Why the Use of QR Codes in Direct Mail Is on the Rise

When QR codes first started to become popular about 10 years ago, the user experience was lacking. People had to download an app just to scan a QR code. The actual scanning process took a long time due to slow internet speeds, and when people finally made it to the advertiser’s website, there was a good chance the site wasn’t optimized for mobile.

QR stands for “quick response” but, from the user’s perspective, it was anything but.

Today, the game has changed. Technology has improved and use cases have expanded, from payment processing and customer service to COVID contact tracing and contactless visitor entry. As a result, people are much more open to using QR codes.

In the world of direct mail marketing, QR codes create a seamless connection between physical mail and an interactive digital experience, providing instant access to online and app-based content. Let’s discuss enhancements to the QR code user experience and what increased usage and innovation mean for direct mail marketing.

Technology Catches Up to the QR Code Promise

In 2017, Apple’s iOS 11 update made it possible to scan QR codes directly through the iPhone camera app. Google eventually followed suit, offering the same built-in feature with Android 9 and 10 smartphones. This cleared a major hurdle for customers who didn’t want to download or open a special app just to use a QR code, much less type in a URL or cut out a coupon.

Also, let’s not overlook the look. No longer limited to generic, black-and-white squares, today’s QR codes can incorporate color, images, and shapes to grab the user’s attention. Marketers can use creative design to upgrade the look of what used to resemble a jumbled barcode.

These advancements contributed to 28 percent growth in QR code reach and 26 percent growth in QR code interactions from 2018 to 2019, according to research from Blue Bite.

With the vast majority of American adults owning a smartphone and having access to high-speed bandwidth, QR codes are quickly becoming a standard expectation for people who demand easy, on-demand access to everything.

QR Code Opportunities with Direct Mail

QR codes blur the lines between physical direct mail and a digital experience. Your audience can scan a QR code to be instantly connected to online or app-based content, which can be personalized for the recipient just like physical mailings produced with variable data printing.

Because of the seamless connection between physical and digital, direct mail marketers and brands have come up with new ways to leverage the newfound popularity of QR codes and support omni-channel campaigns. While QR codes have traditionally been used to connect users with product information and special offers, you can also redirect users to a custom landing page, social media, video, a gaming or augmented reality (AR) experience, or any other digital platform.

Throughout the customer journey, QR codes help you track engagement, collect user data, test different creative approaches, and measure conversion rates so you can analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns.

An enhanced user experience, increased awareness and usage, more personalization, more innovation, and precise campaign measurement translate to higher response rates and ROI.

Want to discuss how you can take advantage of QR codes to produce better results from your direct mail marketing campaigns? Contact us to schedule a consultation and unleash the power of Digital Dog Direct.