Since writing about QR codes in our May 2011 Newsletter, the awareness and interest in the new marketing phenomena has exploded. We thought you might like a closer look at how they work and how user friendly they are.
QR codes have been around since 1994 when they were created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave to allow data to be decoded at high speed. They were used, among other things, to track auto parts through production. It is only recently that their marketing value has been realized. Astute business people all over the world are beginning to use them. You will start seeing QR codes on everything from t-shirts to billboards.
By now you may know that QR codes are simply two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned with smart phones. Once scanned, the QR reader (smart phone application - most are free), directs the phone to a URL, or sends data displayed on your phone's screen. The URL can be to any site on the web such as your home page or a landing page with a special offer. Here are just a few ways to use QR codes:
- Web site url
- Landing page
- Business card information
- Google Map
- Special message
Scanning a QR code is much easier than typing in a URL. It requires less effort from your prospects, and so they are more likely to scan it then type it, if they have the smart phone. Of course not everyone has a smart phone yet, so including the url (if that is the purpose of the QR code) in the marketing piece is imperative.
Including a QR code on your mailer or in an E-newsletter will enhance the value of your marketing efforts. It will also let everyone know that you are on top of technological advances. That is good credibility and good branding.
The best attribute about QR codes is how easy they are to incorporate into your marketing. The next best attribute is how easy they are to use. Anyone who has a smart phone can download a free QR code reader. Getting the information from a QR code is as easy as one, two, three.
1. Open your QR code reader in your smart phone
2. Point your camera directly at the QR code
3. The reader takes a picture of the QR code and sends the information to your phone where you can read and capture it
USPS Postage Discounts for QR Coded Mailers - July and August
In July and August the US Postal Service is encouraging marketers to use these codes with a special discount: 3% off first class or standard presorted postage for every letter or postcard that includes a QR code!
These USPS discounts more than make up for the small space they take up on a mail piece. They can be quite attractive and can include images and logos and a myriad of colors. QR codes do not need to be large and are simply an addition with nothing but positive connotations.
For more information about custom QR Codes and landing pages, contact MSI for a free quote.