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A Guide to Using QR Codes for Marketing Campaigns

A Guide to Using QR Codes for Marketing Campaigns

Home Blog Digital Marketing A Guide to Using QR Codes for Marketing Campaigns

Quick Response (QR) codes have emerged as a powerful tool for marketing campaigns. These two-dimensional barcodes work as a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. QR codes are accessible to anyone with a smartphone, making them an inclusive choice for businesses of all sizes.

An example of a QR code


Besides, with QR codes, you don’t just get to engage your audience. You can also track the success of your marketing initiatives.

From engaging customers with interactive content to streamlining data collection and analysis, QR codes have evolved into an essential asset for any modern marketing toolkit.

Keep reading to learn more about how to use QR codes for marketing campaigns.

Table of contents :

What are the advantages of QR codes in marketing

When you use QR codes for marketing campaigns, you ensure a reliable monitoring of consumer interactions. The result is that business owners can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, campaign performance, and more.

With this approach, they can refine strategies based on their findings and maximize return on investment.

Let’s investigate some of the specific advantages QR codes bring to the modern marketing table:

1. Cost-effective

QR codes are cost-effective. QR code creation and implementation are affordable compared to traditional advertising methods. They eliminate the need for printed materials, and help business owners cut down on printing and distribution costs. This enables businesses, especially the small and medium-sized ones, to allocate their resources efficiently.

Consider a local coffee shop that wants to promote a new seasonal drink. Instead of spending thousands on a billboard or print ads, the shop can generate a QR code linking to a promotional video or coupon and display it right on the counter or in the window.

Someone scanning a QR code with his phone


Customers can easily scan the code with their smartphones, instantly engaging with the brand through the promotion.

With the coffee shop’s saved money following implementation of this strategy, it can allocate its remaining resources to other aspects of running the business, like product development.

2. Enhances user experience

QR codes offer an easy and convenient way for consumers to access information or promotions with their smartphones. This smooth interaction leads to an increase in engagement, satisfaction, and brand loyalty, ultimately ensuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts and the building of lasting customer relationships.

Imagine a potential customer in a tech expo coming across a booth showcasing groundbreaking new software. Instead of them having to jot down a website or search for the product later, they can simply scan a QR code displayed at the booth.

Steps to use a QR code


This scan could lead them to an interactive demo, a special discount offer, or even a live chat with a customer service representative.

The entire process is not only convenient, but also engaging, making them more likely to remember it and interact with the brand again in the future.

3. Easy access to multiple data

We’ve already seen that easy access to information is a key benefit of QR codes in marketing. But that’s not all.

When you use QR codes for marketing campaigns, you can also provide your potential customers with more than just one piece of information. Instead of printing many pamphlets to accommodate everything you have to say – and spending a lot in the process – you can have everything in the QR code.

Picture a customer walking through a bookstore and spotting three crime novels that pique their interest. Instead of flipping through the multiple pages of the three books to determine what each book is about, they could scan a QR code on a shelf. This scan could instantly take them to a webpage featuring the different synopses of the three books.

Digital marketing campaign

4. Trackable and measurable

QR codes are vital in marketing, as they also provide a straightforward method for evaluating campaign effectiveness. These codes enable businesses to monitor metrics like scan rates, user location, and demographics, offering precise insights into customer engagement.

Based on this data, businesses can make adjustments, like optimizing content and targeting, for better results.

Additionally, QR codes ensure accurate ROI measurement, helping companies allocate resources efficiently as they focus on the most effective channels and campaigns.

Let’s say you run a global campaign where you place QR codes on public transit ads for a new fitness app. Through Google Analytics, you can track not just how many people scanned the QR code, but also what they did after the scan.

Did they download the app? Did they watch the promotional video? If they didn’t do any of those, you can adjust. Maybe you need to make the app more engaging? Maybe you need to shorten your promotional video?

You can even see where most of the scans are coming from.

Track QR codes with Google Analytics


Assume you learn that your QR codes are being scanned more frequently in Germany than in the US. You can then adapt your website, promotional materials, and even the products you offer to better suit the preferences and cultural nuances of these markets. With the proper marketing translation, you can connect deeper with your audience and expect better results.

Examples of QR codes in marketing

Now that we know the benefits of QR codes in marketing, let’s take a look at some ways you can use them for increased customer engagement and streamlined user experiences.

1. Digital business cards with QR code

You can use the digital business cards with QR codes to streamline contact information exchange as part of your networking efforts. By scanning the QR code with a smartphone, potential customers can swiftly access these details.

This eliminates the need for you to create physical cards and the need for your recipients to resort to manual data entry.

In the end, the e-cards don’t just improve the recipient’s experience but also facilitate follow-ups on your part, making them valuable tools for lead generation in marketing efforts.

Besides, with this one-of-a-kind way of exchanging information, you can stand out in a bustling event where there are dozens or even hundreds of potential clients and collaborators. Imagine potential customers instantly receiving your contact and LinkedIn profile details, and perhaps even your portfolio link, in an organized way on their phones.

Digital business cards with QR code


They’d be delighted, making it more likely for these new contacts to remember you and engage with you in future interactions.

2. QR code menus for restaurants

QR codes became more popular among restaurants amid the pandemic because they offer a seamless and contactless way for customers to access menus. In fact, in 2021, QR code downloads for menus saw a whopping 750% increase.

With QR codes, customers don’t need to touch menus to browse through a restaurant’s offerings. All they need to do is scan the code with their smartphone. Additionally, this technology allows for easy updating and customization of menu offerings.

For a restaurant owner who has just introduced a new seasonal menu, this can prove very beneficial. They wouldn’t have to print entirely new menus, which is costly and time-consuming. With a QR code, they can just update their menu offerings in real-time.

After scanning the code, customers can even visualize the new dishes and drinks with the high-resolution images included in the newly-customized menu.

But that’s not all. With QR code menus, restaurants can also make specific adjustments to their menu format based on real-time feedback.

So, if a customer comments about the menu not displaying the ingredients per dish, for instance, you can easily make these specific changes. You can even make your menu font darker or bigger, depending on what your customer tells you.

Menu of a restaurant with a QR code


Because of their many benefits, QR codes have become an integral part of every restaurant marketing plan. From well-known global brands like McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks to small to medium-sized restaurants and cozy neighborhood eateries, customers can find QR code menus everywhere.

Using Google Analytics to track QR code data

We mentioned how you should use Google Analytics to track your QR code marketing campaigns. When you know how your customer behaves while scanning the code and after, you can make the necessary adjustments to different aspects of your marketing campaigns.

To be able to use Google Analytics for your QR code campaigns, you’ll need to ensure your QR code software integrates with the platform in the first place. For many of these software solutions that do allow the integration, setting up Google Analytics is pretty straightforward:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics Dashboard.
  2. Create a new property using the URL of your QR code marketing campaign.
  3. Copy the tracking ID to your QR code software account.

You should see the relevant QR code metrics on your Google Analytics dashboard after following these steps.

But what are those relevant QR code metrics you need to track? Apart from website visits, page views, and bounce rates, Google Analytics allows you to gauge the effectiveness and reach of your QR code marketing campaigns with the following:

1. Total QR code scans

Total QR code scans refer to how many times the QR code has been scanned. This number, then, gives businesses a direct measure of audience engagement.

If the QR code scans are low based on the criteria you should have set prior to running your QR code marketing campaign, that means you need to make adjustments to different aspects of your campaign.

Maybe the QR code locations are off? Or maybe your QR code copy isn’t that effective? You might want to ask your audience these questions directly, so you can pinpoint the reasons for the low QR code scans and adjust.

Alternatively, if the QR code scans are high, then it means you should just keep up the good work!

2. QR code scans by location

This metric monitored when using QR codes for marketing campaigns reveals where the scans are happening. As a result, businesses can pinpoint the places with high engagement rates and focus their marketing efforts there.

Assume this scenario: based on your Google Analytics data, many of your scans take place in a supermarket. You get the lowest number of scans with your bus stop QR codes.

In this situation, you’ll want to remove your QR codes in bus stops and transfer them to other supermarkets instead.

By prioritizing location-specific data, businesses can optimize their marketing efforts to reach their target audience more effectively and allocate resources efficiently for maximum impact.

3. QR code scans by device

It’s important to keep an eye on QR code scans by device to ensure an understanding of the audience’s technology choices. When you know which devices — smartphones, tablets, or desktops — are being used to scan the codes, you can optimize your QR code content for the most commonly used devices.

As a result, you ensure a smooth and user-friendly experience.

For instance, if you find that many of the customers who scan your QR codes use mobile phones, you’ll have to ensure the pages they can access through the code are mobile-friendly. So, among other things, your call-to-action buttons should be enlarged.

You shouldn’t have that many pictures, either. Your pages might just look cluttered when viewed from a small screen.

By tailoring your QR code content based on your audience’s device preferences, you can boost engagement and increase the chances of successful conversions.

4. Time of the scan

The time of the scan refers to the peak moments of audience engagement with QR codes.

Since this metric reveals the specific times and days when scans are happening, businesses can pinpoint the best times to launch QR code campaigns or promotions.

You wouldn’t launch your special offer campaign on Saturday night if you find most scans take place every Monday morning, would you?

By aligning campaigns with these high-engagement periods, businesses can increase the chances of successful interactions and conversions.

Digital marketing campaign

In closing

It’s clear that QR codes for marketing campaigns are more than just a passing trend. They’re a transformative tool for modern promotion. From their cost-effectiveness to the enhanced UX benefits they offer, QR codes are a game-changer.

You’ve seen how businesses can use QR codes for marketing in various ways. You can use them as digital business cards or as restaurant menus. But whichever way you choose to use them, make sure you monitor your QR code marketing campaigns using Google Analytics.

Just track your total QR code scans, QR code scans by location, QR code scans by device, and the time of your scan. Monitoring these key metrics can yield invaluable insights for marketing campaign optimization.

What are you waiting for? Start using QR codes for marketing campaigns for the best results!

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Claron Kinny

Claron is a Content Specialist at Beaconstac. He loves gathering customer insights on using simple tech like QR Codes and converting these insights into actionable steps to write off business problems. On off days, he loves exploring off-road cycling trails.

Content Specialist @Beaconstac