How QR Codes Can Help Your Mobile Marketing Campaigns

QR codes have been around for some time and despite losing favour in recent years, the pandemic seemed to have reignited this mobile marketing tactic! In this article, we look at how QR codes can boost just about any marketing campaign while drastically improving customer engagement and conversions.

What Are QR Codes?

If you haven’t seen them before, they are small squares containing what seems to be a combination of dots and lines. In more technical terms, QR (Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. They are different to standard barcodes as they can store considerably more data, including text, URL links and even geo-coordinates.

What Are QR Codes?

Did you know that Japanese researchers have developed a way to include an unobtrusive edible tag embedded inside food? These edible QR codes have all the information you’d find on the packaging. The bigger picture here is that this achievement could go a long way in helping reduce the ever-growing global problem of plastic pollution. Here’s the full article from Food Manufacturing.

How Do QR Codes Work?

When scanned with a code reader app on a smartphone, the code is converted into readable text, website or other information. This can be anything from a product description to contact details and beyond. Put simply, QR codes help businesses interact and engage with potential customers through their mobile phones.

Since these codes can hold geo-coordinates, they can also direct users to specific locations — perfect for mapping out store locations or tracking down deals and offers in your local area. By using this marketing tactic, businesses can quickly and more easily transfer information to the user without any delay.

Why Use QR Codes in Mobile Marketing?

According to the MarTech Alliance (LXA), the use of QR codes grew by 96% between 2018 and 2020. Among the top users include China, India France, Spain, the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland and the UK. With more than 1 billion smartphones accessing QR codes in 2022, this marketing tactic is still alive and clicking!

QR codes present brands with many different ways to boost their marketing campaigns in areas such as shopping centres, billboards, interactive TV, interactive screens, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Here are a few reasons your brand needs to consider using this affordable and highly effective marketing tactic:

  • They promote sharing and networking opportunities
  • Encourage customer interaction, especially when running competitions and giveaways
  • You can accurately track customer engagement and measure their effectiveness
  • Use them as a ‘Call-To-Action’
  • Send customers straight to your online and offline media without the risk of them typing it incorrectly

How To Use QR Codes In Your Business

Smartphones read QR codes using a special code reader which can link directly to the digital content shared within the alphanumeric code. This could mean activating email, instant messenger, or connecting to the web to interact with a website for example. Here are a few ways your brand can use QR codes as one of the most affordable and user-friendly marketing tactics:

Direct Customers To Your Website Or Landing Page

One of the simplest and most effective ways to use QR codes is to link them to your website or a dedicated landing page. This removes the hassle of customers having to type the URL to access your website or navigate their way through your site to find one specific page. You can add this to printed marketing materials such as flyers, business cards and posters.

Whether you’re at a formal event, exhibition, expo or the local market, putting a QR code on a laminated page or inside a perspex stand could encourage visitors to scan and visit your site. Since it’s so quick and convenient, you may very well see a marked increase in website traffic, especially during and shortly after the event.

Top Tip: Remember to use a unique URL matched with your code for more accurate tracking and reporting.

Promote Competitions and Giveaways

QR codes are tailor-made to run competitions and giveaways as they make it easier for customers to engage, which often results in better conversion rates. To run a contest, simply create a code and embed it on your website or printed marketing materials. When customers scan the code, they’ll be taken straight to a landing page where they can enter their details, which ultimately adds them to your database.

Scan To Dial A Number

While QR codes can be used to provide customers with additional information about your product or service, did you know you can also make it dial a number? This is particularly handy at conferences, expos or other events where you engage and interact with many different people. You can use a specially created code at your booth where interested people simply scan the code to receive your business details and, in some cases, they can even dial the number using the code.

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Scan To Send A Message

In a world dominated by mobile phones, QR codes can also be used to send pre-filled text messages. It can be used for sales, user support, product upgrades and opt-in SMS registration to a newsletter or competition. This enables users to scan the code to send a message without having to manually enter the text message and the recipient’s phone number.

QR Codes For Sending Emails

Not too dissimilar from text messages, you can use QR codes to send emails. This can help greatly in terms of monitoring data for newsletters and general email marketing to report on performance, i.e. open rates, number of clicks, bounces and unsubscribed. An added benefit is that the user can continue reading the email on their mobile phone.

Direct Customers To Your Social Media Pages

QR codes can also be used to direct customers to your social media pages. This is a great way to promote your brand and can help to increase your followers. To do this, use a QR code generator to create a code and embed it on your website or printed marketing materials. When customers scan it, they’ll be taken to your social media page where they can learn more about your products or services.

Share Your Business Location

In the spirit of saving time, why not add your business address to a QR code? Instead of potential customers manually typing your address or trying to find your location on the website or Google Maps, they can simply use their mobile phone to scan the code which provides them with specific directions.

Use QR Codes To Download Apps

With the world of mobile apps forever growing, you need to get creative when sharing information about your app. Many businesses have used QR codes extensively to download an app, making it much easier and faster for visitors. Here, the user is directed to the download page of the app where they can start the download process. Some examples include the following:

  • Scanning codes on the App store
  • Download games like Angry Birds
  • Snapchat and WhatsApp users have their own unique code to quickly share their profile
  • Shopify uses QR codes for their songs — users can share or recommend their music by scanning the QR code from where it will automatically appear on the other person’s device

E-Commerce, Shopping And Restaurants

One of the most popular applications of QR codes is promoting discounts and promotions whether it’s an online store, a brick-and-mortar shop or a restaurant. The code can be used to give the consumer a discount voucher on a specific product, service or meal deal which they can redeem at checkout. Restaurants, pubs and cafes can also use QR codes to link to their menu (web page or PDF document) which customers can access through their mobile phones.

QR Code Menu

Ideas For Using QR Codes

As we’ve established, QR codes are highly versatile and can be added to ads, invites, posters, flyers, brochures and business cards. In truth, it can do on just about any media that contains contact details, product information, special offers, coupons or social network connections.

If you need some inspiration on how or where to use QR codes, have a look at the list below:

  • On the side of company vehicles
  • At bus stops and train stations
  • On product labels and packaging
  • Resumes and CVs
  • As part of nametags at conventions and events
  • On restaurant menus
  • Included on event tickets
  • On shop front displays
  • On estate agent property details
  • On t-shirts and other promotional clothing
  • App downloads
  • Customer surveys
  • To join a WiFi connection (add some company-specific information on a dedicated landing page for added impact)
  • And many more
Vehicle branding
Image Credit: QR Tiger

Final Thoughts

QR codes are a great way to engage customers and promote your brand. You can use them to direct people to your website, social media pages, product pages, a restaurant menu or to download an app. They are easy to create and can be added to print materials, online ads, or even clothing. When used correctly, QR codes can be a powerful marketing tool.

Regardless of where or why you are using QR codes, make sure your call to action is clear. The last thing you want is for the user to try and guess what their next step should be or why should scan the code.

Get started today with WSI-eMarketing and see how QR codes can help enhance your customer’s journey while boosting your mobile marketing efforts. If you liked reading this article, please follow our blog for more expert tips and tricks on growing your business.

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