Many of the QR codes I’ve scanned lately have left me impressed. Some had sophisticated experiences on the back end. Others simply took me to YouTube videos or information pages of interest to me. Whether sophisticated or simple, they worked.
That’s why it was a bit of a shock the other day when I scanned one that didn’t work well at all. It was from a printer marketing his expertise on — uh — QR codes. The QR code itself worked just fine. It was the end result that was counter-productive.
The printer was advertising an upcoming Webinar on the “what” and “how” of QR codes. The code on the promotion piece was large and attractively designed into the layout. I was invited to “mine the treasure” offered by these codes by attending a free Webinar. Great!
I snapped the code and was taken to a traditional webpage where the type was so small I could hardly read it. I had to zoom in to read anything. Even then, I could only see a small portion of the page and had to navigate around. It was hard to find anything.
The page contained several articles, one of which was on the seminar and the benefits of attending. Once I got the type large enough to read it, that was fine. But then the kicker. Below it was another article on how to download a QR code reader. Why would I need a QR code reader? Hadn’t I already scanned the code?
The result of my experience was that this printer was so focused on creating the Webinar and designing the mailer that it forgot to consider the user experience of actually scanning the QR code. In QR code marketing, the user experience is everything. The poor end result undermined its attempt to position itself as a leader in this area of marketing.
If you are going to be doing QR code marketing, don’t make this same mistake. Before taking anything live, scan the QR code yourself. See what the page(s) look like on your mobile device. Make sure that you, as the user, have an experience that lines up with the value that you are presenting as a service provider with the skills to help your clients implement these codes.