The point here is, as is so often the case, integrating these two marketing channels will help companies achieve a higher return on investment on their campaigns. Here are five ways to do that.
1. Turn Static Print into an Interactive Call to Action
Using a QR code is simple: Consumers with a QR code reader app on their smartphones can quickly scan a barcode on a direct mail piece and be immediately taken to online content without having to type in a Web address. QR codes are commonplace in Asia (QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated, but the technology can be used by anyone for free) and have picked up a lot of momentum in the United States this year. In addition to direct mail, they are appearing on magazines, billboards, product packages and store shelves. The codes are a great call-to-action that take advantage of the growth in consumer smartphone use and lets consumers use their hot new tech to do something other devices can't.
Combining direct mail and QR codes can also save time and money. Rather than having to pay for business reply mail and waiting for the post office to return the information, marketers can direct customers to respond online in real time via smartphone. Giving customers choices in how they can participate in a campaign makes them more likely they are to say 'yes' to an offer. Plus, the QR code provides a method of instantaneous, impulsive response seldom possible from mail pieces today.
2. Get Personal with Your Message
On a direct mail piece, a QR code can link a smartphone user to a personalized URL (PURL). A PURL provides a Web address for an individual so the content at that address can be unique for that visitor, and marketers can create unique QR codes linking to PURLs for everyone on their direct mail lists. Once on a PURL microsite, visitors may be invited to sign up for monthly newsletters, for example, or view an embedded video, or request a mailed fulfillment package. Allow them to share as much or as little contact information as they desire.