QR Codes Mean You Can Take It With You

By | September 28, 2010

There has been a lot of discussion in this industry about the value of QR codes on mail that goes into the home. Why would people scan QR codes when there is a home computer available? I’ve cited a number of case studies that show that, in fact, the data do support the fact that people will snap QR codes even when another computer is available. I’ve had rotten tomatoes thrown at me for saying so, too.

Yesterday, I had something fun happen to me. I got a QR code in the mail. Well, to be more accurate, I got it the day before, but I didn’t look at it until the next morning. I’d dropped the mail on the counter and ignored it until the next day when I was making coffee and getting the children ready for school. As I was waiting for the toast to pop, I was getting around to what I should have done yesterday.

There it was — a well executed QR code campaign. It had all the elements that make QR codes work. The code was not over-crowded, it had nice clean white space around it, and the marketer had designed a large arrow to point from the code to an image of a cellphone with an image from the video to which viewers would be taken. The QR code even had instructions below it, including a URL where those without a reader could download one.

The mailer was from Samaritan’s Purse, which runs Operation Christmas Child, which distributes Christmas boxes to needy children around the world. The campaign was well done, and sure enough, it made me want to snap the code so that I could view the video.

I stood there, coffee in hand, and was hit on a personal level with the value of QR codes, even for home-based direct mail. I work from a home office, but what if I had been on my way out to work? How many millions of people read their mail as they are waiting for the coffee pot before running out the door? They might not have the time or attention span to go to the link or view the video right then, but they want to view the content and know that, at some point before they get to their desks, they will.

If I had been on my way out to work, there is little chance that I would ever have seen the video if I’d waited to log in at home. By the time I got home, I’d have forgotten about it, someone would have thrown the envelope away, or I just know myself, it could sit there for six months and I’d never get around to it. But put it on my phone. . .

So this post is for the nay-sayers who threw tomatoes at me for my post, “It’s Official! People Snap QR Codes Even When a Computer Is Available.”

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3 thoughts on “QR Codes Mean You Can Take It With You

  1. Giovanni

    This technology is going to change the game…Connecting offline with online marketing. Your post is a great example on the use of QR Codes for marketing!
    More info on how QR Codes work and a list of FREE QR Code Readers and QR Code Generators: http://ow.ly/2KGup

  2. Kevin Keane

    Hi Heidi

    Thanks for this post, and especially the manner in which you highlighted why this particular QR code on a direct mail piece works so effectively. They did indeed hit all the key success elements. Bravo.

    I have been posting a blizzard of QR related items on the IAPHC Facebook Group page, I hope you will consider connecting on FB.


    Kevin Keane – Proud Proselytizer for the Potential of Print

    President and CEO
    IAPHC, Inc.
    The Graphic Professionals Resource Network
    International Gallery HQ – – Our 36th Year

  3. Kel

    People – QRs are going to be ‘old hat’ soon – where have you been – ? … you need to note that they’re great for a mobile connection but not a full solution for connecting online w/ print – the information has to be short/sweet and less intense for the mobile devise viewed upon – unless – you create a response arena that will engage to connect via email for future engagement – the QR will simply fade and augmented applications will reign (which are difficult and expensive to implement – now and in the future – it’s more involved than just a static print w/ a mobile engagement for content delivery.

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