It's one thing to add a QR code to your marketing and promotional materials - it's another thing to get your customers to scan it.

QR codes have become quite popular in the promotional products industry because the companies can put a QR code on anything from a mug, a business card, a hat or tote bag and provide their customers with additional information. QR codes lets a business tell a story, like why you appreciate their business or you can send an interactive holiday greeting. Or you can provide customers with a coupon or ask them to connect with social media. The possibilities are endless.

According to a study done by consumer market research company Lab42 who surveyed 500 people who have responded to QR codes: 

  • 46% of people who scan QR codes do so because they want to receive a discount on a product or service
  • 44% are looking to get more information
  • 43% scanned out of curiosity
  • Only 17% scanned because they were looking to contact someone

Make your QR codes relevant. While you can add a QR code to a window poster that drives users to your website, wouldn't you rather drive them into your store instead? Use that code to advertise an in-store only sale or special discount. If you're using QR codes on products, use them to link to information that's going to provide valuable information about that product or ways to enhance how the customer experiences it. Think of the QR code as an opportunity to help close the sale when you can't always be there to do it in person.

Understand your audience. It's also important that you have a solid understanding of your target audience. First of all, are they a tech-savvy group likely to have a smart phone with a QR code scanner? Do you know what kind of information is going to resonate with them the most? For instance, are they bargain hunters looking for a discount with a savings coupon? Or are they information seekers who like to research a product or service before they buy?

Remember the "what's in it for me?" rule. Whenever you're trying to motivate prospects to act, it's always beneficial to make the effort worth their while. Whether you're offering a discount, a free ebook or mp3 download, an entry into a contest or a practical demonstration of your product, rewarding people for picking up their mobile phones and scanning your code is going to want to make them come back for more later.

What Next?

Read more research from Lab42 on what drives users to scan.

Comscore has some interesting information on who's scanning QR codes and where.

Learn about all the different ways Pitney Bowes can help you communicate better with your customers.

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