QR codes have rapidly become one of the favorite items in the bag of tricks of mobile app developers everywhere. But are they really “all that” or are they merely a passing fad? And what about their effectiveness? Do QR codes really drive traffic to websites? Here are some answers to those questions – as well as a few tips on how to maximize the use of a QR code in your mobile applications marketing campaign.
Are QR Codes a Passing Fad?
The answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. Everything eventually goes out of fashion or is replaced by a more effective or efficient technology. That’s just the way it goes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use QR codes while they’re hot to drive traffic to a desired online destination. As long as a company isn’t banking their entire success on the ability of a QR code to generate business, all is well. Mobile marketing campaigns should take a broad approach – therefore ensuring that if QR codes do fall out of fashion, there are still other methods in place of reaching an audience.
How Effective Are QR Codes?
You can find people who tout QR codes as the most effective way to drive sales, and you can find others who will claim they don’t offer any real value. You probably won’t have any shortage of people who’ll say they’re completely ineffective and too gimmicky. Debates aside, there is one thing that’s for certain. QR codes generate curiosity. While this may be a result of their relative newness, it’s certainly no reason not to implement them in your marketing campaign. Once someone becomes curious enough about a QR code to scan it with their smart phone, that’s at very least a guaranteed website visit. Design yourself a compelling landing page and you just might convert that curiosity into a sale.
QR Codes Best Practices
Whether you’re a freelance app developer or a company looking for someone to help you maximize your mobile marketing efforts, you can gain a lot of insight into how best to develop and use QR codes. Here are some best practices.
- Don’t put all your eggs into the QR code basket. As we stated before, QR codes are best when used with a more broad mobile marketing campaign. As a best practice, don’t simply assume that everyone is going to know how to scan a QR code. Remember, smart phones don’t come with QR code readers installed. For those who haven’t caught up with this yet, the inclusion of a simple URL in your marketing can act as a viable alternative that won’t leave anyone out.
- Make your destination site mobile-friendly. This is one of the catastrophic boo-boos that a lot of companies make in their enthusiasm to get on board with the QR code bandwagon. The vast majority of QR codes will be accessed from smart phones, therefore if you don’t go to the effort of optimizing your website for the mobile experience, you’re missing the boat altogether.
- Understand QR codes. Another mistake that’s commonly made among companies is to just implement a QR code for the sake of doing so. But without first gaining an understanding of how QR codes work (and how they don’t work) as well as where and when to use them, a company runs the risk of looking out of touch. It’s better to not offer a QR code at all than to do so without a working knowledge of how it can help you and what it can offer to your consumer base.
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Vince F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.