Do’s And Don’ts Of Using Personalized QR Codes In Direct Mail

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June 20, 2011

Direct mail – such as postcards, letters, brochures, and trans- promo communications – is a perfect medium for incorporating personalized QR Codes.   So perfect, in fact, that the United States Postal Service is getting in on the action by offering a discount for using a QR Code this summer.  We’ve covered a lot of ground in the past few months with QR Codes, so if you are looking for information, here are resources you will find helpful:

Things “To Do” and “Not To Do” on Your QR Code Campaign

Ready to dive in?  Here is another resource that will help you with your QR Codes campaign: our check-list of things “to do” and “not to do.”


●      Include clear instructions on how to download a QR Code reader with your QR Code

●      Include a short personalized URL for those who do not wish to use a mobile device

●      Program your PURL to automatically detect the type of device a visitor is using, and route them to the mobile or full-screen version of PURL

●      Make sure there is a valid reason for using a Personalized website (see sidebar for some inspiration)

●      Pre-populate all forms with the information you already have (this is the best reason to use a personalized mobile website!)

●      Provide a phone number and email address on the printed piece and personalized mobile website

●      Test the QR Code with a variety of devices and code readers

●      Make sure the reader knows that the offer is available by scanning the QR Code or visiting the PURL


●      Link your personalized QR Code to non-mobile web pages

●      Leave the recipient hanging without a next step. Make clear calls to action on both the direct mail piece and on the mobile website.

●      Use the same offer or call to action on the mailer and the website. You want to advance the recipient in the buying process, not run them around in a circle.

●      Make your QR Code smaller than 1 inch by 1 inch.

●      Skimp on the white space around the QR Code. You want it to easily scan on the first try.

●      Make the code too complex by using a long URL. Complex codes are harder for some scanners to read.

●      Place the personalized QR Code on a curved surface, a fold, or too close to the spine

Experience Personalized QR Code Marketing Campaigns

NextPage recently launched personalized QR Code campaigns to gain feedback from recipients of their magazine Connect. At right is a sample personalized QR Code, leading to a personalized mobile web page for a fictional Kristina Smith.

Of course, not everyone has a smartphone or access to a QR Code scanner or prefers to visit websites on their mobile device. That’s why it’s important to also include the address of the PURL in your marketing, and build your PURL to automatically detect each visitor’s device (small screen or computer) and route them to the mobile or non-mobile version of their personalized site.

Personalized QR Codes and Personalized URL’s really go hand in hand to provide your audience with the easiest way for them to access your online content.

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