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They're Back! - QR Codes for Marketing - Top Tips

QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that include black squares arranged on a white background. These squares store data. When a user scans a QR code with a scanner, the system converts the data into a language that could be understood by humans. Thanks to their readability and superior data storage capabilities, QR codes have become immensely popular. These codes can do much more than help you track your inventory. Dubbed as the next big thing in marketing, QR codes are used extensively by businesses to market their products. Before you start using QR codes for marketing, you need to come up with a solid strategy. To help, we, in this post, impart a few tips to effectively use QR codes for marketing.

1. Make sure the code is scannable 

An unscannable QR code is no good. Using a QR code that cannot be scanned can frustrate your customers, many of whom may start looking for alternatives. To ensure your QR code serves its intended purpose, and your customers are able to obtain information easily, conduct necessary tests before using it in a full-scale campaign.

To improve legibility, use larger images (should be equal to or more than an inch). Avoid placing your QR codes on highly reflective surfaces as the glare may interfere with the scanning process. If you are also using a barcode on your packaging, place your QR code away from it.

2. Decide the placement of your QR codes carefully 

An ineffectively placed QR code fails to attract attention. Even if it does, its placement may discourage customers from scanning it. A QR code placed in the top corner of a tube poster, for instance, would fail to serve its purpose due to its inaccessibility. On the other hand, if the code is placed too low, many people won’t consider it worth the effort to stoop down and scan the code.

For advertisements that are posted on the floor, place the QR code as high up as possible. When deciding the placement of your QR codes, think about your target audience. If, for instance, your product is for middle-aged or senior citizens, placing your code too up or way below is a bad idea, as many people would find it difficult to squat or stretch to scan the code.

3. Track how users interact with your QR codes 

To test the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, it is important that you understand how your users interact with your QR codes. Use Google Analytics to create a custom campaign URL or use bitly’s tracking services to learn about people who scan your code. If security is a major issue, consider using QR code service providers that create the code and also track the users.

Many users prefer dealing with a business that goes the extra mile to develop a relationship with them. To capture user information, use e-mail forms. Keep in touch with these users. Educate them about your products or services.

4. Offer new information 

Many customers won’t take the pain of scanning a QR code to get information that is already displayed on the business’s website. To give your customers a reason to scan the code, you need to include new information in your QR code.

If, for instance, you own a gourmet restaurant, instead of including information related to your menu in your QR code, offer information related to the type of cheese that goes well with wines. Use your QR code to educate your consumers on the taste nuances of different types of cheese and wines. Offering unique information through your QR codes will help you bond effectively with your customers.

5. Make sure your content is mobile-optimized 

QR codes are scanned with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones with smaller screens and keyboards. To ensure your customers do not encounter any problems scanning the code, use content that is optimized for mobile devices.

Your website (to which the QR code is linked) should not have more content than that could be clearly viewed on a mobile screen. To ensure a slower connection does not have a significant impact on user experience, compress your content.

6. Tell users what they stand to benefit 

Before starting to use QR codes, step into your customers’ shoes. Unless you answer the question, what your customers stand to benefit from scanning the code, do not jump onto the next step. Offer benefits such as discount coupons and time-sensitive discounts.

To let your customers know what you are offering, provide information on what the QR code links to. Use short prompts such as “scan to get a voucher.” If you are targeting baby boomers, remember to provide instructions to download and use a QR code reader. The idea is to entice your customers, which helps arouse interest regarding the encoded content.

7. Get creative with your designs 

From malls to pavements, QR codes are everywhere. While run-of-the-mill QR codes used to serve their purpose earlier, they are fast falling out of favor today. To engage the modern consumer, you need to come up with innovative designs that pique interest.

Make sure your code is functional yet beautiful. Ditch standard black and white QR codes. To make your code lively, add colors. You can either color the entire code or certain portions. Make sure the background and foreground contrast with each other. Avoid using dark or transparent backgrounds, as some apps are unable to scan them.

To get your customers interested, use an image to illustrate your logo. Use subtle edges. Make sure the quiet zone is at least four times the width of the module of your QR code.

8. Steer clear of common printing mistakes

A badly printed QR code is a waste of time and money, which most customers are certain to avoid. To avoid printing errors, pick the right size (your QR code must measure at least 2X2 cm). Avoid using materials that reflect too much light. Do not print multiple codes next to barcodes. Instead, place codes on opposite ends.

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