QR Codes: Using Physical Mail to Drive Online Engagement

QR Codes: Using Physical Mail to Drive Online Engagement

There is a misconception that a letter, a mail pack or door drop is forever limited to be a static, analogue object, ultimately destined for the recycling bin.

Brands that invest in mail as part of their communication mix often don’t realise that it can, in fact, be relatively easy to add a tracking and attribution benefit to your campaign.

How? By adding a digital response mechanism or giving the recipient the opportunity to undertake a digital action to continue the consumer journey.

When marketing and CRM teams are under increasing pressure to holistically report on campaign performance, attribution and ROI in real-time, the benefit of integrating digital actions with your physical campaigns should not be ignored.

Enter the humble QR Code – though they’ve been with us for longer than you might think.

 

‘WHERE DID QR CODES COME FROM?’ A BRIEF HISTORY

The Quick Response (QR) code system was invented by Masahiro Hara of Denso Wave (part of the Toyota Group) in 1994 as a way of tracking inventory and components at high speed.

2D matrix barcodes were gradually adopted by numerous companies across different sectors. The versatility of the barcode format could provide a number of commercial applications across a variety of industries and applications.

Companies quickly realised that the QR code could be printed on virtually anything to drive digital actions, payments & experiences – connecting the real and digital world.

Initially, they had a very slow adoption rate in the UK with little evidence of them working in a marketing context to drive a consumer action or increase engagement. Companies were not always great, initially, at explaining what they did, how or why someone should use it.

Perhaps the biggest barrier to QR codes becoming a staple in customer communications, was the fact that consumers needed to download a third-party QR reader application on their device. This made the user experience clunky and inconvenient, even for those confident in using the technology. However, as smartphones with cameras have become the norm, the ability to read QR codes natively on the phone has been built in and their usage has been increasing as a result.

QR Codes are also becoming more known to the public in the wake of COVID-19 as many establishments offer QR codes to access menus or brochures to reduce touchpoints.

 

QR CODES ARE AFFORDABLE AND VERSATILE

 

 

Branded                Standard matrix

QR codes, are an affordable and highly versatile solution for companies and organisations looking to make their print communications more connected. QR code generator software is inexpensive and customised QR codes can be printed on virtually anything, and communication partners like Forth can handle it for you too – whether they’re the standard matrix design or a branded alternative.

You can transform your printed communications easily, triggering a variety of activations;

  • linking the recipient to your web page,
  • linking the recipient to a pURL (personalised URL)
  • video content,
  • company app,
  • interactive games and quizzes,
  • a coupon,
  • business document
  • immersive augmented reality experience.

The possibilities are endless.

So, should marketers and companies in general reconsider the benefit and value of QR codes? Here are 10 key benefits to keep in mind when considering whether to implement QR Codes.

 

10 KEY BENEFITS OF QR CODES

 

    1. Drive awareness and brand engagement
    2. Provides seamless online/offline customer experience
    3. Create unique value exchanges
    4. Inform and educate audiences
    5. Boost sales, donations and registrations
    6. Drive footfall into stores and events
    7. Social shareability
    8. Champion sustainability and green credentials
    9. Enhanced tracking metrics and attribution
    10. Collect GDPR compliant first-party data

 

THE STATISTICS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT QR CODES

 

 

TRY QR CODES IN YOUR NEXT MAIL CAMPAIGN

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use QR codes in your next campaign, or to find out about Royal Mail’s Emerging Technology campaign, get in touch with one of our expert team today.