If you had asked a year ago (and we did), most marketers would have said QR (quick response) codes are D.E.A.D. But, as with most things, the pandemic changed the game. QR codes allowed businesses to safely provide information to customers in a new way — from curbside restaurant menus to contactless payment options and more.
And, as consumer interest increased, QR codes were brought back into the mainstream. A recent study by Juniper Research predicts 1 billion smartphones will access QR codes by 2022.
QR codes get a glow-up
When QR codes first came into popularity in the early 2000s, they were a novelty — something shiny and new but not the most functional. Users had to download a separate QR scanner app to use the codes, and QR code generators were inconsistent in taking you to the desired destination.
We’ve come a long way since then. Now, most phones can scan QR codes right from their camera, making them much easier and efficient to use.
QR codes are also cost-effective and easy to create. QR codes can be customized with your brand logo and colors. And dynamic QR codes allow you to easily swap out the destination link or make updates to your website without having to create a new QR code.
Metrics on print? Hallelujah!
QR codes can help solve the age-old challenge of measuring success on printed items — from brochures to magazine ads, sales collateral to postcards. Not only can you see how many people scanned the code from the print piece, but you can also get insights into what they do when they get to the link. Did they view additional website pages? Did they sign up for a product trial? You can then retarget those people to help move them further down the sales funnel.
It’s the efficiency for me
QR codes grab your audience at the exact moment they’re interacting with your content and provide a quick, easy way to find information. But, to get people to scan, you need to provide a compelling reason.
Where a QR code really comes in handy is getting people to an exact location online — signing up for a product trial, redeeming a coupon, downloading a white paper, entering a contest, etc. Ask yourself, does the QR code have a specific purpose? How is the QR code making your life easier for your target audiences?
If your CTA is to drive traffic to your website homepage or general information that can be easily found with a quick Google search, a URL (or vanity URL) is the better option.