Cracking the code: How marketers are using QR codes to connect

4 minute read

Once a mystery to marketers, QR codes have become a go-to tool for businesses and brands looking to make meaningful and unique connections with consumers.

Simple to create, accessible to all, popular across generations – the QR code has re-established itself as a meaningful way to easily link the offline and online worlds.

Now that marketers have cracked the code, it’s time to see how far these checker-boxed tools can take them.

How marketers can benefit from QR codes

QR codes boast an array of benefits that marketers can take advantage of:

1. Create memorable customer experiences using QR codes

QR code versatility cuts across all industries and business strategies – from retail to real estate, purchases to content. Restaurants are serving up QR codes with links to digital menus. Hotel chains use them to make check-in seamless and touchless. Big box stores, grocery stores, even small mom-and-pop shops are embracing QR code-based payments.

You may have noticed savvy brands using the technology with retail packaging and displays, television advertisements and direct mail marketing.

Paris Jewellers used QR codes to bring its annual holiday marketing campaign, Moments, to life. Sprinkled throughout its stunning 32-page gift guide were a series of QR codes linking shoppers to heart-warming videos telling the stories behind recent purchases – tales of marriage proposals, mother-daughter moments and Christmas-morning surprises.

This sparkling example of QR codes’ possibilities not only elevated the customer experience, but boosted sales, as well.

Brands like Paris Jewellers recognize the value of today’s QR code – and so do consumers. The use of QR codes is on the rise and it’s resonating across all age demographics.

Get the Essential Guide to Direct Mail to explore insights and tips on the direct mail process.

Download the guide

2. Unite offline and online audiences with QR codes

QR codes are an innovative way to connect the physical experience to the digital world. Marketers are seeing the value of including a QR code in direct mail marketing campaigns. It forms a seamless bridge between the online and offline worlds in real time. QR codes can bring a physical mail piece to life with a relevant, interactive consumer experience that can increase engagement and drive conversion.

Take Dr. Green, for example. The family-run lawn care business connected its direct mail acquisition campaign with a QR code pointing to an online get-an-estimate tool. That tool became the company’s top online lead generator with more than 2,000 scans leading to 700 sales and $200,000 in revenue.

The company was so happy with the QR code’s ability to turn a physical campaign into digital lead generation, it added the QR codes to the sides and tailgates of the company’s vehicle fleet.

3. Move data at the speed of business

What brand doesn’t want more data? QR Codes are customer data magnets and a useful tool for both marketers and consumers.

Dynamic QR codes offer flexibility that is game changing for businesses and will be liked by consumers. A brand’s message can be updated in real time with no need to reprint the original mail piece – great for a restaurant posting daily specials, an automotive dealer whose offers change monthly or a bank whose interest rates can change overnight.

As privacy concerns increase and third-party identifiers fall from favour, first-party data will become more important. QR codes benefit everyone. Marketers can use them to capture various metrics, including total number of scans, day/time/location of scans, device and operating system used and more. Consumers get instant gratification, up-to-date information from the brand and easy access to special offers.

The opportunities across industries are endless.

BMW used QR codes to put a new spin on vehicle maintenance. Looking to continue its service relationship with owners, the luxury brand constructed an equally luxurious direct mail campaign featuring a QR code that could be used to instantly book the recipient’s next service appointment online.

Need more? Check out these examples of how direct mail QR codes can be used in automotive, real estate and retail:

Examples of how direct mail QR codes can be used in automotive, real estate and retail.

Examples of how direct mail QR codes can be used in automotive: book a test drive, build and price, pre-order new model, current offer, referral rewards, find a dealer, enter a contest. How direct mail QR codes can be used in real estate: book showing, virtual tour, view image gallery, house valuation, listing directions, contact info, realtor homepage. How direct mail QR codes can be used in retail: Drive to store, connect to website, sales and discounts, how-to videos, product instructions, brand content, social media links.

QR codes capitalize on the window of opportunity when people are on the go. Since users interact online from anywhere, at any time, QR codes can be used to bridge the non-digital and digital gap and convert sales at the opportune time from virtually any location.

Move the market forward with QR codes

As audiences continue to evolve in how they want to interact with brands, marketers must continue to meet customer expectations and innovate along with them to be successful. QR codes will be a huge piece of that evolution.

Once almost forgotten, QR codes have risen to the occasion. They provide audiences with a much-desired tool for touchless interactions and provide marketers with a powerful and creative way to engage, acquire, retain and convert audiences.

The code has been cracked! Go see what opportunities QR codes can unlock for you.

Discover more about direct mail

There’s so much more information from Canada Post to explore. Get tips, tricks and discover technology that will make your direct mail more innovative.

Read our blogs