3 of the way that I came across the first code. In fact, in the whole magazine I only found 3 QR codes. Three? That’s it? Note to advertisers: The readers of Popular Photography are photographers, many of them with the latest and greatest technology. Why not use technology to reach them better?!?

Back to my point. I have to applaud the advertisers that did use the QR codes, they’re trying. Why do I say trying? Well, all three of the advertisers codes have something in common; all three take the user to a regular website. And only one of them had any type of call to action. Is this a bad thing? YES!

Example 1: Shortrun Posters










This ad has a clean and simple message. It has the potential to be a candidate for a great QR code campaign. It has a call to action, in this case 10% off but it drops the user to a regular size website. It’s not formatted for mobile. The whole point of the QR code is that it’s being used by mobile users, therefore you should deliver them mobile content. FAIL #1.

Example 2: Newegg.com










Again, this is a nice, clean ad (with a complex QR code that some readers may not be able to read) but the code takes the reader to a non-mobile web page. Not only that, the item is not at a particularly great price AND the item is out of stock. FAIL #2.

Example 3: Hoodman










This is going to be the one, right? Wrong! Hoodman fails to see the importance of the QR code and all of it’s possibilities. They could have taken the user to a video showing their products being used, but instead drops their user to a generic page of all of there products AND it’s not formatted for the mobile screen. FAIL #3.

All three ads are great examples of grabbing the attention of their audience and then failing miserably with the follow through.

Attention marketers and advertisers: Know your medium before making your customer jump through hoops. If I was in the market for one of these products I would be sorely disappointed after scanning the QR code only to find out that I can’t see the page very well and there is no clear reason why I am there. Note: On an iPhone this is ok since we can pinch and zoom (but not optimal) but many phone you can’t do that.

In today’s world it’s all about interaction, information delivered on the fly and mobile. If your users can’t get the information they want, in a format that they can see, don’t make them take steps they need not take. All three of these companies could have just as easily left off the QR code and achieved the same results.

We help business owners market and brand their company better through interactive print and mobile web.
By helping businesses interact with their customer rather than speaking TO their customer, we’re able to engage the consumer and track results on a level never imagined before.

Visit our website at www.prosourceprinting.com


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