5 Tips for Successfully Integrating QR Codes into Your Marketing Strategy

QR codes have been the great divider among marketers and product managers. For every rare instance that you see one successfully integrated into a marketing campaign, you are then bombarded with articles that declare the QR code dead. But when they do work it looks so easy and seamlessly executed that you can’t resist picking up your phone to see what the fuss is all about.

Earlier this week, home-decor site Apartment Therapy, shared how a reader had created a QR code for guests to scan. It took them to a page with the home’s updated Wi-Fi passwords that they could copy and paste to easily connect to the internet with. No more trying to remember a long, complicated password haphazardly scribbled on a sticky note! It’s a brilliant idea if your wi-fi password is long and easy to forget, or if you often change your password (looking at you, hotel and restaurant industries!).

From this, and a few other successful QR code campaigns, I’ve put together  5 easy tips that will help you successfully integrate QR codes into your marketing strategy.

1. Take Users Somewhere Special – There is nothing more frustrating for a user that to take the time to scan a QR code, only to arrive at the company homepage, even worse if it’s not mobile friendly. Help foster a sense of exclusiveness by taking them to a special landing page, and you positively reinforce and reward your customer. Brands that are associated with VIP events and services would benefit the most from making their QR code landing pages extra special, adding to the allure. Consider instead of handing out physical tickets, sending a QR code that users will need to show at the door to get into your event.

2. Be Mobile Friendly - This seems like a very obvious tip until you come across a QR code that leads to a great desktop site that looks terrible on an iPhone. People will be using a smartphone to access your QR code so don’t serve them up a special landing page that hasn’t been configured for popular smartphone sizing. Using a QR code correctly will make your brand seem like it’s on the cutting edge of technology, make sure your mobile site is ready for the challenge!

3. Your QR Code Needs to Be Perfect- Granted if you’re imprinting on an item from Pinnacle, this is a null point. But, regardless, it is important to test your QR code for any imperfections that could mean to a waste of your customer’s time. As I am sure you know by now, you don’t want to be known as a brand that wastes customers’ time.

4. Get Creative  – Emart, a Korean company, needed a way to increase business during lunch hour- usually when their stories would go dead for the afternoon. So they launched a campaign and put up QR code statues around the city and between 12- 1 PM, the shadows of the statue would line up into a perfect QR code that took users to a special offer page. The results were incredible for the company who saw a sustained increase in purchases around lunch time soon after the campaign launched. I’m not suggesting their approach should be copied exactly as is, but creative QR codes entice customers to try it out.

5. Offer Incentives - It’s definitely a good idea to offer an incentive after your customers scan a QR code, but what about enticing them to scan the code in the first place? Consider what Ballatine’s Scotch Whiskey did when they commissioned a Parisian tattoo artist and client into creating the world’s first animated tattoo. The tattoo was done in real time with online users chiming  with suggestions for the artist. The finished tattoo included a QR code that led to a youtube video that animated the tattoo onscreen. Your brand will not need to go to such extremes but make sure to mention the rewards of scanning your QR code.

So what has been the best use of a QR code that you’ve seen or do you think they are just a passing fad that marketers will soon be embarrassed to you?

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