QR codes are back, and they’re big! During the height of the pandemic, they were a practical and useful way to convey more information for a “touchless” society. Menus, payment signs, event programs, museum guides, and more all sported the ubiquitous pixelated squares that led people to websites, landing pages, contact information, YouTube videos—anything attached to a URL—with a click of their phone camera button.

Why Are QR Codes Big in Print Marketing

What Are the Best Ways to Drive Conversions With QR Codes

1. Use Swag to Entice Them to Scan the QR Code

2. Tee Up Loyalty Programs

3. Amp Up a Product With AR

4. Provide More Product Information

5. Enliven Window Banners/Graphics

Use QR Codes to Convert 

Why Are QR Codes Big in Print Marketing?

First, a quick primer: QR codes take a link and translate it into the boxed black and white design so your phone camera can “read” it and open up that link when it scans the QR code. To create a QR code, you can simply use a free site like QR Code Generator. Type in your url and it will generate a code for you on the spot. Then you can use QR code patches and other printed codes in your print marketing to drive traffic and conversions through various unique implementations.

QR codes are more popular than ever, since they’re a quick and easy way to access information. They’re also eco-friendly, and they WORK! In the U.S. alone, 89 million people used the free QR code scanner on their phone in 2022, and that number is expected to increase to over 100 million by 2025. In fact, they’re incredibly trackable.

You can use a UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) code, which is a text snippet at the end of the QR-embedded url that tracks metrics like campaign name, source (which website), medium (channel like social media, email), content (image, link, etc.), and keyword term. While you can also track website metrics on Hubspot or other platforms, this gets uber specific and lets you know exactly what pages and posts are working. Additionally, you can use a dynamically generated url QR code to shorten the url and make it easier to share; or add your brand name in the link to build awareness.

Related: Print Marketing in a Post Covid World.

We are big fans of the QR code, so let’s dive into five of our favorite ways to convert customers through print marketing by deploying this simple and free technology.

What are the Best Ways to Drive Conversions with QR Codes

1. Use Swag to Entice Them to Scan the QR Code

It’s easy to sell with swag. QR codes patches are popping up on baseball caps, sweatshirts, socks, and other apparel, and the codes are printed on stickers, magnets and more. These creative designs add a bit of whimsy to the swag and invite curiosity. A ski brand might use QR code patches on beanies to drive traffic to their website or social, converting customers to sales right on the slopes. If someone sees a sticker on a ski that they love, it’s an instant click to the cart. Similarly, caps and sweatshirts are begging to be “clicked;” QR code patches literally sell the shirts off their backs!

Related: 10 Conference Swag Items Attendees Will Actually Keep

2. Tee Up Loyalty Programs

Use QR codes to convert customers through a loyalty campaign. Consider this scenario: as your customer is waiting in line for their sandwich to be made, they can easily scan the QR code posted on the sneeze guard for your loyalty program. They enter their contact information, hit submit, and BAM. They’re signed up! By the time the cashier is ringing up their order they’re racking up points for their loyalty. This QR code can also be displayed on signage throughout the restaurant, on a menu, or on a sandwich board sign outside to encourage people to sign on and sign up.

3. Amp Up a Product with AR

Marketers can elevate the experience of a product or service with augmented reality (AR) when users scan a QR code posted on its tag. Once they click through, customers can “see” more than meets the eye. They can visualize how that sofa on the store floor would fit into their family room. They can “try on” clothing or shoes, or even receive other in-stock recommendations on what would match that outfit they’re eyeing. Not only does this heighten the IRL shopping experience, but it also up-sells inventory and can even help capture valuable contact information, sizes, preferences, and more!

4. Provide More Product Information

What if you’re selling something that requires more information to convert a customer? If you have a big ticket item like a bike or appliance, consider using a QR code that leads to a landing page. Users then scan the QR code to watch an engaging video about the product, get spec information, find availability dates, see color choices, you name it. With the right information, you can help usher a purchaser along their buyer's journey so they won’t get stopped cold by the price tag.

5. Enliven Window Banners/Graphics

Since brick and mortar stores aren’t open 24/7 but online shopping is, a well-placed window dressing QR code can allow passersby to see your entire catalog at their fingertips, enabling them to purchase products right outside the actual store. Users can scan the QR code to bring the brand to life, linking to hours, social, events, or other pertinent information. A QR code is a valuable tool that keeps people linked to the store even when it’s closed.

Use QR Codes to Convert!

Simply put, QR codes are a no-brainer, an easy way to help your customers buy your products and services. They can be placed on whatever you dream up, from QR code patches, to signs, to price tags, and more. With superior tracking capabilities, they can measure and monitor success, allowing you to train marketing efforts on what works and drive more conversions. Sometimes a sale needs a little help along the way, and QR codes are a great vehicle to help seal the deal. Not sure how to start? We’re here to help. Let us know if you’d like to see how QR codes can convert for your business.

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Written by Reid Broendel

When you need something done for your digital marketing campaigns, you can count on Reid Broendel to find a way. Reid has been on the Ironmark digital marketing client services team since May of 2019. Reid holds the position of Lead Digital Marketing Specialist and brings with him a knack for content management, as well as an enthusiasm for client support, able to jump in at a moment’s notice to help clients and team members on any and all digital marketing needs. From installing tracking codes, to building out emails, to planning out content calendars, Reid is always happy to help. Reid is a graduate of Penn State University, with a B.A. in Advertising. He runs on coffee and spends all his days not in the office working next to his cats.

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