QR codes are making their way into our daily lives.
We have seen QR codes popping up in many places. Be it on your restaurant table for scanning the menu, while making a cashless transaction, or while seeing unique marketing campaigns that take you to a company’s website or social profiles with one scan.
Even Fortune 500 companies like Google, Amazon, and Nike have added QR codes to their marketing tech stacks.
This is a strong signal for marketers around the world to come up with creative ideas to leverage QR code in their campaigns. You can use QR codes in direct mail to generate leads and increase sales And this may be only the tip of the iceberg for this exciting technology.
Let’s explore why and how.
What We’ll Cover
- What are QR Codes?
- Who uses QR Codes?
- What are the benefits of using QR Codes in Marketing?
- 15 Genius QR Code Ideas for Marketing in 2023
- #1 Direct mailing
- #2 Social media QR Codes
- #3 Event posters
- #4 Magazines and newspapers
- #5 Marketing vehicle
- #6 Engage shoppers with short video content
- #7 Increase conversions by designing a QR code game
- #8 Convert one-time customers into repeat buyers
- #9 Deliver a truly musical experience
- #10 Get users to leave product reviews
- #11 Share your contact details instantly
- #12 Generate leads
- #13 Mail QR codes as entry tickets
- #14 Add a digital touch to your banner advertisements
- #15 Product Packaging
- Final Thoughts
What are QR Codes?
QR codes are two-dimensional codes that can be scanned by a smartphone or other devices with a camera. Based on the type of QR code technology, it may direct a viewer to a website, contact information, or payment portals that encourages viewers to take a particular course of action.
These codes work by encoding data in a machine-readable format. When you scan a QR code, the app will decode the data and take you to a particular site.
Not only iPhones that have iOS 11 or higher versions, but even Android phones today have native QR code scanners in the camera app to make lives easier.
Who uses QR Codes?
According to a June 2021 survey by Statista, 59% of respondents stated that QR codes would become a permanent part of their smartphone usage in the future.
The most popular QR code usage scenarios were scanning at a restaurant/bar/cafe, at a retailer, or a consumer product.
Their popularity has grown in recent years because while mobile devices needed to download an app to scan QR codes earlier, it’s not the case today, with native scanning QR code functionality available on most phones.
Also, the pandemic has encouraged people to opt for no-touch initiatives, and QR codes are a step forward for many of those.
Here are some of the most popular QR code types used in early 2022.
What are the benefits of using QR Codes in Marketing?
Below are four crucial benefits of adopting QR codes in your marketing initiatives:
1. Attract more customers and investors
QR codes, when used strategically and creatively, can imbibe curiosity in the customers’ and investors’ minds and attract them to your business.
For example, the 56th NFL Super Bowl in 2022 was filled with iconic single QR code commercials.
One great example was Coinbase’s 60-second ad that featured a black screen with just a QR code floating around. Viewers who scanned this QR code landed on their limited-time promotional campaign.
The website saw so many visitors in a short span of time that it led to a crash.
2. Can be integrated with multiple marketing media
Many businesses think QR codes are just meant for business cards or contactless payments.
But you couldn’t be more wrong.
For example, buying space in newspapers could be very expensive.
But if you use QR codes in those adverts, you can save a lot of space and promote curiosity through scanning.
Take a look at how cleverly Neutrogena adds a QR code that helps the reader immediately scan and buy the product.
3. Creates a good reputation
You can create a community with your QR marketing initiatives. The best example of this is how the sci-fi series Halo was promoted.
During the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) held in Texas, 400 drones created a gigantic QR code in the dusk sky.
When viewers scanned the custom QR code, the show’s trailer appeared on their phones. It piqued people’s enthusiasm and created an interest in the new show.
4. Conserve Mother Nature
Sustainability has become an essential thing for people worldwide. QR codes help you store a lot of information and thus create room for enormous possibilities.
For example, you could save so many pages by just having a QR code that contains all the text your employees, students, or consumers need.
They also help you save on printing and set-up costs and thus pave the way for a better marketing strategy that appeals to consumers.
15 Genius QR Code Ideas for Marketing in 2023
There are many ways you can create QR codes for your marketing efforts. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
#1 Direct mailing
You can analyze engagement and conversion rates on your QR codes when you integrate them with your direct mail campaigns.
This way, you can even gauge the effectiveness of direct mail and how you can improvise it in the future.
Consumers who scan this QR code can be retargeted online via Google or your web store.
With Postalytics, you can easily deploy (read automate) QR codes along with all the other direct mailing activities that increase lead generation, sales, and customer retention.
Postalytics offers two simple ways to deploy QR codes for your direct mail campaigns. You can create unique QR codes that drive each recipient to their personalized URL or upload a QR code image that sends all recipients to the same URL.
When you deploy the free pURL tools in Postalytics, they will automatically activate the “Online Tracking” features of the Campaign Dashboards. So, marketers and SMB owners can easily keep track of each piece of mail at any stage of the delivery process.
And here’s a pro tip: make sure you tell your customers why they should scan your QR code. This will engage them and boost the effectiveness of your campaign.
#2 Social media QR Codes
Almost everyone uses social media these days. Brands must have a solid social media presence and boost engagement with their audience.
Using social media QR codes, you can redirect your audience to your social profiles and drive traffic for your social media campaigns.
Here’s an example of a brand that used a QR code on their social media that takes users to a landing page on their website.
You can even encourage customers to use QR codes by offering them a freebie or discount when they use them.
#3 Event posters
QR codes can be a great way to create excitement around your events. It can also make your event posters look less cluttered and more appealing.
For example, instead of printing all the details like the performer, event itinerary, highlights, and venue, you can put a QR code that takes the user to your event’s landing page with all the details.
You can even use these QR codes to help people register for your event. It makes it easy for people to sign up, and it can also increase attendance.
#4 Magazines and newspapers
We’re seeing more QR codes appearing in traditional advertisements like newspapers and magazines.
As these adverts can require a hefty investment, more brands are using QR codes to link detailed information.
Here’s how an art exhibit promoted its event with the help of a QR code in the magazine.
You can even use them to bring this audience to your digital profiles. For example, if someone is interested in your product or brand, instead of having them perform the time-consuming task of searching for your brand online and following you, a QR code can get that done easily.
#5 Marketing vehicle
Suppose you’re using a marketing vehicle to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness or recall. In that case, you can implement QR codes on these vehicles that make users a part of your community on social media or a dedicated landing page for your ongoing campaigns.
This will work best for food companies and agencies of different kinds.
Here’s a great example of QR codes on a marketing vehicle for a cleaning agency.
#6 Engage shoppers with short video content
If you are showcasing products that have a USP, this idea is great to engage customers and sell them your unique style or feature.
For example, suppose your clothing products are made from sustainable materials. In that case, you can attach a QR code on each label that takes them to a short video of how everything from sourcing to production is handled sustainably.
This small move can win your customers and turn them into loyal fans of your business.
Here’s how a cooking tutorial is shared with the help of a QR code.
#7 Increase conversions by designing a QR code game
You can use hyper-casual games that do not require much brainpower or time to engage customers and increase conversions.
The rewards earned in these games could be redeemed for discounts or points that help them purchase your products.
You can even create a marketing campaign like Pizza Hut did. They launched a campaign where they printed QR codes on the side of their pizza boxes. When customers scanned this code, they could play an AR version of the game Pac-Man.
Players who posted their scores on Twitter would enter the contest where they could win a custom Pac-Man game cabinet.
This gave their customers a special experience.
#8 Convert one-time customers into repeat buyers
You can use geolocation in tandem with QR codes to display different information depending on the user’s location. For example, a QR code on the product packaging in the store can display product information. When the customer leaves the store, the same QR code can be used to re-order the product.
Shopify has done the same for its customers by introducing Shopcodes. These codes encourage repeat purchases by allowing customers to scan the QR code directly to checkout on mobile, with accelerated checkout options available on mobile phones.
#9 Deliver a truly musical experience
Want to deliver a musical experience to your customers while they shop or use your products?
QR codes can help you out.
For example, you can attach QR codes to your stationery products to take consumers to a curated playlist on Spotify that they can play while drawing or reading.
Campbell’s, a soup company, partnered with Universal Music Group (UMG) and implemented QR codes on their tins. By scanning these dynamic QR codes, consumers could access recipes and playlists featuring new songs by UMG artists.
This campaign helped form a connection with customers and created a musical experience for them while cooking.
#10 Get users to leave product reviews
Gone are the days when consumers looked at a product and quickly clicked the “Purchase” button.
In fact, 49% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.
To get users to leave reviews for your products, you need to make this process as easy as possible. Instead of having them type entire URLs, you can attach QR codes to your business cards, reception desks, menus, or as signage on doors.
The QR code directly takes the customer to your website/relevant link and makes the feedback process easier.
#11 Share your contact details instantly
A vCard QR code is a digital version of a business card that can be saved on a user’s device. Upon QR code scanning, the information that this card contains is name, mobile number, email address, display picture, social media handles, etc.
As the information on these QR codes can be simply modified or changed, you don’t need to spend time creating new business cards or re-printing them repeatedly.
This is perfect for businesses that want to showcase their work, as you could also include links to your web page or campaigns in these codes.
#12 Generate leads
QR codes can be a great way to generate leads. Here are two ways you can try out for your business:
- Create a coupon QR code that gives access to discount coupons upon scanning. This way, you can incentivize customers to buy your products.
- Build your email marketing list by sending customers forms they could open with your QR codes. The CTAs you can use here are “Scan to get a free trial” or “Get a free guide upon QR code scan.”
#13 Mail QR codes as entry tickets
We know that QR codes can be a great way to promote your events, but you can also use them as entry tickets.
Many event companies use them to authenticate ticket holders at their events. This ensures that there isn’t any crowd at your entry gates, and you can also save costs by not having to appoint people to check these tickets at the entrance.
You can also use these codes to deliver any important event updates or details.
#14 Add a digital touch to your banner advertisements
Someone may see your banner advertisements and then completely forget about them. By adding a QR code to these advertisements, you encourage customers to take immediate action.
This will also pique curiosity and will more likely gain people’s attention. It also ensures that your banner is not cluttered with too much information.
Here’s how this brand takes the customer to its digital platform with QR codes on billboards.
#15 Product Packaging
72% of American consumers state that a product’s packaging design influences their purchase decisions.
In such a scenario, cluttering your product packaging with too many specifications and product features can take too much away from your aesthetic designs.
By using QR codes, you can free up space for other designs or important information. You can even use them to redirect consumers to product guides or tutorials if you offer a DIY product or appliance.
Here’s how a food company shares a QR code on their product packaging that details various recipes that a customer can make using the particular product.
You can create fun and engaging campaigns by using QR codes. With more and more people adopting smartphones and looking for sustainable marketing initiatives, QR codes will come as a welcome change.
While using these codes, introduce them with a strong CTA. People will only scan them if they know what they will get in return.
If you use direct mailing for your target audience, combine them with QR codes on Postalytics to get more conversions and engagement.