5 Hassle-free QR Code Calls To Action

There's nothing worse than developing a marketing campaign with a call to action that leads you nowhere. If you're slapping QR Codes on your ads, collateral or direct mail with no clear next step, your results will be disappointing. Even worse, have you seen the QR Code that is placed as artwork with nothing but white space -- looks great, but how do you expect someone to take action?

You want your target audience to take a clear next step. This could be something as simple as registering for an event, calling for more info, buying a product or entering a promotion. By determining a marketing strategy prior to unleashing a QR Code campaign, many of your headaches will be eliminated.

Don't forget about creating a compelling offer -- this is much is easier for some brands to craft than others. Think free shipping, free rate quotes or premiums. The value and expression of your offer will ultimately drive your ROI -- QR Codes are your delivery mechanism.

Here are 5 hassle-free ways to integrate a QR Code without developing a mobile Web site while creating a clear call to action.



1. Scan to Call. QR Codes are easily enabled to directly call an appropriated telephone. This option is very effective and measurable when integrated with direct mail. A great example is a recent State Farm mail package where a QR Code was placed on the back of the letter -- the call to action was simply "Scan to Get A Rate Quote” -- you were then directly connected to a live call agent.

2. Scan to Like. Social media and mobile go hand in hand. By leveraging Facebook's mobile presence you can effortlessly gain new Likes. This tactic will also work with Twitter. I've seen Sprint place QR Codes within their mini retail stores at malls -- which has great potential, given their visibility.

3. Scan to Video. If you have great video content, chances are its already on YouTube. Simply point your QR Code to a YouTube video, and it will open and start playing with no problem.  The transition to video from a QR Code is very powerful and engaging. 

4. Scan to Email. The functionality of clicking on a QR Code and starting an email mirrors that of an HTML Web page. A QR Code stores up to 4,296 characters, so there is plenty of room to get it just right. Here are some tips on how to create this call to action.

5. Scan to Text. Texting and mobile are a natural fit. A QR Code is a great conduit to building trust and gaining access to a prospect or customers texting window. Eliminating any step, such as "TEXT 55555" to sign up for updates, is a major benefit.

To fully take advantage of a QR Code the user experience must be taken into consideration. QR Codes that direct you to a company's desktop Web site are a laborious xperience for the end user -- if there's Flash code or video it just won't work on an IPhone, which is half the mobile market. Developing something as simple as a 3-page mobile micro site to accomplish your goals might be worth the effort. It's all about meshing your marketing goals with the target audience’s user experience.

Developing a solid call to action with QR Codes requires knowledge of your target audience. The technical aspect does exist, but clearly defining user preference and comfort level are paramount for success. Trying a few different call to actions will give you the best shot to learn and maximize your ROI.

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