QR code is short for Quick Response code and is basically a kind of barcode which many camera phones can read. The code was invented way back in 1994 by a subsidiary of Toyota. Denso-Wave came up with the idea to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. These codes can accommodate much higher data capacity than the standard UPC bar codes and that makes them pretty powerful as a mobile marketing tool.
As with many other inventions which have gone on to become ubiquitous, no one back then ever imagined these codes would be used in marketing via smartphones. That’s certainly changing as I’ve seen billboards with just a huge QR code on it. In the recent Canadian national elections, one candidate employed the codes on his billboards to draw voters to his website. We’ll be seeing them more and more as people become more and more mobile.
GetResponse has prepared a whitepaper which offers good advice on how marketers can leverage QR codes in their mobile email marketing campaigns. You do have a mobile email marketing plan, right?
You can certainly use QR codes in just about any printed promotional/marketing material you have. In fact, they are a perfect addition to your business cards! Anyone with a mobile phone and QR reader software (which can be downloaded easily) can interact with you by scanning and get such information as:
- Contact info
- Register for a contest
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Follow a link to a web page
- Play a YouTube video
- Like a fan page on Facebook
- Add a calendar event
That’s just to name a few. All the basic tactics can be applied using the QR code, it just makes the process much easier for the user.
In email marketing via mobile devices, you can apply a lot of that creative thinking of yours to build lists and drive traffic to landing pages and so on. On a convenience scale, it ranks right up there with something like speed dialing.
The whitepaper from GetResponse goes into more detail about how you can leverage QR codes for a range of different campaign objectives. Here are the essential rules they suggest when using QR codes:
- Good copy
- Have a clear goal/destination to send the reader to and don’t waste their time
- Give something which makes sense on the phone and that can be delivered instantly
- Tell people what they are going to get and how to use the QR codes to get it
- Make the steps easy to follow and preview them in your newsletter.
- Make sure the pages you send them to are optimized for mobile
One can’t stress that last point enough! If you’re going to use something such as QR codes for mobile marketing or if you are just doing mobile, don’t make yourself look stupid by not having all your bases covered and your digital ducks in a row. Every link in your marketing plan has to be optimized for mobile if that is the channel you are using.
You can download the free whitepaper from GetResponse here.