QR Code Marketing: Ultimate Guide to QR Codes in Direct Mail
July 16, 2019
Have you ever received a print advert with a QR code? Most likely, yes.
With the rapid expansion of mobile devices, direct mail marketing also starts to evolve. Modern consumers expect mail advertising to be interactive and entertaining. They want quick response and immediate access to the necessary information.
Today, a piece of direct mail must unify the offline and online world creating a universal customer experience. How is it possible? A small square barcode, known as QR code, is the simplest and easiest way to ensure this.
Upon scanning a QR code, consumers will get a chance to visit your website, navigate to your location, place an order, leave a review among other actions. QR code marketing is a perfect means to bridge the gap between mail advertising and online browsing.
Brands and businesses like PayPal, Taco Bell, L’oreal, Starbucks and Pepsi already benefit from the use of QR codes for marketing campaigns. Small businesses and large enterprises regularly distribute thousands of brochures with a scannable QR code to make it actionable.
These innovative direct mails make their marketing efforts highly rewarding: first, the actual use of a QR code, second – the use of direct mail automation for fine-tuning your direct mail marketing and making it more cost-effective. The combination of these two tech solutions will increase your offline conversions and sales. Continue reading this article to discover the main benefits of QR codes for direct mail and various ways to use their functionality.
QR Codes for Marketing Campaigns: How it Started
Before we dive into QR code marketing, let’s quickly brush up on what a QR code is, actually.
A QR code is a Quick Response Code presented in the form of a matrix barcode on any product, print ad, or other items. You can scan this machine-readable label to obtain information about a certain object. The first QR code was designed in Japan in 1994 to track the vehicle manufacturing process and has significantly expanded its functionality since then. Now, more than 20 years later, QR codes are largely used in marketing campaigns to provide quick access to web pages and other resources directly from mobile devices.
The QR innovations have become even more influential with the increasing impact of Bitcoin. Any business that accepts transactions in this cryptocurrency uses a QR code.
Technology giants also contribute to the development of QR code marketing. To fully benefit from the potential of QRs, they integrate QR code scanners into various mobile devices and software. In 2017, Apple released IOS 11 which allowed its users to read QR codes without installing a separate app. If you own an iPhone, you can just open the camera, point it at the code, and start scanning. Android has also followed suit with Google Lens and native QR code scanning incorporated in the camera app. This has turned QR codes into a mass-market direct marketing trend widely implemented in most business fields.
Such changes have inspired companies to use QR codes for marketing campaigns. While direct mail marketing was a way to reach offline customers in the past, now it can unite offline and online target audiences.
QR Code Marketing is Guaranteed to Enhance Your Direct Mail
To better understand why you should switch to QR code campaigns, let’s imagine a typical direct mail marketing campaign.
You invest a lot of marketing efforts, manually create a huge mailing list, and painstakingly write the copy for the direct mail.
This marketing campaign takes a lot of time and budget. You send out the mail take expecting a high response rate, …but nothing happens.
The truth is that customers don’t want to spend their time manually typing your URL or waste time cutting out coupons.
How can you fix it? Try to use modern technologies to make your mail advertising more interactive and automate it. Add a QR code to your direct mail in a custom postcard builder like Inkit and start a new cost-effective marketing strategy.
Key Benefits of QR Codes in Direct Mail Marketing
QR Codes help track your mail marketing campaign
In case you run several marketing campaigns aimed at different target audiences, you need to find a way to monitor their individual results. Otherwise, you won’t be able to define which marketing strategy contributes to your success or failure. In addition, you won’t know what share of your customers come from direct mail. Thus, make sure to add the code to a piece of direct mail to get the results of your direct mail marketing strategy.
QR codes can help you decrease the amount of text on a piece of direct mail. As a result, you get more space for the design elements and can include more colorful details to attract customer attention and promote your product.
The majority of modern consumers have no time and intention to read long descriptions and explanations – they just want to solve a problem. QR code campaigns offer them immediate access to what they need. By scanning a QR code they can even start a call or send a ready-made email to place an order.
Unite offline and online experience
Brands understand how organic search works and have multiple touchpoints in the user journey with websites, landing pages, stores, and other web pages to promote its services.
As mentioned before, innovative direct mail marketing should tie offline and online customer experience together. To that end, QR code campaigns can add a lot of value. QR codes can seamlessly guide your customer from the direct mail to your mobile site and speed up the decision making process. In addition, such an interactive experience will be really memorable to users and help build a positive brand image.
Research your target audience
A deep dive into the target audiences and audience segments can help while building your marketing strategy.
This can help marketers identify which type of user is most likely to buy the product, audience segments that do buy the product, conversion rates for different types of direct mail and what works best with A/B testing.
What data can QR codes help you collect? When users scan the code, the system records the date, time, location, device type, and operating system. Beaconstac’s QR code solution helps you collect this information and more. Make sure to push this data into a CRM to later integrate it with automated mailing software. This lifehack will make your direct mail marketing more cost-effective and organized.
Few Tips on Using QR Codes in Direct Mail Marketing
Although most companies add QR codes to mail advertising for quick access to their web pages, QR Codes boast a much broader functionality. The way you use them will depend solely on your creativity and imagination. This article offers several options that have proven to be a great choice for direct mail marketing. If you have your own ideas, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below.
#1. Allow customers to place an order
Take a step ahead and bring your customers directly to an order page. In case a print ad includes one or several products, enable users to buy them right away. They will just need to add a few details, confirm the order, and voila! – Everything is ready. You can also use this solution to allow sending an inquiry or template email. Living in a constant rush, modern consumers will definitely appreciate such a mail marketing campaign.
#2. Share a downloadable coupon
Have you ever met anyone who wouldn’t want to receive a discount? Use your direct mail as a step towards a special offer. For example, ask your customers to scan the code to download a coupon. This will significantly increase your direct mail response rate and make people remember your company.
This tip can work for those who use direct mail marketing to announce a certain event. Place a QR code on an event flyer or brochure and encourage users to scan it. After scanning a QR code, they will be taken to their Calendar to automatically add the event. Always make sure to notify users what is the purpose of the code.
If you are a small local business, direct mail is an effective method to attract more people to your place. Include a QR code on a print add, to direct users to your facility without extra hassle. They will no longer have to open Google Maps manually trying to build a route to the location. Customer experience is crucial for your business success.
#5. Allow customers to get in touch
Since QR codes can be scanned by mobile devices without an app, it may be a great solution to use them for making calls. Instead of typing your number, users will just scan the code to start a call. This will both simplify your customer’s life and make your direct mail more interactive. Moreover, you will get a chance to collect additional information about your customers to build a solid client base.
If you decide to use QR codes for direct mailer marketing campaigns, choose Beaconstac for easy QR code creation and Inkitto manage the high data volume that needs processing. Inkit completes all routine mailing tasks for you – integrates your CRM data, automates mail printing and delivery, tests your marketing campaigns, and more.