A recent study of 534 students conducted across 24 college campuses revealed terribly low engagement with QR codes. Some of the highlights (or lowlights) of this study are as follows: While more than 4 out of 5 students owned a smartphone, only 1 out of 5 was able to scan a QR code when asked to. Furthermore, 75% of all students stated that they are not likely to scan a QR code when they see one.
Seeing these numbers mobile marketers might get discouraged and consider skipping the use of QR code altogether. If used correctly, however, QR codes are a powerful tool to increase customer engagement. So, don’t falter. Push forward. Here are 6 tips on how you can improve the impact of your QR campaign:
1. Add value.
It’s the same for all marketing campaigns. Clear value added is the key for (inter)action. If you’re demanding your customers’ precious time, you must give them value in exchange. And this means value that they would not receive without scanning the QR code.
Examples of such value could be an offer of more information, a raffle, a quiz, a game, access to a mobile shop, a coupon, a discount, or a freebie (like a song).
There are some predefined uses of QR codes, like plain text, addresses, e-mails, telephone numbers, predefined SMS including recipient, locations, appointments (date & time) or even Wifi access that already has everything set! This comes especially handy for coffee shops providing free Wifi access. No more hassle to give your customers access to the Internet!
Of course, there are many more possible uses and the only limit is your creativity. Build on top of these things and you’ll find better results in your QR code initiatives.
2. Give clear guidance – point out customer value.
Unfortunately today most codes are still found on brochures or ads without anything but the plain QR code. Thus, possible new users unaware of the technology don’t know what they have missed; resulting in low scan rates and the perception of QR codes being ineffective. What a wrong bias, poor QR code!
We can’t emphasize this point enough: A QR code alone does not give sufficient incentive to scan it. It really doesn’t. Even if you provide value that customers wouldn’t receive otherwise, if people are not aware of that, they won’t scan it. Thus, provide clear instructions on how to scan the code and what they can expect behind it.
3. QR codes can be beautiful.
Seriously, they can. They don’t need to be pure black and white, nor do they need to be made up of all rectangular points – rounded is just fine (and looks less edged). Thanks to the QR code’s huge error tolerance (up to 30%!) you can remove parts of the QR code. This allows for a lot of creativity in building your QR code. An example: remove part of the middle, and replace it with any picture or text, for example, your logo. Which parts can be removed is a thing of making some simple calculations and following a few easy rules. Clearly, it’s worth styling a QR code so it fits your overall branding and communication design.
4. Don’t redirect to a standard website. Deliver mobile content.
Okay, if you’ve reached that point, your prospect has scanned the QR code. And now what do you want the customer to see? Surely, it should not be your standard website, designed for viewing with a standard computer screen. QR codes are being scanned on mobile devices so offer content that is tailored to mobile devices!
5. Testing is important.
While our Scandit QR Code Scanner App is very powerful and robust, you can’t expect everyone to have our app installed. Thus, make sure the QR codes works with the most common QR code readers and mobile devices. Not only test if the QR code is readable, but also make sure the content delivered renders properly on all the frequently used devices. You don’t want frustrated customers, right?
6. Measure and adapt your campaign towards success.
There are no rules that apply for every business, especially when it comes to new technologies. Thus, a trial & error approach will help you improve the effectiveness of your QR campaign – provided you have implemented solid measurement systems throughout. Don’t be afraid of making an error – since it’s a relatively new use of this technology and rules of usage haven’t yet been made, your customers will forgive you for experimenting.