A lot has been written lately about the best practices for QR code campaigns. Without stating the obvious too much, we’d like to mention a couple of pointers and tips:
1. Make it practical - from the mobile user’s stand-point.
Scanning a QR code is an effort, and your mobile visitor is busy and easily distracted. Why should they scan?
This is why displaying a clear benefit your mobile visitor would get by scanning is absolutely essential. Clear call-to-actions like “Scan this code to join our club!” or “Scan and get 20% off your next visit!” improve the odds of grabbing your mobile visitors’ attention and prompting them to take the next step.
2. Include QR code scanning instructions.
Although most of us have probably seen a QR code by now, not everyone is familiar with how to scan one or knows where to get a scanner app. Including simple instructions, such as “Don’t have a scanner app? Get one free at scan.mobi.” is a simple way to resolve this issue.
3. Offer options.
Even with the instructions on how to get the scanner app, not every one of your interested visitors would be interested enough to make an effort to log into the app store and try something new at that moment. For those less adventurous or app-savvy, including a simple short mobile URL they can type in their browser, and/or and SMS option may suite better.
Note, that based on our surveys, some consumers are still cautious of SMS opt-ins. They are simply not sure if they would get charged for SMS messages, or they are not aware of the strict regulations regarding SMS spam and therefore are wary of giving out their cell phone number. So a QR code together with a short mobile URL is a option that is both accessible and feels safe for your on-the-go target audience.
4. Customize your QR codes.
Really, the black and white QR codes are boring, unattractive and sometimes even confusing to not-so-savvy mobile visitors who may mistake them for a manufacture tracking code. QR codes can be easily customized with fun color and effect options, and include your branding and fun graphics.
Please check out our earlier blog post on how to create your custom QR codes in Photoshop.
5. Make it fun!
Mobile is for playing. Most of us use our smart phones for fun activities: playing games, getting on Facebook, sharing media. So your mobile campaign should follow that spirit. Besides giving your visitors a practical reason to scan, give them something not-to-practical but fun:
- A link to a page with a video that shows your business in a personal way. For a restaurant it could be a video of a chef talking about “what’s cooking”, or of an organic farm where the beef is coming from. Add a Facebook Like button and other options for easy sharing.
- Here is a fun “Save the polar bear” campaign by Coca Cola: http://2d-code.co.uk/coca-cola-qr-code-campaign/. The QR code resolves to a page where a free interactive app called the Snowball Effect can be downloaded. The app enables users to have an impact on the polar bear’s future by spreading the word to help protect their home.
(Must mention the “not-so-good” there: 1) offering an iPhone app only 2) forcing visitors to download the actual mobile app from an app store, versus offering a web-app.)
6. Design your mobile campaign so that it is an extension of what your visitors are already doing.
According to the recent Facebook stats, about 350 million Facebook users are already using their mobile devices to access Facebook. Facebook-ing has become a routine activity for many of your mobile visitors, so why not take advantage of this trend and encourage your mobile fans to promote you by liking you on Facebook. You can even “lock” your offers behind a Facebook “Like” button (meaning that you can make your coupon or contest accessible only to those who have liked you on Facebook).
7. And lastly.. do not commit the felony of mobile marketing, which is linking a QR code to a regular desktop site.