QR codes seem to finally be matching the hype that has enveloped 2D bar codes for over 10 years. With the proliferation of smartphones, scanning apps and awareness, QR codes are finally becoming an effective tool for driving offline-to-online connections.
As with the early days of the Internet, marketers are still trying to figure out methods and strategies for using QR codes in their print and other marketing collateral. Ultimately, QR codes should direct users to a mobile-optimized webpage with functionality tailored to your audience. Below are recommendations based on the calls-to-action that we’ve found achieve the highest engagement. The themes recur: exclusivity, rich/new media, downloads, incentives, prizes and contests.
Here are some helpful hints and suggestions from our own experiences, as well as those we’ve learned from our research.
Technology Launches and Exhibitions
- Show application screenshots
- Play a video
- Link to all your native apps
- Display company info
- “Like” on Facebook
- “Follow” on Twitter
- Offer early access
- Send private invites
- On all promotional materials
Brands and Sponsors
- Offer exclusive content or information
- Free prizes or coupons
- Incentivize Facebook Likes and tweets
- Mobile e-commerce purchases
Fans, Consumers and Event Attendees
- Install a well-developed scanner on your mobile phone
- Add QR code to business cards
Pitfalls to Avoid
Don’t use proprietary code formats like those from AT&T Barcode Services or any other that requires a particular scanning app to work. Your QR code should simply contain a URL directing to your mobile web presence.
Don’t link to a non-mobile-optimized site, or pages containing Adobe Flash.
Don’t forget to place a call-to-action near the QR code so that your audience knows why they should bother scanning your code
Don’t forget to test-scan the proofs. Make sure your QR code works before you produce and pay for a bunch of collateral.
It’s also a good idea to set up your corresponding mobile webpage with analytics. This provides the ability to track and optimize your campaign, and even make updates during the event if needed.