QR codes are springing up everywhere on movie posters, in pages of magazines and on billboards you can even find qr codes on bags of your favorite coffee beans…
Qr Codes discover how to connect with your mobile customers with an exciting new trend – QR codes.
Qr codes – exactly what are these strange looking black and white squares? They’re called QR codes meaning quick response codes similiar to bar codes or UPC symbols, only much more user mobile friendly and sophisticated.
QR codes were originally created by a Toyota subsidiary to track their auto parts. They have since become an extremely valuable marketing tool and mobile platform for tracking.
QR codes have information embedded into them, and when read with certain smartphones can trigger actions like launching a website or downloading a file. Most Android phones, BlackBerries and Nokia handsets are able to read the codes right out of the box.
All one has to do is start the application and take a picture of the QR code. Depending on the software, it may take between five to thirty seconds for the application to decode the information written behind the code.
If it is a URL, the QR code reader will open the browser and launch the site the code is linked to. People are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices, and typing out long URLs or other data on tiny keyboards is not efficient.
In an age of instant gratification Qr codes elaborately arranged boxes are ingenious. No typing, no reading. Just point and click! It has never been easier to drive traffic to your website or business.
Not only are they easy to use, they’re incredibly easy to create! Type ‘QR Code Generator’ into any search engine and hundreds of websites pop up; many of them are free.
You simply provide the URL of the website you want to direct traffic too and they will create the code for you and with the growing trend of multichannel marketing, it only makes sense to incorporate the QR code into a direct mail campaign.
Qr codes are a quick and easy way to give your prospects a call to action, directing them to your website. It can be put onto any form of direct mail piece such an envelope, a business card or an eye catching postcard.
Once your prospects get your mail piece, they always have a quick reference to your website. The uses of QR codes in direct mail marketing are limited only by your imagination.
QR codes provide the perfect opportunity for multi channel marketing, fusing mobile technology with direct mail.
QR codes can help increase response rates and broaden the target base by reaching out to those that don’t already have a relationship with mail – like the younger generations.
The US Postal Service has recognized the potential of the QR code and in an effort to stop declining mail volume, has offered a 3% discount to mail pieces that display a QR code, sent by permit imprint payment methods.
To qualify for the lower postage rate, they must be sent in First Class Mail or Standard Class Mail and mailers must display the QR code on the outside of the mail piece. The Mobile Barcode Promotion will run from July 1 through to August 31, 2011.
“As customers continue to use QR codes, we think this increases the effectiveness of mail, which encourages the demand for mail, and hopefully longer term it increases our volume,” said Thomas Foti the Postal Service manager of marketing mail.
“We recognise that the online world will continue to grow and thrive, and we just want to make customers aware that mail can be an integral part of that communication, and in fact online campaigns that do utilise direct mail are more effective.”
Using QR codes is a great innovation for direct mail, but it doesn’t make up for a poor direct marketing campaign. You still need a properly targeted mailing list, quality copy, and an effective call to action.
Remember not everyone has smartphones, so only some of your prospects will be able to utilize them yet. According to research from The Nielsen Company, smartphone saturation of the mobile phone market in the United States hit about 30% last year.
Around 40% of consumers planning on buying new phones this year are opting for a smartphone model. Considering their ease of use, and potential benefit, the use of QR codes in direct mail is certain to take off.
Now what’s a better way to show your prospects that you’re hip and at the forefront of the latest technology trend by including them in your next Direct Mail campaign…