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!