QR codes have been a mobile marketing tool for several years, and they're growing more and more common. They're a perfect way to put customers in touch with your website, where they are in the real world, without them having to remember your URL.
What Is A QR Code?
You've probably seen a QR code, or quick response code, before: it's a two-dimensional series of black and white squares designed to be read by mobile phones and barcode scanners. When your customers scan the code using an app, it sends them to your website or displays text or a picture.
They can go anywhere, although they work best on up-close media like magazine advertisements, products on shelves, and direct mail. These codes have the potential to make the world itself interactive and engaging, which is why marketers love them. Consumers love them, too -- they're a great way of embedding more information in an ad, and everyone loves the feeling of finding a secret.
Some marketers believe QR codes are passe. But after years of being out of fashion, they're a hot trend again, with Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat all enabling QR code features. More companies are using them, which means more of your audience will recognize them.
But many companies bungle their QR code rollout. Pay attention to these common pitfalls:
1. Putting QR Codes Where No One Can See (or Scan) Them
This sounds like a rookie error, but you'd be surprised at how often this happens. QR codes are usually on the small-ish side (one inch square) and are very easy to place poorly.
A QR code buried at the bottom of a sign or covered by ads in a magazine won't provide returns: your audience has to be able to snap a clear photo of the QR code for their phone to process. Your code should be obvious (but not overwhelming), and it should flow naturally with the text or images around it. It shouldn't hide, get in the way or be distracting.
2. Having Your QR Code Redirect Somewhere It Shouldn't
Your QR code should link your audience to mobile-optimized content, like product info, videos, pictures and coupons. If your QR code goes to a string of text or an unrelated images, potential customers will get irritated and move on.
3. Making the QR Code Too Small
There are no hard and fast rules for QR code sizes, but anything under an inch in both height and width is probably too small. When codes are smaller, they get easily overlooked and may not scan properly when read by a barcode reader or smartphone.
4. Using Black and White
QR codes don't have to be boring black and white squares. Make them stand out with bright colors or creative shapes or designs. To make it really appealing, try inserting an image, such as your company logo.
5. Not Testing Your QR Code Properly
Before any code goes out for printing or display, you and your staff must test it. If you don't test your code properly, it could resolve to the wrong website or not work at all. Either way, that destroys the effectiveness of the message.
QR codes are hip again. By following these five tips, you'll create a successful QR code campaign your customers will love.