How QR codes can drive App downloads
A few years ago, we were highlighting the use of the internet for the promotion of businesses and telling you how great it was to have your business on the web for all the world to see.
Now that focus has shifted to the mobile world. Due to the increase of mobile smartphones and tablets, coupled with the increased popularity of mobile apps, businesses throughout the world have taken to converting their online presences to mobile applications.
Creating an app for your business is not as difficult as you may think, there are companies that will allow you to convert your online websites into an app for free. However, making the app is the easy part, marketing your app in the ever growing app market is where the work starts. QR codes are the marketing secret behind a successful app.
What Is A QR Code?
QR codes, (Quick Response codes) are the key to making your app downloadable from almost any source. A QR code looks similar to a bar code. In fact, it is a form of bar code that can be scanned from a QR reader installed on your mobile phone.
Most smartphones and tablets come with a QR reader already installed, however if you don’t have one installed you can install them for free. I use one called QR barcode scanner.
Create A QR Code
Some app-making companies will automatically provide you with a QR bar code that has your app details already set up.If you haven’t been supplied with one, don’t fret, creating a QR code is easy. There are many websites like Qrstuff or Barcode Connections that can create a code for you for free. Barcode Connections, also offers QR code tracking services, and you can track the number of times your QR code is scanned. This is useful you can create a free account.
Once you have saved the downloaded QR code to your computer, you can use it on any of your promotional materials.
Where Should You Place The QR Code?
QR codes can be placed upon any item that you can think of — on a poster, a website, a business card, back of a bus, carrier bag, keyring, newspaper, banner ad, t-shirt, invoices. The list is endless. What is important to consider is whether your audience will have access to these codes and whether they have the means with them to be able to scan them.
Placing QR codes on the back of a bus is something we often see, but is this particularly sensible? What is the likelihood that someone behind the bus will have their mobile phone ready to scan a code? If they are driving, especially behind a bus, scanning a barcode is not acceptable.
Another example of bad use of QR codes is putting a code on your mobile website. If the user is already using their mobile phone they can’t scan the code. Putting the code here is worthless. Also make sure there’s internet access available in the place where your QR code is displayed. There’s nothing more frustrating than scanning a QR code but being stymied by non-existent or spotty connectivity.
But how can you measure if your QR code marketing was effective?
You can look at the increase in App store downloads, or track the number of times your QR code was scanned. This service is available from Barcode Connections for $9, and you can close your account without penalty at any time, something other services don’t offer.
Overall, think logically when creating your QR code marketing campaign. If you are running a conference, you can add the code to the promotional materials, such as the daily schedule or name tags.
A fast food company should add the code to their menus, on the door to their business, even on the food box. The moment people are engrossed in your service or product is the time to encourage them to commit by installing your app.
A mobile app is your stamp. Once it is downloaded, its easily accessible; it is there when they are considering a product or service that is similar to yours and therefore it is more likely to generate repeat business. A good business is one that people come back to and building repeat business will build your reputation. People that return to a business more than once recommend that business and in turn your audience will grow.
5 Creative QR Code Ideas
If you are skeptical about QR code marketing campaigns and what they can do for your company, then take a look at some of the most successful and creative QR code ideas of 2012.
QR Code Landing Pages - Kraft
Kraft recently got in on the QR code trend with a campaign designed to promote their range of cheeses. They placed QR codes on five different cheese products, and when consumers scanned these codes, they were taken to a mobile landing page that displayed a recipe using that particular product – allowing consumers to interact with the company in a really useful way.
QR Code Contest – KFC
KFC’s recent campaign was two-fold – it promoted their new Classic Pot Pie product and gave consumers a chance to win hundreds of prizes every hour. QR codes were displayed on their soft drink cups, and prizes included a trip to Las Vegas, Dr Pepper for a year, KFC chicken for a year and a year’s subscription to a radio station. Consumers could also share the sweepstakes with their friends on Facebook or Twitter, which would generate another code for them to enter into the sweepstakes.
QR Codes on Menus – Chili’s Grill & Bar
Chili’s Grill & Bar is no stranger to mobile marketing – they’ve been displaying QR codes in their restaurants for some time, but recently, they experimented with a new QR code idea; Chili’s placed QR codes on their menus to promote new menu items and products. They’ve recently launched a healthier living campaign, and their new QR codes linked to seven new healthy menu items as well as nutritional information and more information about the menu items.
QR Codes and Social Media – Duane Reade
Duane Reade also wanted to improve their social media status – they displayed large QR codes on their store windows with the aim of driving up social media impressions and foot traffic. A scan of the code enabled consumers to connect with Duane Reade via their chosen social network, and with the words “Scan – Connect – Save” displayed prominently beneath the code, users were encouraged to scan the code to get exclusive discounts and special offers.
QR Code Email Newsletters, QR Code Coupons – Johnny Rockets
Johnny Rockets went in a bit of a different direction with their QR code ideas, and created a campaign to build an email database – users were encouraged to scan the code to join their Rocket e-club to receive local updates and deals. Codes were displayed around the restaurant and on tables, so that when consumers were waiting for their meals, they could scan the code and find out more about how to sign up for deals.
The major companies above are getting in on the QR code trend and using creative QR code ideas in their marketing campaigns– so why not join them? Sign up for your Free trial and complimentary 1 hour consultation today.
Volunteers in Northern Wales are placing QR codes at historic sites across the country in order to educate and engage tourists and visitors. When a visitor scans a QR code with their smartphone, they are able to access detailed information about the historical site on their mobile device. This information might include pictures, videos, text or even historical documents.
These so-called QR code tours have become popular in recent months and are expected to become even more common at museums, zoos, and parks in the coming months and years. In addition, the ability to track the content visitors access by tracking the number of QR code scans at each exhibit or location, can show which exhibits or locations are most popular. This data can be used by museums and tour guides to better understand the interests of visitors and tailor future programming or exhibits to such interests.
QR code tours not only provide more information, but also keep the information up to date.
The volunteers involved in this project, specifically Eugene Stevenson and Rhodri Clark, have realized that there is a great deal of history connected to these historical sites, and a simple plaque may not provide enough information for an especially curious tourist. According to Stevenson, ensuring visitors have access to all the details of a given historical site will lead to a greater appreciation of the historical event or location.
Smartphone and tablet users can simply scan the barcode in order to be automatically redirected to a webpage that provides detailed information about the specific site or exhibit.
The history project has taken a broad view of the topic, which means that it provides QR code tours that cover everything from recent events to geologic features. At the time this article was written, the two volunteers had already achieved 11,500 QR code scans that lead to the HistoryPoints website, which was launched nine months ago.
As QR Codes have gained more acceptance in America, marketing firms that track QR code scans have found interesting trends. For one, consumers scan a majority of QR codes – 60% – in their home. In addition, QR code usage continues to increase, and the total number of scans has doubled from the second quarter in 2011 to the second quarter in 2012.
Jonathan Rick, CEO of The Jonathan Rick Group, says it’s a combination of convenience and trendiness that is driving the numbers up.
“For one, scanning a barcode is easier than typing a URL on tiny keys,” he says. “For another, QR codes benefit from ‘shiny new object’ syndrome. They’re the cool thing to do.”
Lessons for communicators: Be creative and track QR code scans
Rick says QR codes still have a long way to go before becoming totally mainstream—the key question is, “Will my mother use this?” he says—but they should certainly be an option for communicators and marketers. This is especially true if marketers are developing contests or loyalty programs and want to track who, when, where, and how often each QR code is scanned.
September 24th, 2012
A new comScore report has shown that the number of smartphone users in Europe who have scanned QR codes has increased by 96 percent over the same three month period (ending July 2012) in 2011. What’s more, marketers and retailers are benefiting from QR code tracking, also known as QR code analytics, to test marketing strategies and better target specific consumer groups.
QR codes have taken off among European smartphone owners; Marketers benefit from QR code tracking.
The study included the usage of QR codes in the five largest markets in Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy). What it discovered was that three out of every four scans of these mobile barcodes resulted in the receipt of product information by consumers, making it the most popular form of result across the entire continent. In addition, marketers in Germany were more likely to utilize QR code tracking and QR code scan data to gain insight into their marketing campaigns.
According to a recent study, nearly all marketers are aware of QR Codes and 50% are already using them in some fashion. Despite many consumers not knowing what to do when coming across a QR Code a whopping 86% of marketers said they plan to use QR Codes and QR code tracking services sometime in the future.
August 20th, 2012
A bookstore targeting college students has embraced the use of QR codes to take the hassle out of textbook shopping and shorten the in-store check out line. The Co-op Bookshop has improved on a trial, conducted earlier this year, using QR codes in a store window to sell university textbooks, and it’s now rolling out a revamped process to ten stores.
The Co-op Bookshop had painted a wall of QR codes onto a window in the company’s Macquarie University store. When students scanned the QR code adjacent to the picture of a textbook, they would be directed to a page on the Co-op website where they could then buy the book.
However, the company found that the process was too convoluted on mobile devices, chief marketing manager Greg Smith said, so decided it could be made simpler, with fewer steps to purchase.
QR Codes Open Mobile Optimized Webpages
The bookstore partnered with a company to create a mobile site, so when a student scans the QR code he or she can pay via PayPal or a credit card, a faster process to get the book sent to their door. Such mobile optimized websites are crucial to successful QR code marketing campaigns says Barcode Connections LLC Vice President & Head of Customer Service Ted Clements.
“It is great to have a QR code that leads to a check-out website or purchasing page, but if the website loads slowly, or is not optimized for all the major smartphones, you will frustrate potential customers and they will not complete the purchase. The process needs to be as simple as possible.” Clements said.
August 11, 2012
QR codes, and QR code tracking can potentially be very useful tools in charitable marketing and fundraising plans.
QR code tracking and QR codes can help charities engage and retain donors. What is a QR code? A QR code is simply text that has been encoded in a 2D barcode format, and can be scanned with a smartphone. As with any new (so to speak) technology there is always going to be a certain amount of experimenting. One criticism of QR codes is that when scanned the outcome is a bit of an anti-climax. As such, only use a QR code when and where there is a purpose or a problem is being solved.
Last year the Salvation Army used QR codes during the festive season to enable people that didn’t have cash on them to donate via an optimized page. The QR code nicely eradicated the old chestnut “I don’t have any change”.
A UK homeless charity based in Yorkshire called Simon on The Street used QR codes for a campaign last Christmas to raise awareness and money. In various locations they set up what looked like a sleeping area with a piece of cardboard displaying a QR code that linked to a donation page.
July 28th, 2012
If you have been to your local Donatos Pizza lately you have probably noticed the tabletop stands with the QR codes on them. Donatos has embraced QR codes on their pizza delivery boxes and now they are expanding their use of QR codes to the dine in area.
I recently visited a Donatos Pizza in Columbus, Ohio to place a carryout order. My attention was instantly drawn to the large QR code placed near the register. Alhought I didn’t scan it, I thought the placement of the QR code at that location was a great idea, especially knowing that I could get a coupon if I scanned it with my smartphone.
Eventually, I scanned the QR code and I was impressed with how well Donatos implemented their use of the QR code technology. They did all the right things:
- Placed the QR code in a prominent location,
- Provided and incentive to scan the QR code, and
- The QR code directed the user to a mobile friendly web page.
Way to go Donatos!
If you have your smartphone handy, get it and scan the awesomely done QR code from Donatos Pizza, make sure you grab the coupon and order a pizza too!
June 18th, 2012
The world could definitely get help from all quarters as part of the global recycling effort, ensuring that there will be a planet for our children to inherit once we end up as worm food. Hence, it is nice to know that Westminster and Camden councils in London are rolling out the Bin, Scan, Win! project that will enable residents to enter a prize draw through the simple act of scanning QR Codes that are strategically located on the sides of recycling bins using their smartphones or tablets. When you scan the QR code, it opens a website, where some personal information like your email address needs to be entered.