There’s no doubt, if used properly, QR codes can improve your marketing efforts, and the goal of QR codes is to give viewers a “quick response” option that isn’t normally available. But oftentimes businesses use these handy images in ways that aren’t quick but that can also be downright frustrating to users resulting in many people simply giving up on them.
To help ensure you are getting the most from your efforts, let’s look at some mistakes you’ll want to avoid when using QR codes.
Making Your QR Codes Too Small
When deciding where to print your QR codes, you may be tempted to place a small code in the corner of your material thinking it will be out of the way and unobtrusive. However, when the code is too small, scanners often have problems scanning it, making it very frustrating for your audience. If there isn’t enough room to offer a decent sized image to scan, you’d are better off not including one.
Placing Ads in Underground or Restricted Access Areas
Placing your QR code advertisement in an underground locations such as an underground train station or subways where thousands of people can view it may seem on the surface like a great idea. However, smartphones get little to no signal underground so viewers won’t get to see anything and will be off and will forget all about you. The same holds QR codes in areas where cell phones are not allowed to be use, certain parts of airports or an aeroplane for instance… and the rear of vehicles as other drivers are prohibited from using their smartphone to scan. It doesn’t matter how many people can see the advertisement, if they can’t scan it and get a response, then it is a waste of your money and their time.
Placing Advertisements in Awkward Locations
Awkward ad placement is a sure-fire way to lose interested viewers. If your ad is placed in an area where the viewer has to engage in a game of Twister to try and scan your ad, they aren’t going to do it. In addition placing ads on the side of a building, a moving truck, a road sign, corridor or busy thoroughfare where people cannot stop and scan is just bad business.
When planning your ad placement, always keep in mind that your QR code needs to be located where it can easily be seen and scanned.
Sending People to Your Websites Homepage
While sending people to your website’s home page is ok, it doesn’t really do much for your viewers. To effectively use QR codes to market your business, you should be sending viewers to more targeted pages where you can engage them as well sell them on your products and services. In fact given that you know they will be accessing this page using a smartphone you should ensure the content works exceptionally well for these devices and that calls to your office can be made instantly by pushing a button on this page.
This holds true no matter where you place your QR codes. Always make sure you are driving your viewers to locations that will entice viewers to take action. Send them to a video, a contact page, a source of more information.
Wasting Your Audience’s Time
Sending viewers to a website or page that is not mobile friendly is as much of a time waster as sending them to a page that has irrelevant information. You also don’t want to send them to a place where they are required to fill out long forms, because the simple answer is they won’t. You’re asking your audience to stop what they’re doing, scan your code and visit your site. For this you need to give them quality, relevant information on a page that is mobile friendly. You might want to include a coupon code, special offer or something not offered elsewhere to thank them for their time.
Forgetting the How & Why
“Build it and they will come,” unless you’re Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams, that’s just not going to happen! If you place your QR codes in various locations and assume people will scan them out of curiosity, you are wrong. As with any advertisement, you need to tell people what to do and why they should do it, remember it’s all about them so tell them what in it for them.
First off, many people may see a QR code but have no idea what it is or how to use it so you need to educate people. In addition, they will need a compelling reason to scan it, you will have to pique their interest to get them to scan.
The key to successful mobile advertising is making it easy and valuable to your audience. These days, everyone is busy and every business has a slew of competitors who are just waiting to snag your customers. These are just two reasons why it’s important to reward your audience with high quality information on mobile friendly pages and perhaps even a special offer for taking the time to scan your QR code and view your information.