So, what on earth is a QR code and why are you talking to me about it?
Well a QR code is basically a barcode, like the ones you have on your loaf of bread at Tesco. But it’s a barcode that can store more information than the Tesco ones. You have probably seen them popping up all over the place, on TV, in magazines on flyers and I’m pretty sure I saw one on a bus the other day.
What you do with them is to scan them, not with a scanner like at Tesco, but with a scanner app on your iPhone or Android phone. How on earth I am supposed to scan the one on the bus is currently a mystery to me, but there you go. What they then do is typically open up a website address in your phone’s browser. They can do other things, like download your vCard contact information, but they are usually used to open up a website on a phone.
What’s the point of that? You may well ask; well it depends how clever you want to get. The website could be a one off landing page with an offer that leads on to your main site, or it could be the sign-up procedure for your mailing list with a lead to an offer. That is the way people like Hungry Horse use it, you scan the code and then you sign up to their mailing list and get offers like a free pint on your birthday. Free beer, now you are interested.
The basic functionality of QR codes is pretty easy to do, the clever bit is how you use it as a hook to engage your customer.
We are working with a WW1 graves expert at the moment building an online database and could quite easily create a QR code for each of the records in his database that then links to a web page with alll the details of the particular soldier on it.
The main things you need to consider are that the website being linked to is going to be displayed on a phone. Despite massive advances in technology, phones are still generally rubbish for looking at web pages. So in this instance, the web page you are using as a landing page needs to be optimised for viewing on a phone. The Hungry Horse sign-up procedure was pretty hard work to be honest, only the prospect of free beer at the end kept me going. But there are things that you can do to make sign-up work better. Facebook offers a whole set of tricks and tools that allow you to sign up with your Facebook account, which is probably already stored in your phone and speeds the process. Clever stuff.
If you are running an online shop, you already have a whole sign-up process the customer has to go through to buy anything, so as soon as they buy something you have captured their details already. But what you could do is create a stand-alone landing page linked from the QR code that gives a discount voucher which can be easily displayed on the phone and saved for a later visit to your main website from a proper computer. The QR code can then be printed on anything you want to use, flyers, t-shirts, buses as part of a ring fenced marketing campaign where you know exactly what you have spent and how much return you have made.
Using QR codes for marketing is only really limited by your imagination. We normally say that if you can say it out loud, it can probably be done.
We can build you a stand-alone landing page for £150 and design and print 5000 A5 flyers for about £170. If you want one, phone 01225 436109