It’s sometimes hard to think about how much American business has changed since the advent of COVID-19. Think about products and services such as reusable menus and public touch screens that are no longer in high demand. On the other hand, there are some success stories that emerged from 2020 with a number of products gaining in popularity and they include (but are not limited to) home fitness equipment, board games to play at home, and video conferencing programs. Even with these successful examples, it is safe to say that one of the most unexpected and compelling success stories from the pandemic is the return of custom QR codes. After fading from the public eye, quick response codes saw a resurgence in popularity as the public looked for ways to get information from businesses while still being able to maintain their safety from exposure to the virus. QR codes in marketing have become a “go-to” for all types of businesses. In 2020, Statista reported that almost 11-million households across the United States used a QR code. This statistic is made even more impressive by the fact that this was an increase of more than one million uses from 2018. With QR codes remaining popular, let’s take a look at how they can be used in your direct mail campaigns.
How To Use QR Codes in Direct Mail Campaigns
When using custom QR codes in direct mail, it is important to remember that not everyone in your target audience is tech savvy. In other words, you might need to provide detailed instructions with the mailing that explains how to scan the code. Including helpful instructions in QR codes for marketing mailings could increase your engagement rate up to triple the normal amount. You will need to decide what experience you want your audience to have when they scan the QR code. While there are multiple options when it comes to the use of quick response codes in direct mail campaigns, here are some of the most popular marketing ideas:
- Send the direct mail recipients to your website or to a specific landing page that includes a personalized URL (pURL) that creates an intimate connection with the person.
- Use the QR code to promote your social media pages and gain new followers.
- Use the QR code to lead consumers to information about your latest promotion and/or a coupon for your business.
- Have the QR code dial the phone number of your restaurant when it is scanned. This is an ideal option for a restaurant that delivers so send out a direct mail piece that is small enough to stick on the fridge for an easier user experience.
- Spotlight the location of your company by showing where it is located on a map.
- Send a text message or email that lets the audience know you are thinking of them and also include a discount or promotion.
- Take the recipient to a video that speaks directly to the audience and spotlights your company values.
Tips for Beginners Using QR Codes
Whether you use QR codes for business reasons or personal matters, you can make sure the experience is a positive one by following these tips:
- If you are adding a QR Code to your layout, be sure and keep contrast in mind during the design process! If you use color or include an image as the layout background, use a white background that includes the code in black. You can invert the design to white on black but not not all devices can read an inverted code.
- The QR code needs to be visible so it can be easily scanned. A small and blurry design can impact its easy use and so can the media that you use. Textured paper, clear decals, and gloss coating are examples of substrates that can cause readability issues.
- Test the QR code to make sure it works before you use it. Include a call to action so people know what you want them to do after they scan the code.
- Make sure the content that the QR code leads to is mobile-friendly so people can view it properly on their phones. If not, you will defeat the entire reason for using a QR code in the first place.
- Leave space along the edge of the code so devices can more easily recognize it. In general, whatever the size of a single module of the QR Code (AKA a single square within the overall code), leave four times that width around each side of the code. You can think of it as dead space that should be in the same color as the background of your code (ideally white).
You should be using QR codes but if you’re not, and you are ready to use them in your direct mail campaigns, NextPage can help you get the most out of your design.