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Best Practices For QR Codes

QR Codes

By now you should be familiar with QR – or “quick response” codes. They’re two dimensional bar codes most commonly used as a convenient marketing tool to quickly connect print advertising to web-based content via your smartphone. Here is a more in-depth look at QR codes.

How Can QR Codes Help Your Business?

Since most QR code link your customers to online content, these codes (or the content they link to) can be tracked! That’s right, anything you print a QR code on, can be tracked with most any analytics software.

No more guessing at what does and doesn’t work. You can even create multiple QR code to use on different marketing materials. This enable you to track one campaign over multiple mediums (postcards, posters, signage, etc.) and generate reports on each one.

 

Where Can You Use QR Codes?

This is the best part. Since QR codes are relatively small (as small as 1″ square), they can be used on the smallest of marketing materials including business cards. And since one of the main purposes of a QR code is to link the user to more in-depth information, it is beneficial for businesses to incorporate QR codes into most every aspect of their marketing. Some of the best places to use your QR codes are yard signs, car magnets, postcards, business cards, flyers and brochures. As an aside, there are some places that QR codes should not be use. Billboards and along highways are a good example, it’s simply unsafe. Email signatures are another place to skip since you need a smartphone to scan the code. Most people are reading email on their computer and wouldn’t need mobile content since they are already online (although we have seen some success with the use of QR codes in emails).

Tips For Creating Your QR Codes

  1. Size of the code. This is so important which is why we out it first. If your code is too small to scan, you’ve lost your chance at a successful campaign.
  2. Mobile content. This could be a tie for number one. If your content (what the code links to) is not formatted for mobile phones, you run the risk of losing your customer.
  3. Value. Whenever possible, be sure to offer your user something of value. This could be in the form of a discount, free items, or even information not available anywhere else.
  4. Not too complex. The more information you add to a QR code, the more dense or complex the code gets. If the code is too dense it becomes harder to scan.
  5. Explain it. It’s always good practice to add a small line of text below your code to indicate what the user should do (scan with their smartphone) and the benefit of scanning (what they can expect when scanning).
  6. Use tracking analytics. If you don’t track your codes you may never know the benefits of using them.

Whether you are promoting a monthly special, selling a house, wrapping a vehicle or using a POP display, QR code are becoming essential to most every marketing campaign.

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.

For help creating, implementing and maintaining your QR code marketing, contact us at ProSourcePrinting.com.


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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