Smartphones for Direct Mail Marketing

The Nielsen Company recently predicted smartphones will overtake feature phones next year. Increasingly smartphones are becoming an integral part of the daily lives of consumers. Direct mail marketers are seeing the newest and most intriguing way to integrate mobile with the traditional power of direct mail through Quick Response (QR) codes.

The QR code features personalized URL’s (PURLS) that send users from printed material to the Web  via their phone. QR codes can turn a printed direct mail piece into an interactive mobile “call to action”, allowing static messages to become a quick-scan hyperlink to just about anything online.

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be “read” by a smart phone using the phone’s camera and a QR code reader application (app). It acts as a hyperlink to direct the user to a variety of online opportunities. They work with any mobile device that has a web browser and a camera, more and more consumers have a smart phone on them at all times.

With the explosion of smartphones the QR Codes are, one of the hottest apps in the marketing world today. They are easy to track and provide an immediate response mechanism that catches consumers at the very moment of interest; once consumers are intrigued, QR codes are helping make the new generation of direct mail more powerful than ever.

A recent survey (“Finding the Right Channel Combination: What Drives Channel Choice” ) of young adults from 18 to 34 years old found that they overwhelmingly preferred to learn about marketing offers via postal mail rather than online sources. There is a great opportunity to gain these consumers’ attention and interest by using direct mail.

The Call to Action:

A customer can quickly scan a QR code on a direct mail piece with their smartphone and go immediately to online content without having to type in a web address. The growth in consumer smartphone use lets consumers use their newest technology to do something other devices can’t.

On a direct mail piece, a QR code invites the smartphone user to:

  • Open a web page
  • Sign up for monthly newsletters
  • Dial a number
  • View an embedded video
  • Request a mailed fulfillment package
  • Get product specs
  • Receive coupons
  • Send an email
  • Enter contests
  • “Like” it on their social sharing sites

QR codes in traditional printed direct mail

By offering QR codes in your advertisement you can connect your customer to a specific website or video that elaborates on the advertising, enables social sharing or e-commerce. You can also use QR codes in any of your marketing materials to direct viewers to a how-to video, review site, your blog, Twitter and/or Facebook  account, or a mobile coupon.  If you have a mailing list, add a QR code to direct interested customers to a sign-up form.


Who is using QR codes?

Eleven of the Fortune 50 companies are integrating QR codes into their marketing strategy.

  • QR Code scans increased by 4549% between Q1, 2010 and Q1, 20111
  • QR codes are scanned mostly by women 64% and mostly by people in the 35-44 yrs age bracket
  • Most QR codes are seen on product packaging 56%
  • 87% of users expect to get a coupon or deal when they scan a QR code
  • Most QR codes scans are done via iphones
  • NYC is the leading city in US where QR codes are scanned

Most QR codes are seen on product packaging

Now consumers can instantly gain access to almost all desired information, no need to make a mental note and look it up later. Impulse desires connect the consumer with the product instantly via the QR codes.

Users expect to get a coupon or deal when they scan a QR code

Give the customer an incentive. You can market a discount or promotional coupon on print advertisements. When the coupon is scanned the customer can redeem it in person at your place of business. Customers can also “Share” or “Tweet” the coupon to their Facebook “Friends” and Twitter “Followers”. Before you know it, your coupon has spread like wildfire!

Tracking advantage of QR code.

This online interaction can be tracked, making it easier to measure in terms of campaign ROI. Marketers can analyze which QR codes are being scanned the most to determine what offers are working best. You can also track which geographical area they are being scanned in.


Make it easy:

A QR code as a call-to-action on a direct mail piece may still need brief, easy-to-understand directions on how to use it, or a link to a brief video. Advertisers can give instructions as to how the QR code can be used.  This represents a best practice until the use of these codes become more prevalent among businesses and consumers.

Contact us for all your Direct Mail needs.  866.816.2378 (tollfree)

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