QR Codes Vs. Short Codes, and Does Your Campaign Need Them?
"Both QR and Short codes can be very effective enhancements to virtually any marketing campaign," stated Keith Goodman, Modern Postcard's vice president of corporate solutions, during his session "VDP Crash Course: Variable Data Printing and Digital Integration in Less than 60 Minutes" on the second day of the DMA's All for One Marketing Summit in New York City. Aside from VDP, Goodman also extensively covered PURLs and mobile marketing tactics.
"The key is to really analyze what your goals are for the [marketing] program and select the one that is going to fit your needs best. Remember, the ultimate goal is to generate revenue," said Goodman. "Make sure you are not creating an additional step that hinders the transactional process."
Goodman presented the audience with the following information to consider when weighing the pros and cons of using QR Codes or Short codes for a mobile marketing campaign:
• Pro: Short codes capture a phone number, providing the marketer with an opportunity for future communication with the prospect.
• Con: QR Codes do not provide any information—such as a phone number—about the prospect, unless the QR code is sourced back to a database.
• Pro: QR Codes are quick and simple to create and do not cost the marketer anything when a prospect responds to the code by scanning and viewing.
• Con: Short codes have a longer lead time. Once the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA) assigns a short code, each mobile carrier must provision that code to the marketer. There is also a cost-per-click for each text.
• Pro: Because almost every individual who owns a cell phone understands how to send a text message, texting a short code is easy.
• Con: While QR Code readers and cell phone cameras have improved, it can still be difficult to scan a code in poor lighting conditions.