The logo. A stylised abstract QR Code with the word and the sub heading: Information on tap!

QR Codes for Marketing: 8 Direct Action Strategies

These days, it’s unusual to go a day without seeing a QR code somewhere. Whether browsing a menu, claiming a coupon, downloading an app or making a payment, we all seem to have got used to the convenience of accessing everything in a snap. So it stands to reason then that if you’re happy to scan someone else’s code, wouldn’t someone else be happy to scan yours? Which leads us nicely onto the subject of QR codes and marketing.

There is huge scope for using QR codes for marketing. The fact that you can use them to drive customers to take immediate action is the ultimate advantage for any marketer. It really is as straightforward as setting your objectives, and creating a QR code to fulfil them.

Whether it’s signing up for a trial or newsletter, calling or visiting your business, upselling or cross selling, becoming a social media follower or claiming a discount code, there are literally dozens of QR code marketing ideas you can tap into that will transform your campaigns without chewing up your budgets.

Where to use QR codes for marketing?

QR codes send instant information to a user’s smartphone. You can use them in printed advertising, on digital billboards, on web pages and social media posts, in TV or video ads and on product packaging. They can literally be scanned from anywhere.

The codes promote interaction and engagement on the very thing that everyone has their noses in day in, day out… their smartphones. By transferring information directly to the user in this way, you are slimming down the steps to them doing business with you. Which for today’s mindset has to be a good thing, seeing as we all seem to have developed this urgent ‘want it now’ mentality.

So, QR codes can be used pretty much anywhere and for any marketing objective. Now let’s look at a few QR code marketing examples you can put to work for your organisation.

1. Direct customers to a landing page or website

There are loads of reasons why you might want someone to visit a particular page of your website. Maybe you’re trying to get them to sign up for or download something. Claim a freebie or discount. Find the answers to all their questions.

But there’s nothing worse than one of those long-winded web links that make your marketing lit look untidy. And if you just provide your ‘home’ link, that specific page you wanted them to land on may prove a click too far for users to find. And what if your literature is printed? Then they’ll have to type that whole link in themselves. Uh!

And that’s where using a QR code on marketing materials comes into its own. You get to replace that clonky hyperlink with a quick code that anyone can scan. Whether it’s printed or digital media, all they have to do is take out their phone, scan and go. Zero frustration. Nil wasted time. There they are, right where you want them to be on your website.

2. Share your contact details, and give you a call

Whether you’re at an exhibition, trade fair, networking event or meeting, it’s useful if you can share your business card and marketing literature digitally. Not only does it make you look pretty cool, it saves paper too. And everyone will love you for that.

So, stick a printed QR code up on your exhibition stand so visitors can simply scan and receive your business details and take advantage of any promotional show specials. Or add one to the back of your business card, so they’ve got your details, and a quick link to your online promo material. Even better, QR codes let you deliver your info in the native language of the person who’s doing the scanning. Hello international audience!

It’s even possible to add instant dial technology to QR codes. So your number comes up, and all the viewer has to do is hit ‘dial’ or ‘add to contacts’.

3. Get people to download your app

Why wouldn’t you want your customers to download your app? An app puts you in front of your audience 24/7, sharing promotions, discounts and personalised messaging. Apps also reinforce a brand, and can boost user engagement too.

If you offer a booking service, it’s so much easier if someone can just tap the app and do the business, rather than fire up their PC or navigate a mobile website.

Getting people to download your app couldn’t be easier with a QR code. And if they like it, your loyal customers can easily share it with their friends too.

Users simply scan the code, and there they are on the app download screen.

4. View business location and get directions

If you run a local business, you’ll know the importance of driving footfall. But that means making sure people can find you.

88% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store within a week. So wouldn’t it be easier if they could just scan a QR code to get specific directions to your business location? Rather than manually searching for the address, there’s the information they need, right before their eyes.

You could even include a QR code exclusive discount. Now there’s a QR code marketing idea for you.

5. Attract new followers on social media

A bit like with directing people to that specific page on your website, sometimes you might want to get people onto your social platforms so they can keep up with your stories and feed, and take advantage of social-exclusive deals in exchange for a follow.

Social media QR codes take people straight to your platforms with a simple scan, so they don’t have to mess about searching manually for you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok.

Print them on your products. Add them to your email signature. Include them in your newsletters. Slap them across your print advertising. Social media QR codes really are the simplest way to boost up your followers with very little effort.

6. Discounts and promotions

One of the most effective uses of QR codes for marketing has to be discounts and promotions.

Clear calls to action are crucial with this type of QR code marketing strategy. Here are some examples:

  • Scan to claim your exclusive reward
  • Get your one-time discount – scan here
  • Limited time promotional code – scan to claim
  • Offer ends midnight – scan now to take advantage of 25% off everything across the store
  • Last day – scan now to browse our Father’s Day sale and claim free shipping on all orders – ends 12pm

Adding a sense of urgency always helps prompt action. And that action is so much easier when all the customer has to do is scan a QR code for direct access.

7. Share videos

Research shows that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. And according to HubSpot Research, a third of all time spent online is dedicated to watching videos.

It’s stats like these that are driving such a wholesale move towards video marketing.

So, if you’ve invested in video to help boost your marketing efforts, why not make it that bit easier for people to see your masterpieces?

Adding a QR code on marketing materials with a direct link to your latest video is a fast way to attract more viewers and subscribers. Again, add that code to your product packaging, your email signature, your printed media, your social posts, your newsletters and your advertising. Don’t hide your light under a bushel; get that video out there with the help of a QR code! And always remember, QR codes are much more easily shared than a clonky link.

8. Entice sign-ups

Promoting a free trial? Looking to list build with newsletter or e-book sign-ups? Using QR codes for marketing in this way can be very effective.

Because you can share QR codes in so many places, you get to cast your net wide when it comes to capturing your audience. Traditionally, sign-ups like these have been limited to digital media where there’s a form to input details.

But you can add a QR code on marketing materials such as posters, brochures, flyers, business cards, printed adverts that takes people straight to that form on their phones… so now you’re in front of that offline audience too. And all they have to do is scan the code to sign up, rather than mess around on their phones inputting a web address, which let’s face it, no one enjoys. Job done!

Ready to get started with your QR code marketing strategy?

Bangl QR codes for marketing can take on a whole host of formats to meet any promotional objective. We can create you a code that will work across any type of media and customise it to fit with your brand.

First published: 10th May 2023 | Author: Anthony Kirrane.
Back to articles

For all enquiries email