QR codes & email marketing: Building an email list to making emails more engaging
Last Updated:  January 11, 2021
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” David Newman
According to a report by Worldwide Business Research and Emarsys, 81% of SMBs are still relying on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. Although most marketers understand the importance of email marketing in customer acquisition & retention, building an email list has never been an easy feat to achieve.
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 lure them away from your business.
Wouldn’t you prefer avoiding such mishaps and retain all the prospects that come your way? Adding QR codes to your marketing collaterals is a brilliant way of solving all your email marketing problems.
How to build & grow your email list with QR codes
One of the proven ways of generating leads for email marketing is lead gen 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 ranging from 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 list with a QR code
Here is how you can build your email list with four simple steps using Beaconstac:
Create a QR code and print it on your POS marketing materials 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 achieve what you are offering. All the users have to do for downloading the e-book or accessing the coupon code is to scan the QR code and fill up their email id in a typeform which would then redirect them to the stipulated landing page.
Adding QR codes to emails helps you connect the user’s desktop experience with the mobile experience and increase the amount of email engagement. 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. The customer needs to feel like a part of your brand if you also want him 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 they time they get an email from you.
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 your emails look more attractive while they also keep your subscribers engaged. The more engaging your emails are, the better will be the response you achieve.
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 discount coupon that reveals when the user scans the QR code is an excellent way of encouraging your customers to continue shopping.
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 to the event.
3. QR codes that work as a mobile boarding pass
An excellent use-case for QR codes in emails that is especially useful for Airline businesses is to incorporate QR codes in the 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 to use QR codes in an email?
QR codes can be used in the digital signature of your email to help the subscriber save your contact details by scanning the QR code.QR codes in digital signature deliver the same benefits of a vCard QR code/ QR code on a business card.
Besides the digital signature, QR codes can also be used in the main body of the email. Where in 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 images. Simply put, by using QR code in the email body, your transactional emails will become more appealing and concise.
Tips for adding QR codes in your email campaigns
–Always verify if your QR codes are leading to the right landing page when scanned before including them in your emails
–Ensure that your QR codes are scannable. There is no point including a QR code if you make it too small to scan
–It is best to use QR codes in PNG format for emails to ensure they are not distorted
–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.
–Include a CTA to help users know what to expect when they scan the QR code
–Try to include an alternative option if the user does not wish to or has enough time to scan the QR code so that you do not force your email subscribers to scan the QR code.
– Should have a dedicated mobile-friendly landing page behind the QR code
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 Laptop/ 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 and event entry pass, it does not make sense to include a QR code that leads to your business website. The QR code used in email is meant to be a valuable addition to your emails rather than an unnecessary inclusion.
Make your email marketing campaigns more engaging by adding QR codes to your emails. Start creating QR codes for your emails today! Get a demo or a 14-day free trial to learn more about QR code use-cases.