Life Hack: How To Use QR Codes As A Low-Cost, Effective Marketing Tool
You’ve seen them in grocery stores, on movie posters, on packages you’ve received in the mail. Those tiny squares of black and white digital hieroglyphics are everywhere. They’re called QR Codes (the QR stands for Quick Response) and they’re changing the way that businesses and organizations market and track the success of their products.
There’s a segment of your customer base that isn’t as interested in the magazines on your coffee as they are in the phones in their pockets.
That’s great news, if you want to develop a stronger and more direct connection to your customers. A quick scan with a smart phone can connect your customer with your website, twitter feed, or special promotional page. Coupled with the analytics software on your site you’ll be able to see where your customers go, where they don’t go, and how you can lead them to more relevant content.
Getting Started With QR Codes
Creating QR Codes is fast, simple, and best of all: FREE. Bit.ly and Google both offer QR Codes as part of their URL shortening services.
This is especially handy when you’d like to direct your customers to a special informational page on your site but the URL is too long and would be difficult typing into a smartphone’s keyboard.
For example, typing the below URL would be the ultimate pain if you had to type it into a your smartphone’s URL nav bar:
However, if you were to scan the QR Code below, it would enable your smartphone to open the above URL without doing more than opening an app & hitting Scan.
QR Code Fun
When you reduce barriers between you and your customers, you create a wealth of information. Once a user has clicked through to your site you’ll be able to interpret that data through your analytics. This enables you to develop an understanding of how many people are scanning your QR Codes, not to mention (and this is totally the point, right?) what types of content or pages are your most popular.
Want to promote a sale? Offer a special promotion? Maybe you're headed to a conference and want to connect with new people on social media... All of these are great opportunities to use a QR code to enable fast, reliable information without placing extra hassle on the users. Another idea? Print out a QR Code, place it in your office reception or greeting area and track your results.
QR Codes Aren’t Magic
While QR Codes are a fantastic and innovative way to connect with your customers, they certainly can’t perform miracles. QR Codes aren’t perfect for every situation. For example, if you own a swimming pool or a sauna, it might not be a good idea to place one where your customers may not have their phone.
An increasing number of your customers are carrying around a smartphone — but not all of them, at least not yet. In the meantime, use QR Codes as sources of more information. You’ll find that using them as a perk will be more effective than using them as a sole point of information.
Feel Free To Experiment
QR Codes are a fantastic low-cost solution to a variety of marketing strategies, and they’re free. Putting one up in your waiting room and track the results could prove to be incredibly valuable to your business. Define what your goal is, then experiment with where you put the QR Code, what you’re linking to and track your results.
Whatever your goals we’re sure that you’ll find the using QR Codes a compelling, low-cost solution to your business and marketing strategy.
Of course you're up for some friendly competition! Take the info you've learned about QR codes and generate your own. Here's the fun part: connect with us on FaceBook and Twitter to share your QR creations. Although you could simply link it to your homepage, that's a bit of a cop out, right? We'll feature the most unique and awesome submissions. Sky's the limit, but keep it family friendly. What are you waiting for? Ready? Set? GO!