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5 Tips to get better ROI from QR codes

By Anne-Marie Watson
Published Apr 06, 2012

Although originally designed for use in the automotive industry, QR codes are fast becoming a favourite tool for marketers to link print advertising to digital mediums. However, many are rushing to use these without fully thinking about how to use them.

QR codes

These codes are designed to an established set of standards, which includes a 1 square perimeter, with an additional 1/10 white border required, so the maximum size of any QR code is 1.1. These codes work best when on a white or light background, so stay away from dark backgrounds. 

Free QR codes are easy to obtain, however these are permanently coded with the details you set at the time they are created. Other QR codes, purchased from proprietary suppliers, have the advantage of the coded information being able to be changed as often as desired, without a new QR code needing to be created. This can be quite useful for information that changes regularly.

How to Maximize ROI with QR codes

1. Make sure your code is actually visible and is able to be scanned

QR codes can be used in an enormous number of contexts and where they are used needs to be thought about carefully. Since mobile phones will be used to scan the code, there needs to be internet connectivity in that location. So places where no connection is available, such as subways, parking lots, inside certain parts of the city, etc, should be avoided as sites for QR placement in ads. Likewise using QR codes in places difficult for phone users to actually scan it, will also create problems, such as on buses, taxis or sometimes TV ads.

2. Explain what is needed to use the QR code

As QR codes are still new for many people, you need to provide a brief explanation along with the code on:

What it is for (what will happen as a result of scanning the code)

What the customer should do to use the code e.g. explain scanning is required; and

What app may be needed if using a smartphone as well as where that can be obtained.

There are now many apps available that can scan QR codes. If customers do not have a smartphone or cannot scan, then they will need a written version of the online destination you are sending them to, so always have that added nearby. Additionally, in these cases, make it easy for customers to use the url you provide by giving them a shortened url which is quicker to type in manually.

3. Have a customized landing page for every QR code

One of the most disappointing things seen with early use of QR code is businesses rushing to connect the user with the home page on their website. If a person is going to the trouble of scanning the code in the first place, don't disappoint them by just dumping them somewhere general. This is a wasted opportunity that misses on providing a tailored communication to a select target audience.

Using a specific landing page (assuming you are making an interesting offer) significantly increases the chance of engagement and provides the opportunity to design the particular call-to-action you are trying to achieve.

4. Make your landing page mobile friendly

Since QR codes are going to be scanned on mostly smart-phones, your landing page needs to be easy to read and use on mobile phones. Sending mobile users to a non-mobile optimized site is a frustrating experience, and something the user will not thank you for, let alone stay around to try and find what you have showing on the web page.

5. Make a compelling offer

Today's customer has high expectations of companies who want their business. So if they go to the bother of scanning your QR code, it is likely they will expect something more than just a link to your website. It should be something unique that they can't get anywhere else such as a one-time offer. This will help make your offer more appealing. Add a clear call-to-action to make the most of your offer.

QR codes will be around for some time yet so capitalise on this time when they are still new and exciting to capture your customer's attention.


© 2012 Southside Marketing Solutions




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