If you are looking to start integrating QR codes into your marketing collateral or for any other purpose, then take a look at some tips we have from questions that have come to us over the years.
1. QR Code Future Proofing:
When generating QR Codes, make sure you think about the future of how you will use it. You may need to change your QR Code URL at some point, and in order to do that, you would need to use some sort of URL shortening tool that allows you to change the URL. The steps are pretty easy …
- - Sign up for a URL Shortening Program
- - Create a “Short URL” for the URL you want to send users to (ex. my URL is “www.mysite.com/tour/features” and I create a short URL of “shrturl.com/xihginginosin”).
- - Put the new “Short URL” into the QR Code generator, and use the produced QR Code in all your collateral.
Following these steps will allow you to, at a later date, change the base URL that you are sending users to, by logging into the URL shortener account and changing the base URL (not the “short URL”). Submitting those changes would then send QR Code readers to the new redirected URL location … and save you lots of headaches of having to reprint your material with QR Codes on it (or worse, having your new potential customers sent to the wrong target page of your website). Trust me, you will thank me later for this!!!
2. Where should I send my users who scan a QR Code?
Think about it this way … 98% of all QR Codes are scanned by a mobile device. So, if this is the case, what kind of URL should you be sending them to? … Need a hint? … How about one that has been optimized for mobile users? How about one that has been optimized to enable goal fulfillment by these mobile users? What do I mean? Take a look at these examples:
A mobile phone user sees a flyer on a wall as they are walking around campus. The flyer is for a new apartment community that is opening in the spring, which looks really great. The user scans the provided QR Code, only to be taken to the website homepage, which was not built with automatic mobile optimizations in mind. The user sees some of the same photos on the homepage and logo as they see on the flyer. No additional useful information is presented … only an “information” form is posted, which has 12 fields that it is requiring the user to fill in to get more information. The user simply closes the page because they don’t have time to try to fill out all the information from their smartphone’s small keyboard, and they were not really provided any extra useful information that enticed them to spend that extra time.
A young woman is waiting at a bus stop for the next leg of her commute. While waiting, she sees an ad in the window of the rain shelter for a new line of makeup, with a QR Code attached to the words “buy it here”. She may have already heard of this line of makeup or seen the ad 10 times now and finally is ready to make the purchase, so the QR Code is perfectly placed for this user. The link takes her to a mobile optimized page giving her 4 options of where to purchase the product directly from her phone – such as a smartlink to the amazon product page within the amazon app. She clicks on the amazon store link, and makes the purchase with 1 click from the amazon app. Scan, click, purchase … that simple.
Hopefully this helps you see the desired usage scenario for typical marketing campaigns that utilize QR Codes. Not every campaign is alike, so its imperative that you consider the placement of the QR code (where it will be located on the ad), the location of the user who may see it (and what they would likely be doing when they see it) to optimize the user experience and in turn, your conversion rate. Remember – when mobile is involved – keep it simple, clean, and fast, and count on the user only having a few short moments to consider taking action.
This is part 1 in our series of Best practices – To be continued soon …