We’ve seen them popping up all over the place – online and in our mail boxes – so what are QR codes? How do they work? And most importantly, why are they important to businesses’ that want to keep up with this powerful new marketing trend?
What is a QR Code?
QR Codes stand for ‘Quick Response’ codes, because they prompt readers to quickly respond to promotional offers and marketing messages by using their mobile phones. They look like this:
How do they work?
QR Codes, similarly to bar-codes, are a way to scan and transmit data. They were originally created by the automobile manufacturing industry as a way to scan and track auto parts, but today, QR codes are commonly used across all industries and scanned by millions of consumers every day.
They’re small enough to print and post online, and you don’t need a heavy hand-held scanner to use them. All you need is your mobile phone and an app that will allow you to scan and read them.
Why People Like Scanning Them
Consumers get bored with seeing the ‘same old, same old’ marketing messages, so it’s fun for them to see a new marketing tool like QR codes, that grab their attention and prompt them to get involved. QR codes give consumers a reason to be active and participate in their marketing message. QR codes are fun and intriguing; and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a little surprise every now and then? With QR codes, you never know what message you’ll find. These are a few of the reasons for their growing popularity and one of several reasons why businesses are starting to use them more often.
How Businesses can Use QR Codes
No matter how big or small your business is, you can use QR codes to promote your services and products. They’re not expensive, are quick and easy to create and you can integrate them on print, direct mail advertising, emails and on your website.
And there’s no one way to use them. QR codes are used to engage consumers in a variety ways :
- Promotional offer
- New products
- Special event
- Contact details
- Website Info
- Link to a video
- Social Media (ex. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc)
So next time you’re thinking about using a boring URL on the back of your next direct mail piece -think again! Try something new, start engaging your customers and use a QR code.