You’ve probably seen loads of those little square maze-like boxes called QR codes floating around recently. QR codes are all the rage in marketing right now. And with mobile scanning up 4,500% in the first quarter of 2011 over the previous year, it seems that QR codes are here to stay as a way to reach consumers and grow your business.
QR codes are a 2D barcode. Unlike a UPC code, which is one dimensional, a QR code can hold 133 times more data including letters and numbers. This makes QR codes able to store content including hyperlinks, maps, phone numbers, emails and more. QR codes are read by a smartphone’s mobile app reader. As of the third quarter in 2011, over 20 million QR codes were scanned worldwide; 12,000,000 were scanned in the US alone.
So how do you make use of this new marketing technology to communicate with your customers and grown your business? First, it’s important to have a clear objective when using QR codes. It’s simply not enough to drop a QR code on to your latest ad and have it link to your website. You will blow through some serious goodwill with your customers if that’s all you do. When using QR codes you should:
- Have an Objective. Do you intend to drive traffic to your store, promote a sale, retain customers or generate leads for your business? As with any campaign, you must have a purpose before designing your message.
- Provide Value to Your Customer. What’s in it for them? Will your customer receive a discount, get access to mobile-friendly content, save time or receive a special offer? Give them a reason to participate in your campaign.
- Show Them How to Participate. QR codes might be new to your consumer too. Provide how to assistance, links to reader apps, a call to action, etc.
- TEST TEST TEST! This is essential. Test your QR code before going live. Test it on multiple phones from multiple carriers. Some older phones with less than 3MP resolution can’t read codes smaller than 1” by 1”. Don’t create a code that people can’t read. Nothing will kill your campaign faster.
Once you have a clear objective for your campaign that will provide real value to your customer you may be stuck on where to put that cool new QR code. Here are some ideas on ways you can use QR codes to target your customers, increase conversions, and grow your business.
- On Product Description Displays. This use of QR codes is ideal for retail, food, and automotive stores. Use your QR code to provide additional information about the product on display, provide customer reviews, price comparisons, information on in store demos, links to catalog shopping, or even a Buy Now option.
- On Receipts. Ideal for restaurants and any business in the recreation or hospitality industry, this use of QR codes allows for instant feedback from the consumer. Offer a discount on the next purchase or a chance to win when the survey is complete and you are likely to see a dramatic increase your conversion rate.
- Provide On Demand Video. Does your business produce product guides, packaging or other items that require the use of phone support or troubleshooting instructions? If so, create a video and link it to a QR code for easy access.
- Grow Your Facebook Base. From your main Facebook page to your product specific pages, QR codes provide a quick and easy way for your customers to get on board and “Like” you. Post QR codes on your store door, on signs around the store, in dressing rooms, on placemats, in waiting rooms, anywhere you can think that consumers stop to scan. Offer them incentives for joining your Facebook page and watch your fan base grow.
- To Gather Reviews. Reviews impact your local SEO and with a quick scan of a QR code, your customers can leave a positive review on your Google Places page. Place codes on doors, placemats, on specially designed cards left with the bill, anywhere that will trigger your customers to remark on the positive experience they had with your business.
- Build Loyalty. A Foursquare loyalty program is a great way to encourage your customers to return to your business frequently. Remind them to check in at the front entrance, with posters placed strategically throughout your location, and at your checkout counter.
- Drive Traffic. Need to literally get people to your location. Why not consider a QR code that directs people with a map and directions. These types of codes are ideal for invites, billboards, and posters promoting events.
- Generate Leads. Do you mail to your clients? Are you headed to a tradeshow? Why not consider a QR code that encourages people to scan and sign up. This type of code is ideal for an enter-to-win contest, joining a group, registering for an event or RSVP’ing for an invite.
With so many ways to use QR codes to target your customers and grow your business, now is the time to embrace this new technology. If your company isn’t already using mobile marketing and QR codes, consider how adding them to your marketing plan can impact your bottom line. Interested in finding out how you can benefit from the use of QR codes? Contact Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.