In the SMChat last week, the question was raised as to whether QR codes can be used effectively or not.
I think that there are many uses for QR codes that work. It is a way of gathering additional information about customers and prospects, as well as presenting offers that are targeted directly to the customer, hopefully generating additional revenue.
In a recent mailing from the USPS, there was a QR code inside the mailer. When scanned the code took you to the site where your info was already filled in and you could order shipping supplies for the new Regional Rate Priority Mail Service. In addition to confirming your mailing information, there were a few survey questions that hopefully helped the folks at the Post Office figure out how to help us better in our shipping needs.
Recently I also saw a postcard from the Department of Health and Human Services with a QR code meant to help seniors decide on which Medicare plan to enroll in. The code took you to a site that gave you full detail as to your options. There was one problem with this use, the information was very complete and difficult to read on a smartphone, and I am not even a senior. It also did not gather any information, so while it might be helpful to a senior, it gave nothing of value to the Department of Health and Human Services.
A new app that I looked at recently, gives a wonderful range of use to QR codes in non-traditional ways. It is called Social Passport. Social Passport gives you, as a retailer, or other small business with foot traffic, to have your customers do your advertising for you using their Dynamic QR program. Now you have other people being your advocates and taking care of your word of mouth. There are many creative ways to use this app, but they are a little bit too involved for a blog post.
One more good use of a QR code is in a trade show booth. You generate a QR code, post the code in your booth and instead of you scanning badges all day, you let your prospects scan you. The code should take them to a secure site where they fill in their contact info and answer three questions that will help you qualify them. They can do this while talking to you. By having them register this way you can have your staff back at the office generating the packages to be waiting on people’s desks when they get back. Including a memorable memento, or promotional product in the package along with the requested info, can be the “reward” for them having filled out the info for you. If you want you can also give a discount or gift with purchase as thanks for filling out the info.
The bottom line to making the QR codes work, whether on paper, in a store, or on the TV screen, is that if they are capturing information for future marketing use, and benefit to both the business and the customer, then they are a great tool.
These are just a few of the ways that you can use QR codes, making it a viable marketing idea and not a gimmick.