Email Marketing & QR Codes: 5 Ways To Use Them Together

According to Wikipedia, a QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.[1]

by Hal Licino, Tuesday, February 8, 2011


If the UPC code was the salient product symbol icon of the last century, the QR code will surely represent the 21st century. This two-dimensional matrix barcode is universally readable by camera or scanner-equipped mobile devices, and is becoming so prominent it is featured on everything from magazine pages to billboards.

With the increasing popularity of mobile web access, QR codes are becoming an integral component to any successful email marketing strategy. Here are five ways to apply the synergy between email and QR codes to your brand’s benefit.

1. Integrate the QR code into your email content. Placing a QR code as an integral part of your email campaign content is a tip that should be adopted by any savvy marketer. The QR code in your email should link to a specific landing page that will facilitate your review of your tracking and analytics, allowing you to identify the precise response being provided by the mobile devices reading the code.

2. Add the QR code into your email & forum signatures. In the same way that it was de rigueur to include a link to your landing or signup page in your email signatures in the last decade, including the QR code has become effectively mandatory in this decade. Each of your outgoing emails should feature a QR code at the bottom in the signature spot in order to assist readers in linking to your subscription or selling pages. An additional advantage of QR codes is that they are technically not conventional URL links, so that they can be used in forums that support images, but have their comments set up as nofollows.

3. Reward your best customers with a special QR code. Promoting a “members-only” presentation, special sale, or particular discount with QR codes in specifically selected emails can serve as a prominent response expediter. A good example is that you can segment out a list of subscribers who make larger or more frequent purchases, and reward them with a QR code in their emails that provides them with particular discounts or acts as an invitation to a VIP event.

4. Link the QR code back to exclusive informational content. QR code-based rewards and access to specific content should not be limited to your elite customers, but can be extended to your entire subscriber base. The use of QR codes to link back to exclusive content such as case studies, white papers, how-tos, tips sheets, and other valuable product content present on your website can help drive response and sales. Educating your prospects while entertaining them is a hallmark of email marketing, and QR codes bring that strategy into focus.

5. Unfold a promotional story over time with a QR code-enabled drip campaign. The efficiencies of drip campaigns can be maximized through the use of a different QR code in each email. This use of the code can lead your customer through a journey of discovery over time, assisting their familiarization with your brand image and philosophy. Constructing your QR code drip campaign as a chronologically unfolding story can draw in your audience and set up anticipation for the next entry.

Even though it may at first seem like nothing more than a pixilated postage stamp, the QR code is here to stay and the use of these square matrixes has just begun to be explored in the email strategies of business owners and online marketers. Taking advantage of the myriad applications of QR codes will prove to be a boon to your mobile customers and your bottom line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.