Starting From Square One
The endless possibilities presented by the 2020 re-emergence of the QR code.
Scrunchies, biker shorts, and QR codes. All things we never thought would see a resurgence, yet here they are! Rewind back a few years and QR codes had a less-than-stellar reception. The average cellphone camera was not equipped to capture them easily, scan rates were generally low, and use cases were either too niche for the average user or resulted in dead links.
Then 2020 happened. We were worried about every cough, dousing our groceries with Lysol, and refusing to touch public surfaces. QR codes became an excellent way for patrons to get information quickly. Consumers became increasingly comfortable with the new drill, and phone cameras more compatible. Now, everyone including your tech-challenged 2nd cousin knows how to scan a QR code.
Besides being an easy way for consumers to get rapid and relevant reports (hence their lesser-known full name, “Quick Response Codes”) QR codes have become an unexpectedly-brilliant tool for marketers who tap their newfangled power in 2022 for a number of reasons. QR codes…
- Create a bridge between the digital and physical world
- Are an excellent way to track and boost the success of direct mail
- Require less work for the user (no URL-typing required)
- Assist remarkably in lead generation
- Are endlessly versatile
And Oh, The Possibilities.
QR codes are often used in stores, trade shows, and mailers to connect consumers to destinations like landing pages, donation portals, event invites, questionnaires, and the all-time favorite – free stuff. They can benefit businesses by collecting data from the curious customers who scan them. Each scan reveals who is interacting with your brand, and provides promising new leads for your contact list.
But the uses for our four-sided friends don’t have to be so, well, square. Number five on our list above got us thinking about the creative ways businesses could use QR codes, and as usual, we took that ball and ran with it right up to the edge of weird.
So while you start pondering the possibilities for your company’s uses for QR codes, enjoy the finalists on our short list of creative (yet highly-unlikely) QR combos:
The “I Want to Believe” QR Code
In theory, QR codes can be applied to any flat surface. And we do mean any. In this case… A corn field. While perhaps more of a crop square than a circle, a larger-than-life QR code stamped into your field could drive crop loads of curious customers to the website of say, an ag. equipment company, eager to showcase their new line of products. While only scannable from the sky, a QR code of this magnitude would likely harvest enough publicity to drive traffic to your website with or without a plane. While you’re at it, why not go for the Guinness World Record for largest QR Code?
The Teleportation QR Code
A serene alpine lake in Italy? A bustling market in Morocco? What better way to urge cabin fever victims to book that flight they’ve been dreaming of than to transport them to a live feed of their dream destination? This QR code could come in handy for travel agencies or credit card companies. A live feed could also drive appeals campaigns for say, a wildlife conservancy, sending donors to a trail cam of an eagle nest or a big cat monitoring project. If you’re feeling a bit pent-up lately, consider testing out one site’s viral virtual feed encouraging the masses to Let it Out.
The Wearable QR Code
Slapping your company logo on branded swag is already highly effective and pocket-friendly. Why not take that notion a step further and make that wearable marketing interactive? Put a QR code on your company polo to drive fellow golfers to your website in between swings. Or, skip the itchy tags in your clothing designs and create a square that links to iconic, Gen-Z-approved digital washing instructions. Laundry day has never felt so future.
The Permanent QR Code
Conspiracy theorists have been rumbling about the government making on-body human tracking a requirement for years. While we prefer to ignore these darker notions, it is actually possible to get a functional QR code permanently scribed on one’s sacred vessel. Just imagine if someone asked you for a business card, and you had them scan your wrist tattoo with a smartphone to access your personal website? Your business would likely not be forgotten.
The Portfolio QR Code
The last one on our list isn’t that weird, but it is a cool way to promote your skills and showcase your work that you may not have considered before. Ideal for college applicants or professionals applying for jobs, attaching your own custom QR code to the top of your resume could be what you need to set yourself apart from the competition. If you’d like to create a little more mystery, consider a business card with nothing on it but a QR code. Imagine how many more scans you’d get from curious recipients!
QR codes are an affordable way to boost trackability and lead generation for direct mail campaigns. While we wouldn’t ultimately suggest getting a QR code tatted across your forehead, we do hope this list inspires some creative ideas of your own. If you’re still feeling a bit lost in the fog, that’s where we come in. Our team of experts can ensure your next campaign (direct mail or otherwise) strikes the perfect balance of messaging and design, performance and trackability. Drop us a line or head to our direct mail services page to explore on your own.