Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

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					Mobilize Email Marketing
with QR Codes

                      EMAIL MARKETING
                                              Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

Why it’s time to “mobilize” your email marketing
with QR codes.

Consumers today are mobile, multi-tasking, media-savvy and on the move. But is email
marketing keeping up? Let’s explore in this mini-course on the hippest marketing tactic
around − QR codes.

Fact: people are spending more time using mobile devices and connecting with them
to the Internet. eMarketer1 projects US smartphone users will reach 73.3 million
by the end of 2011, representing 31% of the total mobile user population.

That’s a lot of potential customers. Now let’s consider what smartphone users can do:
surf the web, read email, shop, pay bills, text/IM, socialize online, watch movies, TV,
videos, and on and on. They also can take pictures and scan. In fact, mobile scanning
increased 12-fold in the second half of 20102.

So it’s time to take this “movement” seriously − for email marketers to develop a QR
Code mobile strategy that’s cost-effective and easy to implement − without any
specialized skills or resources.



                                           Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

What are QR codes?

                             “A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix
                            barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR
                            barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black
                            modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.
                            The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.”3

Quick Response code technology was invented back in 1994 by Toyota’s daughter
company, Denso-Wave, to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. They offered a much
higher data capacity than the bar- or UPC codes in use at the time, and while a big
improvement over barcodes, use was limited to consumer products. Remember,
smartphones were bleeding-edge back then, and had no scanning or camera
capabilities, so there was no market for mobile QR applications. That was then...

Smartphone Growth is Driving Adoption of QR Codes for Mobile Marketing.


                                       Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

What can QR codes do for my business?

Your business can benefit from QR codes because they enable customers to interact
with your company and brand in real time, anytime. The QR Code experience
is compact, takes place in seconds, and requires little more than a scan or a click
by the target consumer. It’s virtually free to implement, except for a few minutes
of labor required to create and code the data or links. And it’s 100% multichannel –
from hard copy print to mobile, social media, email marketing, and the Internet.

QR Code Marketing Applications: The Basics

QR Code technology is public-domain, which results in 1000s of innovative uses,
especially as cellular, scanning, and networking technologies continue to evolve.
But we’ll start with the basics and work our way to “grand master” email marketing.
The most common uses of QR codes are for storing addresses and URLs in:

      Leaflets, brochures, press releases
      Signage at events, public access, and for sale sites
      Business cards, promotional items
      Invoices, receipts, quotes, order forms
      In-store materials like guest books, pizza boxes, menus, etc.
      Training materials, CD covers, packaging.
      …any print materials on which you would typically promote your website.

                                      Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

And you don’t need a “magic decoder ring” to “unlock” the data. Many smartphones
come with QR readers today. If not (like Apple), you can download one of several
available at the online app store. Here are some of the most popular:

      Kayawa Reader
      Tap Reader
      …and lots more at

So anyone with a camera phone equipped with a QR code reader app can scan to:

      display messages and ads
      get contact information
      connect to a wireless network
      register for a contest or newsletter
      add your signature or donate to a cause
      share a pre-composed text message or email
      open a web page in the phone’s browser
      play a YouTube video
      “like” a fan page on Facebook, share content on Facebook and Twitter
      add an event to your calendar
      … and just about anything else you can think of

                                          Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

QR Code Applications for Email Marketing: Tips and Tactics

Let’s start with this generic example: if you paste a QR code into an email, recipients
can scan it with their smartphone, and they will instantly be able to perform
the actions you intended using the encoded information, e.g. sign up, donate, share,
“like”, etc. Depending on the coding, they would also be able to contact you (or your
source page/site) in real time with their camera phone without having to type numbers
or text messages in those tiny screens.

What’s even more powerful about QR codes is that you can use them in your email
marketing to fuel subscriber sign ups and lead generation 24/7 for free.
It’s like a GPS system for prospects! Now let’s proceed to…

QR for List Building

QR codes are a great way to build your subscriber list from sources other than your
website and email campaigns. The benefit is that customers can respond immediately
and conveniently to your request − without having to type, change screens, scroll,
or try to remember your website or landing page address. That improves your response

        QR codes on printed sign up forms
        If you encode the link to your web form URL, you can put it on any printed
        promotional materials – guest books, leaflets, posters, name tags, giveaways,
        and tradeshow booth signage. Visitors will be able to use their smartphones
        to scan the code with the web form URL and sign up on the spot or when it’s

        Another tradeshow favorite is printing the codes on T-shirts for your team,
        customers and prospects, so they become walking sign-up forms
        (which is about all we’re good for the last few days).

                                                Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

                                 QR sign ups via incoming mail
                                 To make this even more convenient, skip the “typing data
                                 into miniscule web forms on tiny phone displays” part,
                                 and offer QR Code sign up via the incoming mail in your
                                 GetResponse account. What you do is encode an email
                                 message with the address of your campaign and
                                 an appropriate subject. When the user scans the code,
                                 their mobile email client will open in their smartphone and,
                                 once they accept to send the message, they will
                                 automatically be added to your campaign. It combines the
                                 best of the old and new to make it easy for any skill level.

    QR sign ups via incoming mail
    To make this even more convenient, skip the “typing data
    into miniscule web forms on tiny phone displays” part,
    and offer QR Code sign up via the incoming mail in your
    GetResponse account. What you do is encode an email
    message with the address of your campaign and
    an appropriate subject. When the user scans the code,
    their mobile email client will open in their smartphone and, once they accept to
    send the message, they will automatically be added to your campaign. It combines
    the best of the old and new to make it easy for any skill level.

Tip: It’s smart to link the QR code to a specific landing page to make it easier to track all the links

and identify the precise response provided by each mobile device. Furthermore, if you assign a reference

(REF) number to a web form that is promoted by a QR code, you’ll be able to track the number of sign

ups captured. You can then compare it to other ways of directing traffic to web forms

(e.g. PPC campaigns, social media, surveys, etc.) and analyze the conversion rates. 

Capturing this level of QR data also makes it easy for you to send a special welcome
email to anyone who signed up via this web form and create special campaigns targeting
QR code subscribers.

                                      Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

QR for Campaigns

   Follow-up campaigns
   Such a campaign could be a dedicated follow-up/autoresponder series available
   only to those who sign up via a QR code and offering, for example, additional
   educational content. This could constitute part of a multichannel engagement
   strategy, and offer another incentive to new subscribers to become customers.

   Online to offline
   If you run a brick-and-mortar business, you can add the
   QR code to your newsletters and ask the subscribers to
   print them out. The QR code may contain a special promo
   code or coupon which, when scanned in the store, will
   entitle your subscribers to a special “QR” discount. Once
   in the store, customers tend to browse, so QR code
   promotions are a great way to increase foot traffic and
   sales. Consumers can also snap a pic of the QR code
   directly from their mobile screen, store it in their phone,
  then display it to the person at the checkout counter (who will undoubtedly
  be impressed).

  Offline to online
  This could also work in reverse. Similar to the tradeshow example, QR coded
  materials in offline locations, e.g. store windows, checkout counters, can lead
  visitors to dedicated landing pages, which can have one purpose or change every
  day, like menus, sales, etc.

  This is a great way for restaurant owners who want passers-by to be able to see
  their menus or specials – not once, but every day. When a person scans the code,
  they’ll be able to visit the site anytime and check out the daily specials, using the
  same QR code. It sure beats shuffling through grungy menus in the junk drawer!

                                      Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

   SMS and contests
   Encode a phone number with text or an email with subject and content,
   and encourage people to scan and send in to win a prize or receive a discount.

   Non-profit fundraising
   Use QR codes to direct people to a page where they can donate directly to your
   organization or a charity you sponsor. Even when you use it in your email, it’s much
   more appealing than a link and, especially with non-profits, engagement
   is essential! Imagine using it at an event and holding a virtual competition
   for donations

                                     Donate Now!

QR for Information Sharing

   Customer feedback
   Use a QR code printed on a menu, leaflet, restaurant check, receipt − anything
   a customer gets from you – and ask them to rate your products and services.

   Here’s how: Create an online survey and encode the link in your QR code. Then ask
   the users to answer a couple of questions, rating their experience with your brand.
   While they fill in the survey, encourage them to sign up for your newsletter.
   By adding a couple of questions about their preferences or interests, you’ll be able
   to segment subscribers and create a customized newsletter for your QR customers.

                                         Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

    Exclusive informational content
    Link QR codes to exclusive content such as case studies, white papers, or product
    demos to help drive response rates and sales. Increase the value by segmenting
    your subscribers by interest, demographics, and purchasing history, for example:

    Segment a list of “high-value” subscribers who make larger dollar purchases or buy
    more often, and reward them with a “secret” QR code offering an e-book,
    exclusive sale, or 2-for-1 discount on their favorite items.

QR for Sales and Service

A QR code can make it easier for subscribers,
customers and prospects to contact
your company, for a variety of reasons,
some of which may be urgent.

    If you attach a QR code to the footer of
    your newsletter, your recipients will
    be able to add your contact
    information to their phonebook and
    call or visit your website without
    remembering the URL, scrolling
    or inputting numbers

    The same method can be used for sales
    inquiries or customer service, so this
    acts as a mobile lead generation or
    retention tool. Simply encode an email
    addressed directly to your sales department or customer support with an inquiry
    that will allow your company to reply quickly with answers, a proposal, or assistance.
    Again, by reducing the sales cycles by hours, or even days, you’re increasing profits.

                                       Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

How can you make sure your QR code initiatives

Below are a few simple, but essential rules to follow in your QR code strategy:

      Good ad copy is essential. If you’re not a great writer, consider hiring one.

      Know why you want to use the code and where you want to take the user.
      Don’t make them do anything that will be perceived as useless.

      Give something that makes sense on the phone – and that can be delivered

      Tell people what they are going to get and how to use the QR codes to get it
      (and make the steps easy to follow). Preview the technique in a newsletter.

      Be sure the pages you lead people to are mobile-ready – load quickly, scale nicely
      to the screen, and are easy to navigate.

Whatever you do, don’t waste the users’ time. Use this mini-course as your guide, then
experiment, test, and only implement when you’re sure it’s going to work.

                                        Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

QR Codes for Email Marketers: Getting Started.
How to create QR codes for your campaigns.

There are a number of QR code generators available, and if you run your email
marketing with GetResponse, you can now also generate the code right within
your account. You simply type in the required data and the code is generated
automatically. You then save it to your account, so it’s ready to use it in your mobile
marketing and lead gen campaigns.

QR encoding options include:

      Text – type in any text you want to be displayed on the subscriber’s smartphone
      after they’ve scanned the code – the sky’s the limit, but please make is short;

      URL – paste your website address, landing page, sign up form page, Facebook fan
      page, online purchase page, request for estimate, or even a Google maps
      location – whatever generates business;

      Phone number – this will save the user typing the digits into their phone – now
      they’ll just click to scan and press a button to call you. Use for customer service
      numbers, sales contacts or any others they’ll need – they love this;

      SMS – type in a phone number and a predefined text message – the user
      will be able to send it to you with just a click. (If you provide an SMS service –
      just make sure you obtain explicit permission to use the user’s phone number.)

      Email – type in the address, subject and content of the email. One and done.

      Vcard – Type in your details and the user will be able to add you to their
      phonebook instantly. Add it to your email signature to provide recipients
      with contact information for sales reps or support agents.

                                       Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

Tips on QR code creation.

There are virtually no limits to what your QR codes look like, but there are some
factors that impact readability by most scanners and mobile devices – and that’s
a major priority!

To ensure readability:

      Use black-and-white codes. If the contrast is too low, the scanning device won’t
      be able to detect the code. The contrast needs to be at least 55%.

      Leave some empty space around all four edges.

      Don’t encode too many characters or the images will get too complicated
      for some camera phones to handle. Limit to 60 characters or less.

      Always test the code, preferably with a few different applications, phones
      and light conditions. Pretend you’re a customer – how does it work for you?

Try these out, as advised above. Be sure the screen of your phone is wiped clean and
there is enough light, then launch the application and scan the code – then watch for
the action the phone wants you to perform. Now you know how it works and can
experience your QR campaigns as your audience should.

                                               Mobilize Email Marketing with QR Codes

Summary Call to Action
The only thing left to do now is to try one or two applications that you think will deliver
the best results. You know the “secret code” to engaging your target audience better
than anyone. Now you have a “how to” manual to help you become a cutting-edge,
cooler than cool, QR email marketer!

Visit to start mobilizing and energizing your email marketing
campaigns with QR codes.

About GetResponse

GetResponse is an easy-to-use email marketing platform designed to increase email marketing ROI faster
than any other medium for small businesses and Enterprise customers. GetResponse offers an intuitive
newsletter editor (including 300+ newsletter templates), 1000+ free iStockphoto® images, drag-and-drop
sign-up form builder (500+ form templates), email analytics, unlimited follow-up messages, online
surveys, advanced segmentation, social media integration and Five-Star customer service and training.
GetResponse is the first SOHO/SMB email marketing solution to offer email-to-speech capabilities, video
email marketing with 1 GB storage and iPhone ® application. Launched in 1999, GetResponse has grown
to over 200,000 active users from 200 countries, delivering 10 billion permission-based emails per year.

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