Quick Response (QR) Codes

3 tips for using them effectively in your cross media marketing campaigns

By Jill Wangler, Director of Marketing

Whether you like them or not, you can’t deny that QR Codes are everywhere these days. And, they probably have applications in your marketing communications programs. There are simple (not necessarily easy) best practices to know when using them in your marketing. By following these, you greatly increase the likelihood of a successful campaign.

1) Know What it’s Not

The QR Code should not be the focal point of your advertisement /communication. Because, with very few exceptions, your audience won’t care about the ugly pixelated visual. A QR Code is simply just another “call to action” (like how you reference a phone number, email, URL, etc.). As such, make sure there is an enticing reason for their audience to scan it and that that reason is very obvious. Make sure they understand “what’s in it for me” (the WIIFM).

2) Be Relevant

Don’t have the QR Code just go to your home page. This is probably the most violated rule of QR Code best practices. The result is usually useless since the website is formatted for a larger screen and is impossible to read or use on a Smartphone’s screen (more on this later.) So, be creative in its use. Make sure the experience is useful, interesting, and relevant to the offer or action that you want them to take. Not doing so could damage your brand.

3) Optimize for Mobile Viewing

In addition to being relevant and engaging, make sure your audience can read your message! In other words, make sure that the landing page is mobile-optimized. Mobile is a unique and distinct access channel to the web. Your page should work with both widths of 320 pixels and 480 pixels—the most common screen sizes. And keep in mind that the bandwidth or processing speed for phones is far less than your desktop computer.


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