7 ways QR codes can inspire action and save you money

You’ve seen them before. Yet you may not exactly know what they’re capable of (or even what they are or how to use them). Today, I’m talking about the beauty of QR (Quick Response) codes! Though merely a small (usually black-and-white) graphic, this code can make a big impact on the success of your marketing initiatives.

When is it appropriate to use QR codes? And when it is not ideal?

It works well to capture a quick reaction, but not great as a call to action. 

There are times when QR codes can make our lives easier, like a quick RSVP to an event, and there are times when it can be less effective — like don’t you hate it when you go to a restaurant and all you have is a QR code? (I understand this lets them update their menu without having to incur print costs, but I am old school and I like to hold the menu in my hand).

15 actions you can encourage your audience to take using QR codes

A QR code is a graphic pattern that can be read by a smartphone’s camera — allowing us to quickly do things like:

  1. visit webpages
  2. donate
  3. RSVP
  4. view images
  5. watch videos
  6. get directions
  7. take a survey
  8. listen to a song
  9. download apps
  10. make a purchase
  11. read a menu
  12. get help / live chat
  13. take an audio or video tour
  14. get coupons
  15. the list goes on

7 reasons why QR codes will improve your marketing

  1. QR codes facilitate immediate action, more information in a small amount of space, and being able to update your resource more easily. 

Your recipient is the most motivated while the piece is in their hands. If they put the piece down to act “later,” the likelihood of them acting becomes much less. A QR code helps you solidify an action before they turn on Netflix and forget about you. (Text is another method of capturing donations and making annual appeals more successful.) 

  1. QR codes let a small marketing piece become infinite.

No matter how big your marketing piece physically is, you only have a limited amount of space. With a QR code, suddenly your ability to inform and engage with this piece becomes unlimited.

  1. Print smaller; save money. 

Instead of having to fit everything on your printed marketing piece, postcard, mailer, or brochure — a QR code lets you use that real estate to make a major impact with your design and copy. Sometimes the power of connection can be lessened when we’re trying to convey too much information. A QR code lets you distill your message and permits them to go deeper because they want to.

  1. QR codes can actually get recipients to read your marketing piece. 

People are reading less and less. This means more copy can deter them at the outset. Instead, having “the rest” of the information available via QR code means that first-glance information is sharper and has more connection-wielding power.

  1. Employ a sense of mystery, surprise, or exclusivity using a QR code

If you put something interesting, fun, or mysterious at the other end of a QR code, and convey this in a compelling way, you can activate the part of your recipient that simply has to know. It’s like when we watch those Instagram videos about kittens getting rescued from the roadside. We get sucked in because we have to know if they’ll be okay!

  1. Track engagement with your QR code

If you send a mailer, you really don’t know how many people open it. If you send a mailer with a QR code, you get more metrics. You know how many people click through the QR code. This means you know more about what works, and what doesn’t, so you can continue to refine your marketing efforts.

  1. QR codes can give people the next step to take. 

You can genuinely help your recipient do things more efficiently. Whether it’s accessing directions, RSVPing, or getting more information — a little ease goes a long way. Your recipients appreciate it!

Since we’re asking your audience to take an action (scan a QR code), your copy and graphics leading up to it have to be especially convincing. This is an art. If you need a discerning graphic designer who can use the power of QR codes for your organization, let me know.

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