There’s no doubt that QR codes have made a resurgence over the last year in many ways, fueled by smartphones integrating QR reading capabilities right into the camera (nixing a need to open up a specific app to read QR codes, a major pain point when they first came out) and the need to move to a touchless world amidst a global pandemic. But what does this mean for us in the print world?
When it comes to advertising, QR codes have had their biggest impact in bringing together print and digital mediums to create a seamless consumer experience.
It’s no secret that digital is perceived as the king of advertising and that in today’s connected world, direct mail campaigns need to have a digital integration component in order to cut through the clutter and succeed in achieving measurable results. QR codes can be a tremendous value-add to your clients when it comes to the design and functionality of their direct mail pieces.
In terms of design, QR codes can help you drastically cut down on the amount of text printed on the direct mail piece. Modern consumers are short on time and with attention spans getting shorter than ever, wordy descriptions and instructions just get lost in the shuffle.
With less text to read, you can create clearer calls to action that are easy to execute with a QR code and you will have more room to include eye-catching design elements to attract the recipient’s attention.
When it comes to functionality, QR codes enable you to give consumers the opportunity to easily and immediately take action on the direct mail piece’s message by giving them access to what they need. The versatility of QR codes is practically endless, from starting a call, sending a ready- made email, or taking them to a form or mobile website, you can seamlessly guide your customer from direct mail to a desired action designed to speed up the decision- making process. In addition, interactive experiences leave a lasting impression on consumers, adding to the impact and effectiveness of that direct mail piece.
When incorporating QR codes into direct mail campaigns, it’s important to keep in mind a couple of best practices. When incorporating a QR code into your direct mail design, size matters. Make sure the QR Code is big enough to scan easily and quickly. The minimum size should be 1.25″ by 1.25″; any smaller than that, and the code becomes difficult to scan. A small, difficult-to-scan QR code frustrates everyone, customers and clients alike. Simplicity is also key when using QR codes. Do not add any unnecessary extras on your QR code’s landing page. If you have a call-to-action in your QR code that says “Download PDF” or “scan to watch a video,” then lead them to a video or a PDF document and nothing else.
Going hand in hand with this, make the user experience short and straightforward and that the entire experience is tied back to that initial call-to-action.
While QR codes are a powerful tool for streamlining the consumer experience, QR codes can also be a tool used to prove campaign attribution and track results from a direct mail campaign. Through tracking engagement to measuring conversion rates or testing creative through custom QR codes, you can glean data that is critical for campaign optimization and attribution.
Incorporating QR codes into direct mail campaigns has never been easier too! Earlier this summer, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the proposal to increase the maximum size limit for a presorted or an automated first class mail postcard. With this newly increased postcard size there’s now more room than ever to include elements like QR codes into your postcard design.
If you aren’t incorporating QR codes into your direct mail campaigns, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. According to a study published by Bluebite, QR Code usage surged from 2018 to 2020:
- 96% growth in QR Code Reach
- 94% surge in the number of interactions
- 98% increase in the number of interactions per object
Not only did we see double digit growth in the reach and interactions of QR codes, but we also saw a tremendous amount of growth in the number of times a person scanned the same QR code. This means that consumers went back to the same QR code and scanned it multiple times, showing that people hang onto pieces with QR codes on them.
By adding QR codes to your direct mail campaigns you can do more than just increase traffic to your client’s website or social channels. Now you can incorporate direct mail into a strategy that seamlessly blends digital and physical marketing elements to create a unified experience. But where do you start with adding QR codes and digitally integrating your direct mail campaigns?
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