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6 Steps to Succeed with QR Code Marketing

QR code technology has really bridged the gap between offline and online worlds. With hype on the rise, QR codes can add substantial value to your print ads. Here’s 6 useful tips that will help you design and launch your first successful QR code campaign.

1. Location

One of the best uses of QR codes is in product packaging. They allow buyers to quickly access product information, read reviews, and share via social networks. Magazine or newspaper promotions are also great. A person who’s looking through a magazine will most likely have time to pull out a smartphone, open a scanning app, and scan your QR code.

If you are printing poster ads with QR codes, suitable locations would include waiting rooms, bus stops, streets with heavy foot traffic, and other places where people have time to interact with your ad.

On the contrary, places that will hardly generate any scans are subway cars or other areas with limited data signal. Without access to mobile website there’s no way to reach your offer.

Putting QR code ads on roadside billboards is also impractical. When passing in a car or public transit, people have only a few seconds to interact with your ad. By the time they pull out a phone, open a scanning app and take a picture, the ad would be long gone. A short and memorable URL is far more useful.

QR code in subway ad

2. Size vs. Distance

For a QR code to be scannable, it must be visible after a picture is taken via mobile device. A good measure to follow is a 10 : 1 ratio where a distance of 10 feet would require a QR code no smaller than 1′ x 1′.

QR code density is also a factor. The longer the url of encoded message, the larger its image must be. QR code minimum size will depend on this. You should invest your time in URL shortening service if you’re running an ad campaign, it will also help you with your analytics.

url shortening

3. White Space

QR code scan technology is based on color contrast. Poor lighting, improper choice of color, and ignoring white-border around the image will break its functionality.

The QR code image must also be fully visible. There should not be anything covering it and it cannot be cropped to fit in your design.

cropped QR code

4. Mobile User Experience

Once a QR code is scanned successfully, the link it points to must load quickly. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 seconds. There have now been numerous studies where web site loading speed affected the sales bottom line. To improve on this, the target page must be a mobile optimized web page with just the right amount of detail that may be consumed on a mobile device. You can test your current website here.

Mobile optimized web site has been shown to increase user engagement by as much as 85%. Mobile site visitors don’t really want to pinch and zoom.

In addition to being fast-loading and optimized for small-screen browsing, your QR code link must provide valuable information for the visitor. In real estate business, for instance, including QR codes in printed property listings can offer quick access to additional property details and photos. Other businesses may want to post specials of the day, current sales, provide contact information, social profile links and local address. Great examples include incentives to “like” a facebook page or “follow” on twitter.

non-optimized mobile page

5. Call to Action

As with any landing page, a QR code marketing campaign must lead to results. Taking visitors to a static mobile page is not enough, you have to provide clues on what to do next. Whether you encourage to make a purchase, book a table, find directions, submit an inquiry, or share page with a friend, there must be a clear and visible call to action. Here’s a list of effective call to action button examples and best practices on how to entice visitors to follow through.

optimized mobile page

6. Analytics

To ensure a sustainable practice, business owners must get more revenue from a marketing campaign than the money it cost to run. In order to do that with QR code marketing, you’d need to know how many people have scanned the code and how many visitors you’ve got in return. You don’t want to cancel on a magazine ad that’s producing most of your clients. You may also want to save on ads that get no traffic.

website analytics

To recap

Things to remember when running a QR code marketing campaign:

  1. Location Placement of a QR code should be based on foot traffic and availability of data signal
  2. Size vs Distance Follow 10 : 1 ratio when deciding on where to put the QR code and how large to make it. URL shortening should be used to improve on density.
  3. White Space Color, lighting and white space margin are essential for a scannable QR code
  4. Mobile User Experience Visitors expect fast loading, mobile optimized web site with concise, valuable information.
  5. Call to Action QR Code landing page must include one or more calls to action, for example “like” or “follow” your social profile, make a reservation, find directions, or share with a friend.
  6. Analytics Improve your ad spending by analyzing where your ads are most active, who scans the codes and how many calls you get as a result.

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