QR codes have been in use since the early 2000’s, and while many marketers and designers predicted they would suffer an early demise much like HD-DVD or Myspace, in 2017 they are still alive and well. You don’t even need to download an app to scan them anymore, you can do it directly through the phone’s camera.Their continued usefulness is due in large part to new applications for their usage and changes to marketing channels. Snapchat has started generating “snapcodes” for users to share account information with friends. Instagram recently ran an advertising campaign featuring a creatively designed QR code that hopes to attract early adapters to download their app.
Here’s 5 more reasons why QR codes are still relevant:
- The continued growth of mobile usage means more opportunities to use a QR code. A Smart Insights report states that of all world-wide internet users, 80% will access it from a smartphone. According to Printrobot, there was an 11% increase in the number of QR codes generated from 2015 to 2016. And a 2015 Scanbury report showed 4.3 scans per person, up from 4.0 scans per person in 2014 or 7.5% growth.
- QR codes provide an easy way to download an app, which can be extremely beneficial for a retail business that has frequent customer engagement and can promote the benefits of downloading the app in-store at the point of purchase. IKEA has started a program in France that will allow customers to scan all their items via a QR code on each product, then pay by one code at checkout, thus speeding up check-out times.
- The rise of popularity of video as a content marketing format means people want more ways to engage with video. According to Brafton, in 2017 online video will account for 74% of all web traffic, and 28% of smartphone users watch a video on their devices at least once a day. QR codes provide a great way to connect to a video from a non-digital medium, like displaying movie previews from a poster, food prep steps from a recipe, or a video introduction from a resume.
- Direct mail still delivers the best ROI for business to consumer acquisition of customers (The Data & Marketing Association uses $12 in revenue for every $1 spent), and with QR codes you can link a smartphone user to a personalized URL (PURL) on your website. A QR/PURL delivers visitors to a microsite that is personalized to that visitor, which can increase conversion rates. This in turn allows you to track the ROI of an individual printed piece sent to a specific recipient.
- QR codes on direct mail pieces can also help marketers gain useful information from their campaigns. The scans can tell you which offers are working best and which geographical areas are responding the most. This knowledge which helps to refine your next campaign.
For QR codes to continue to be successful, however, it is incumbent on marketers to create a great experience and give their target audience guidelines on the proper usage. Easy-to-understand directions can go a long way to increase the number of participants in the campaign and conversions. And it is equally important that if you are going to move your customers to download the QR code app, scan your code, and deliver them to a URL, then the offer needs to be worth their time. Delivering true value will be rewarded with increased web traffic and conversions.
If you would like to learn more how QR codes can help you with your next campaign, contact a marketing professional at NextPage here, or call 1-800-660-0108. And if you would like to read more about how PURLs and QR codes can be incorporated into a direct mail campaign, download our free ebook, “The NextPage Guide to Direct Mail Success” here.
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