QR Codes, those strange little squares, have been around since 1994. Before Covid hit, they were a flop. People didn’t know what they were or how to use them. Most cameras had to have special QR reader apps installed to use them.
All that’s changed since Covid.
With the need for “touchless”, QR codes became an easy way to “scan instead of hold”. The Government issued QR codes for our “vaccine passports”. Restaurants replaced printed menus with QR codes on the table. Jen and I went to a brewery and had a sampler flight of beer and there was a QR code to look up descriptions of each beer.
With today’s phones, there’s no need to install a separate QR Code app. Just point your camera at it and it’ll read the code and give you a link to click and take you to a web page.
How QR Codes Increase Marketing Response Rates
Now that QR Codes have arrived on the marketing scene in a big way—it seems everyone knows what they are and how to use them now—it’s time to start using them in your marketing.
Because they increase response rate.
With everyone carrying a smartphone, it’s a lot easier to point a camera at a QR code than trying to type in a website URL. That ease naturally leads to a higher response rate.
How to Use QR Codes In Your Marketing
QR Codes are particularly suited for OFFLINE advertising. That’s things like: newsletters, menus, vehicle wraps, store signs, direct mail, newspaper ads, and business cards.
Two tips for using QR Codes:
- Tell people what to do, e.g., “scan the code to go to www.someurl.com”
- Also include the URL so they can see where they’re going.
Here are a few examples of how we’ve been using QR Codes:
How To Create A QR Code
There’s a number of ways to create a QR code. We use an online service called QR.io. It allows us to monitor usage stats on every QR code we generate. However, if you Google “how to create a QR code” you’ll find many (free) resources such as https://www.qr-code-generator.com or Canva’s QR Generator
For added points…We include UTM parameters with our QR Codes so we can also track them in Google Analytics. A future Gravity Hack will go into how to use UTM parameters.
The easiest way to get started with QR codes is to not overthink it. Just dive in. If you haven’t scanned a QR code before, grab your phone and point your camera to one of the examples in this article. If you’ve never created a QR code before go to the free link in the article and try it. You don’t have to do anything with it; just create one. You’ll see how easy it is. Now think about what print marketing pieces you have that could use a QR code.
And remember WHY you should be using QR codes: It increases response rate. QR Codes is a quick, easy, FREE way to make all of your print marketing much more effective.
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