Is it Last Call for QR Codes?November 5, 2013 By: Ron Cates
If you listen to the rumor mill, they’ll have you believing that QR codes are dead when this is simply not true. However, if you’ve had hit-or-miss luck with QR codes, perhaps it’s time to consider that it may not be the code that’s causing the problem. Rather, it’s the way it’s used.
While QR codes are a great way to easily connect customers with special discounts and other goodies on your website without requiring they remember a URL, this marketing tactic can still go awry. The two biggest reasons QR codes fall flat is a lack of marketing strategy and overexposure.
More specifically, you should have a clear goal every time you use a QR code. Always think about it from the customer’s point of view and provide them with a valuable reward when they use the code. And instead of putting them on every piece of marketing collateral, consider being more judicious in your use.
When you approach QR codes from the perspective of the customer’s experience, you’ll have higher response rates and will be able to more effectively engage your audience.
Putting these fundamental principles into action, here’s five ways to effectively use QR codes so that customers are inspired to take action.
1. Use QR codes to make it easy for people to register for your next event. Just be sure your promotional flyers and posters have enough content about the event so that potential attendees don’t have to go digging online for pertinent information.
2. Build your email subscriber list by including a QR code that presents customers with a special offer or access to a future private event, for example, when they sign up to receive updates from your bar or nightclub.
3. Increase your Facebook fans and Twitter followers by creating a QR code that links directly to your business’ social media pages. Remember to offer a special perk to customers that use this code.
4. Boost your presence on review sites like Yelp so customers can easily share their feedback by connecting directly to your page on the site through a QR code.
5. Generate more donations for charity events held at your establishment. Along with a prominent QR code on the flyer, be sure to include specific information about the cause, a description of how the funds will be used, your fundraising goals, and a deadline for reaching that goal. You may even want to consider offering a discount to patrons that make a donation.
Additionally, here are three best practices to consider that will drive more successful QR code campaigns.
1. Create a fresh QR code for each campaign. This way, you can more easily track website traffic and customer responses for each marketing effort.
2. Develop content specific to each QR code campaign such as a dedicated web page or an event site. This allows you to see which segments of your audience are most responsive to a particular campaign. Based on customer responses, you’ll be able to create more tailored campaigns in the future to reach different demographics within your larger audience.
3. If you’re running a group deal, use QR codes to help track buyers and prevent fraud.
When you use QR codes with the goal of providing a benefit to your customers, you’ll find that they respond by further promoting your establishment through social media, online review sites, website traffic, and, of course, word-of-mouth marketing.