As you may know, the USPS is offering a discount to companies that include QR Codes on their direct mail pieces throughout July and August of 2011.
We are certainly hopeful that this effort will help to further increase awareness of QR Codes across the mainstream. If the great majority of mailers using QR Codes are done correctly, then there are potentially millions and millions of people that will discover:
- What a QR Code is
- How a QR Code can offer them help and useful content
- Why they should encourage their own companies to use QR Codes 🙂
Of course, in a worst-case scenario, millions and millions of people will find QR Codes in their mailbox that leave them dumbfounded or discouraged. This could happen if people have a hard time scanning them or if they are directed to websites that were clearly not designed to be accessed on a mobile phone and that do not help them find information that they’d want to find.
How can companies that are including QR Codes on their direct mail pieces ensure that the experience they create is a good one? Here are a few tips:
Ensure That People Can Scan the QR Codes Easily
There are a few things that companies can do to ensure that their QR Codes can be scanned by the recipients of their direct mail efforts.
- Shorten the URL that the QR Code is pointing to: The less data that you have inside the QR Code, the easier it will be for people to scan it. Once you have the full URL of the website that you’d like to point the QR Code to, either use a QR Code creation system that will automatically shorten the URL for you (QReate & Track does that for registered users), or use a URL-shortener service such as ilnk.me or bit.ly.
- Leave white space on the outside edge of the QR Code: When adding the QR Code to your direct mail piece, be sure to put a bit of white space around the edges of the QR Code image. You really do not need more than a 1/4 inch of white space. But don’t overlook that step! While some newer phones might be able to scan a QR Code that does not have any white space around it, you certainly may run into trouble with older phones.
- Provide some sort of direction on the mailer: While awareness of QR Codes is growing, there are new smartphone owners on the street every day. Many of them may not know how to download or access a QR Code reader application on their phones. Provide a line or two of direction on your mailer, and that may help to increase the scanning success rate.
Point the QR Codes to Mobile Websites
- When many marketers first hear about QR Codes, they become quickly excited. And as soon as they can access a QR Code generator, they’ll create one that points to their corporate website. While that step may have been easy for the person creating the code, it typically results in a poor experience for the people scanning the QR Code.
Thus, it’s very important to take the time to build mobile websites before you create your QR Codes. Mobile websites should load fast and they provide rewarding, informative content.
Need help creating a mobile website? We’d love to have you check out another interlinkONE product, iFlyMobi.
iFlyMobi comes with a 14-day free trial. It allows companies to easily create mobile websites in just a matter of minutes.
Have Other Questions?
If you starting to use QR Codes, we hope that the tips above prove to be helpful.
If you do have any other questions about anything QR Code-related, please let us know!