A Quick Response (QR) Code is a type of barcode that holds a great deal of information and when scanned allows the user to access information almost instantaneously. QR codes made their way onto the technology scene in 1994 having been invented by Japanese automotive company Denso Wave as a means of keeping track of inventory. QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application, which provides opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers. In fact, marketers were early adopters of QR codes, however, limitations in technology made it ineffective at the time and adoption quickly fizzled. Today, advances in smartphone technology and high-speed Internet have made the QR code a convenient and indispensable part of everyday life. Customers simply scan it with their smartphone to open a website. The pandemic has helped to propel the use of QR codes because it allows transactions to be touchless. QR codes are used in restaurants to order and pay for meals and at retail store checkout counters to offer touchless payment. The recent government use of QR codes to help businesses identify vaccination status quickly and easily has introduced it to audiences of all ages.
QR codes integrate the offline and online world
The last few years have seen a digital marketing explosion that has left that space cluttered and consumers feeling overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of offers in their inbox. Digital overload has affected consumer attitudes towards online ads, with 75% of consumers saying they are overwhelmed by the number of digital ads they see. Increasingly brands are recognizing the value of going offline to gain consumer attention through direct mail and the QR code has given marketers an easy and effective way to link the offline and online world. Marketers are recognizing the ease of use for consumers when attempting to build meaningful interactive experiences with their brand. The use of QR codes to offer benefits is a driver for consumer adoption, and as a result, it’s everywhere – from direct mail, TV ads, restaurant menus, and product packaging.
Call-to-action made easy
In the past, a direct mail piece would point consumers to a website address forcing them to key in long strings of characters to get to a site. QR codes make these interactions almost instantaneous with consumers simply scanning a QR code with their smartphone and voilà, they are transported directly to brand messaging online. This has made call-to-action easier for consumers and as a result, brands are seeing remarkable success with increases in consumer engagement rates, conversions, and ROI. Most Fortune 500 companies like Google, Nike, and Amazon actively use QR codes in their marketing programs, including direct mail to improve reach and consumer engagement.
- 96% growth in QR Code reach
- 94% increase in the number of interactions
- 98% increase in the number of interactions per object
- 60-65% of people use QR Codes daily
Digital Marketing Data Challenge
As online privacy concerns mount, we see tightening legislation as it relates to digital consumer information. In addition, Google’s decision to eliminate tracking cookies by 2023, will leave a gap in consumer data. QR codes offer marketers a means of gathering first-hand consumer data. When consumers use a QR code and arrive at their digital destination, they are prompted to enter their personal information, allowing brands to track their purchase history. The number of times a consumer uses a QR code, what they purchase, and their online activity can all be measured to determine the success of a specific campaign.
QR Codes uses in Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail is the ideal channel for the use of QR Codes. Mail pieces, coupons, advertisements, and invoices all act as a vehicle for getting consumers to engage with your brand online, explore a promotion and make a purchase.
“The data collected by QR codes can improve the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns by utilizing custom-tailored data programming to identify historical purchase patterns and other online activities to create personalized direct mail campaigns that improve results,” says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. The great news about QR codes is that they are accessible to businesses of all sizes with easy to create online apps, and anyone with a smartphone can access offers. This makes QR codes easy to incorporate into your next direct mail campaign.
John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management. He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416) 752-8100.