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The Seven Deadly Sins of QR Codes – Part 2

Last week we covered the first 3 of The Seven Deadly Sins of QR Codes.  If you did not get to read part one, you may do so by clicking here.  This week we cover the remainder.  We hope you find this a useful guide in how to better leverage this technology for your business.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #4 – Not Telling People What to Expect

By not indicating what is waiting for someone at the other end of the rainbow, you reduce the click rate of potential users.  This can be attributed to time being extremely precious, but two other factors play a major role in this.  One is the potential threat of viruses.  You did read that right…  Mistakenly thought to be impervious to viruses, evil doers have recently exploited technology to turn your smart phone into a 1/2 lb brick.  QR codes have proven an efficient way to do this by covering up banner ad QR codes with stickers.  People are more hesitant to scan unless they know where they are going after the click.  Indicating a destination that is tied to your industry can lead to more clicks by showing it to be legitimate.  Second is the ever looming threat of exceeding data plans.  Newer smart phone users no longer have access to unlimited data with mainstream providers like AT&T and Verizon.  This is such a problem that there are apps out there now that exist solely for monitoring your bandwidth usage.  Clicking on a QR now means wasted money for the end user, which leads me to our next sin…

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QR Codes Deadly Sin #5 – Not Providing a Click Incentive

Because of bandwidth limits, users must be choosy when it comes to browsing.  Providing a page that allows access to coupons, money saving tips, special offers, etc. will show a higher click rate.  People always need items that will save them time and money.  If you provide a truly good offer, people will follow.  They may even share this with others if you don’t commit the next sin.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #6 – Not Incorporating Social Media

In these days of Social Media, things can go from obscure to viral in a matter of hours.  If you are providing a killer incentive for users to click, you should also make it easy for the user to share.  This doesn’t do much for the user except to let them blather on about the next cool thing they found.  It does a world of good for you though.  Magazines, marketing materials, billboards, etc. all have limited traffic and circulation.  Social Media is the new “Word of Mouth” and needs to be utilized to the fullest.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #7 – Not Capturing User Data

As referenced in the first part of this article, a click on a QR code will give you an IP address and that’s it.  Unless you are the Federal Government, finding a way to trace this back to the details of the end user can be problematic… and illegal too!  Give people a way to provide information to you in exchange for that “killer offer”.  This can be done with simple name and email/mobile number boxes.  Don’t require too much information as typing on smart phones can be a chore.  Just get enough so that you can market to your audience in other ways such as email or text messaging.  Another option is capturing information from the user by driving them to log in using Facebook, Google Plus, etc.  Not capturing information only allows you to engage the end user in the moment and may not lead to future business.

I hope you have enjoyed the article.  If I had to come up with an 8th deadly sin, it would be NOT USING QR CODES.  Leveraging this technology properly can be an extremely successful and cost effective way to promote your business.  If you’re not sure how to get started, consult an expert.  Now you may be part of the DIY crowd, but consulting with someone who has made all the mistakes first and learned the technology will be a much faster path to success.  My last tip?  Get out there and start clicking people!

As an integrated marketing company, Print Tech has been providing marketing services for over 30 years.  If your lead generation is in need of a boost, give us a call and see how we can make your marketing sizzle!
(908) 232-2287
sales@print-tech.com

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The Seven Deadly Sins of QR Codes – Part 1

Believe it or not, QR Codes have been around since 1994.  First utilized in the auto industry to track assembly line IDs, they were never originally intended for the applied uses of today.  Nearly 20 years later, QR codes have achieved mainstream success in the US.  These days, QR codes are a popular, if often misunderstood way to drive marketing traffic.

In my travels as an advocate for this technology I have heard many opinions from many clients about QR codes.  Some people have tried QR codes and have abandoned them due to limited success or lack of understanding.  Truth be told, QR codes can be a great way to drive traffic if they are utilized properly.  In this 2 part article, I will share with you the Seven Deadly Sins of QR Codes, or rather a guide of what NOT to do when trying to leverage this technology.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #1 – Drive people to your website

Many QR code users make the mistake of driving people to their home page. This is a practice that does very little for the users. Most home pages offer very generic information and are of no use to the mobile user. Using QR Codes in this manner is also of no use to you. Mobile users can’t usually see your home page well on a tiny screen and it’s usually tough to navigate. Making things difficult will not earn you points and the user will quickly opt out. You also have no way to track the visit, with the exception of an IP address and that is of little use to you for follow-up marketing.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #2 – Drive People to Generic Content

Very similar to driving people to your home page, driving someone to any generic page, even a mobile optimized one, offers you nothing. Although a mobile optimized page of generic content may be easy to read, it offers little to the user. Oh, and remember the tracking thing? The same applies here. Content needs to be rewarding for the user to stay and navigate. How you achieve that really depends on your business. Are you B-to-B? B-to-C? Non-Profit? What your organization does plays a factor in what you should drive people to, but it should never be a page designed to “just get the word out”.

QR Codes Deadly Sin #3 – Not Indicating Proper Use

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This is a personal favorite. Reading a trade magazine one day, I saw 5 ads with a QR code just dumped on the page. There were no instructions on what to do. While there are plenty of people that know QR codes and what they do, it doesn’t have to be an exclusive club. Let people know what to do when they see one of these. The curious will look up “QR Code Reader” on their smart phone if you tell them to. Some may still just pass it by, because there is no such thing as 100% effective marketing. There is only maximizing the potential of a particular technology.

I think that’s enough reading for one morning. Go get some work done:-) Next week we will uncover the 4 remaining sins in The Seven Deadly Sins of QR Codes – Part Two.

If you still don’t feel like working and would like to learn about the history of QR Codes, you can always go to one of my favorite places, Wikipedia, to learn more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code.

As an integrated marketing company, Print Tech has been providing marketing services for over 30 years.  If your marketing is in need of a boost, give us a call and see how we can make your marketing sizzle!
(908) 232-2287
sales@print-tech.com

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