Should You Put A QR Code On Your Postcard?

July 27, 2015

6056053535_5cfd98c876-Optimized Much debate surrounds whether QR codes are powerful marketing tools or a dying concept. Here, we examine the case for and against QR codes to help you determine whether you should put a QR code on your postcard. The case for QR codes QR codes can connect customers to additional content, help customers follow your brand, and lead customers to online stores and apps to make purchases. Many companies have successfully used QR codes to interact with customers. Taco Bell, for example, generated nearly a quarter-million QR code scans via an ESPN ad campaign; and Snapchat’s “Snaptags” are essentially QR codes that make it easy for customers to follow brands on the company’s platform. Some celebrities plan to use Snaptags to connect with fans, and the fact that Snapchat invested more than $50 million in the project suggests that QR codes are evolving, not dying. If major corporations believe in them, why not small businesses?

The case against QR codes

The problem with QR codes is and has always been their implementation. First, customers need special QR code reader apps to use them. Using such apps can be a frustrating experience for some customers – by the time they download and install the app (or find it on their phone) and complete a successful scan, they could have just typed in a simple, short web address. Such a cumbersome process makes QR codes painful to use. If smartphones featured built-in camera QR code readers, this problem would be mostly resolved; however, that’s not the case and some believe that means QR codes aren’t relevant to customers and are on their way out. QR codes have great intent, but poor execution.

Should you put a QR code on your postcard?

We could cite numerous statistics regarding QR code efficacy and audience demographics, but those won’t tell you whether your own postcard QR code could be successful. The only way to know if you should put a QR code on your postcard is to try it. My recommendation is to give QR codes a try. Here’s how:

  • develop a compelling call to action – what benefit will your customers receive by scanning your QR code? If there’s no incentive, they won’t scan
  • use a QR code generator with tracking features, then place in a prominent spot on your postcard along with your compelling call to action
  • track your QR code scans, response, and conversions to see how well your QR code performs

If your QR code yields positive results, then you know putting QR codes on postcards can work for your business. If you do not get many scans, do not give up yet – first, try tweaking your call to action and/or try your QR code on a different postcard to see if other components impacted your results. If your QR code continually fails, you’ll know not to invest your time and money in them. Postcards with QR codes can be powerful marketing tools for connecting with your audience; they’re cost-effective and simple to deploy, so it’s worth testing whether they’ll work for you. Be sure to maximize your ROI with discount postcard printing. photo credit: Join us for the Parks Web 2.0 Workshop (September 2011) via photopin(license)

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.