QR Codes in email marketing: Supercharge your email marketing campaigns
Looking to improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns? QR Codes in emails can help. Check out our comprehensive guide below to learn how.
Last Updated:  June 29, 2022
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”
According to a report by Worldwide Business Research and Emarsys, 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. Although most marketers understand the importance of email marketing in customer acquisition and retention, building an email list has always been a challenge for them.
Just imagine these scenarios: Donna, a customer has just purchased at your retail store and wants to subscribe to your email list to receive customized discount offers in the future. Or, you are at a trade show or a conference where you meet Mr. Green, a prospective client who is interested in receiving email newsletters from you.
The only possible way of adding the prospect to your email list in such scenarios is to add them manually.
But what if you meet multiple prospective clients at once? Asking potential customers to wait while you add the others to your email list manually would probably steer them away from your business.
Wouldn’t you prefer avoiding such situations and retaining all the prospects that come your way?
Enter QR Codes for email marketing campaigns. Adding QR Codes to your marketing collaterals is a brilliant way of solving almost all your email marketing problems.
How to build and grow your email list with QR Codes
One of the proven ways of generating leads for email marketing is through lead generation web pages. However, marketers today are also experimenting with offline channels for lead generation. This is where QR Codes are extremely instrumental.
With marketers adding dynamic QR Codes on all sorts of marketing materials such as print ads, business cards, flyers, display windows as well as banners and billboards, building an email list has never been easier.
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#1. A basic way of building an email mailing list with a QR Code
Here is how you can get people to sign up for your newsletters and build an email list with QR Codes:
Create a QR Code and print it on your POS marketing material and business cards with a compelling CTA.
#2. Building an email list by scanning a QR Code and offering something in return
An alternative way of building your email list is by offering something to the subscribers in return. This could be anything ranging from a coupon code to an informative e-book pdf.
Use an email gate QR Code which acts as a gateway for customers to receive what you are offering. All users have to do for downloading the e-book or accessing the coupon code is to scan the QR Code and enter their email address in a Typeform, which would then redirect them to the designated landing page.
Adding QR Codes to emails helps you connect the user’s desktop experience with the mobile experience and increase email engagement rates. The longer your emails manage to keep the customers engaged, the more they feel like a part of your brand, which ultimately leads to brand loyalty.
Moreover, the customer needs to feel like a part of your brand if you also want them to be the first one to try out any new launches from your brand. Personalized emails that help keep the customers engaged are the kind of emails that get them excited to receive more from your end, each time they get an email from you.
Here are some types of QR Codes that you can use in your emails to drive crucial business outcomes –
App download QR Code – Boost app downloads by sharing a single QR Code, which upon scanning automatically directs to the relevant app store (App Store, Google Play Store, etc.) depending on the user’s mobile OS.
Location QR Code – Instantly share your physical business location with QR Codes for Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze.
vCard QR Codes – Share all your contact details – phone number, business location, online portfolio, social media handles – all in one place that can be saved on a smartphone with just a single click.
Choose the type of QR Code you want to create (App download, website URL, location, etc.).
Enter all relevant details.
Customize the QR Code using different templates, data patterns, frames, brand logo, etc.
Generate and test the code for its scannability.
Download and use the QR Code wherever required – email body content or signature.
#2 Create an email QR Code
An email QR Code lets you automatically receive an email from your users without them having to enter the recipient’s email address, subject line, and body content.
Here’s how you can create an email QR Code –
Head over to Beaconstac’s online QR Code generator.
Choose the ‘Email’ QR Code type.
Enter the receiver’s email, subject line, and body content.
Customize your email QR Code.
Generate and test the code.
Download and deploy the email QR Code wherever required.
How to use QR Codes in emails?
Besides helping you build an email list of potential customers, QR Codes can also act as a powerful addition to your email content. QR Codes can make the emails look more attractive while keeping your subscribers engaged.
1. QR Codes to reveal discount coupons
Usually, when customers subscribe to your email list, they expect to receive something in return. Especially if you own a retail store or e-commerce, incorporating a personalized coupon that reveals the discount when the user scans the QR Code is an excellent way of encouraging your customers to scan the code and shop with you.
2. QR Codes as an entry ticket for events
Incorporating QR Codes in the event invite or ticket confirmation emails helps users to get a hassle-free entry to the event by just displaying the QR Code. On the other hand, it helps event organizers to effortlessly keep track of the footfalls/the number of attendees.
3. QR Codes that work as a mobile boarding pass at airports
An excellent use-case for QR Codes in emails that is especially useful for Airline businesses is to incorporate QR Codes as a mobile boarding pass and send it through emails to customers a few minutes before their boarding time to assist them in quickly boarding their flight.
Where should I use QR Codes in an email?
vCard QR Codes can be used in the digital signature of your email to help the subscriber save your contact details by scanning the code, with just a single click.
Besides the digital signature, QR Codes can also be used in the main body of the email. Where you use a QR Code in your email depends on your use case. Like digital signature QR Codes are relevant for saving contact details of the sender, QR Codes in the main body are more relevant when you have to share a coupon code or reveal a newly launched product image. Simply put, by using QR Codes in the email body, your transactional emails will become more appealing and rewarding.
6 Tips for adding QR Codes in your email campaigns
1. Always verify if your QR Codes are leading to the right landing page when scanned before including them in your emails.
2. Ensure that your QR Codes are scannable. There is no point in including a QR Code if you make it too small to scan.
3. Make sure that your QR Codes do not distract the user from the actual content. As mentioned earlier, QR Codes are supposed to add value to the content of your email.
4. Include a CTA to help users know what to expect when they scan the QR Code. Read more to know how QR Code with CTA provides more transparency.
5. Try to include an alternative option if the user does not wish to or does not have enough time to scan the QR Code so that you do not force your email subscribers to scan the QR Code.
6. Make sure to have a dedicated mobile-friendly landing page behind the QR Code. Learn how a QR Code landing page would benefit you.
QR Codes vs. URL: Which is a more valuable addition to your email campaigns?
Companies usually struggle to choose between using QR Codes vs. using a URL in the email content. Here are a few pointers that will help you decide which one would be better for your use case:
Consider your target customer segment:
The customers of a B2C brand being the end-user are more likely to open emails via mobile phones whereas if you belong to the B2B industry and your customers are business owners, there is a high probability that they are checking their emails via a laptop or a desktop.
Considering the differences in the sectors mentioned above, it makes more sense for a B2B brand to add QR Codes in emails so that it is easily scannable by their customers while a B2C brand should prefer using URLs so that the users wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of scanning a QR Code with another device.
Keep the purpose of QR Codes in mind:
While it makes sense to add QR Codes in emails to reveal discount coupons, event entry pass, etc., it does not make sense to include a QR Code just for the sake of it. The QR Code used in email is meant to be a valuable addition to your emails rather than an unnecessary inclusion.
Frequently asked questions about QR Codes in emails
1. How to scan a QR Code in an email?
Scanning a QR Code from an email is a simple process. Just open the camera on your smartphone, point it towards the QR Code, and click the corresponding link that pops up so you can be redirected to the destination URL.
If you’re using a phone with an Android version below Android 8 or an iOS version below iOS 11, you would need a third-party app to scan QR Codes. Check out our guide to selecting the best QR Code scanner app.
2. Can I use a QR Code to automatically send an email?
Yes. Using an email QR Code, you can have users automatically send an email to your desired email address.
To receive an email from your users, you need to generate a QR Code by entering the receiver’s email and desired email subject line and body content.
All users need to do is scan the code, open the corresponding link in their email service provider’s app, and hit the send button.
Make your email marketing campaigns more engaging by adding QR Codes to your emails. Start creating QR Codes for your emails today! Schedule a free demo or a 14-day free trial to learn more about QR Code use cases.