Print Goes Viral
You may have heard that QR Codes are dead. But, like print, QR codes must evolve to meet demands. Many companies are incorporating QR codes in their marketing mix (along with similar tools like Google Goggles, a “visual search application for Android phones”). They are a valuable use for direct mail because they integrate print with the Internet. Used effectively, they can be powerful tools that yield successful results in your marketing campaign and link your customers from printed material to the Web.
What Is a QR Code?
If you have not used QR codes, this Quick Response code is a URL that is converted into a specific matrix (or two-dimensional) barcode using QR code generators like Kawa or QR Stuff. Using a smart phone, customers download a barcode scanner application for Android, iPhone, or other smart phones, scan this barcode, and reach a website, a YouTube video, company home page, or a discount offer like USPS recently promoted.
Are They Successful?
QR codes can work in favor of the printing industry if they are used effectively. A recent promotion from USPS is a great example. To help boost direct mail marketing, they offered a 3% discount off bulk mail shipping in July and August of 2011 to companies that incorporated QR codes into their direct mail. This smart move was not only a momentous push for mainstream QR code use, but also an encouragement for businesses to send printed mail. The USPS plans on offering a similar discount program in the summer of 2012.
In a recent study from comScore, 6.2% of all mobile phone users, or over 14,000 people, used QR code scanners. The highest users were males between the ages of 18--34 with an annual income over $100,000. Printed magazines and newspapers and product packages were the items most frequently scanned by these users.