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Emotional Connections

Put a QR on it! Heard this lately? When I hear this, I first think of this clip from Portlandia. Then, I think about how great QR can be, but sadly, how easy it is to screw up your QR campaign. QR code usage increased 9,840% YOY through Q2 2011. Make sure your QR campaign is working for your interactive marketing plan, not against it. You can start by making sure you avoid the following QR FAILS:

1. Your QR Code Directs to a Site That’s Not Mobile-Friendly

When users scan your QR code are they blocked from seeing the destination website content because it is in Flash? Or does the user have to pinch the screen to see what’s on the page? Sounds like you forgot to make your website or page mobile-friendly. Don’t irritate QR scanners by making them have to put effort into consuming your content.

2. When I Scan Your QR Code, I Get the Same Content That the QR Code Was On

I’m in a store, read a sign about a promotion and see a QR code. I scan it and, instead of providing additional or exclusive content, I get the exact same thing. Fail.

3. Your QR Code is on a TV Commercial

It takes some time to scan a QR code. A user has to get out their phone, load their QR scanner app and then scan the code. This usually is longer than your average TV commercial. Yes, a lot of people have DVRs, but do you really think they are pausing your commercial to scan a QR code? Especially if there is no incentive to scan it other than it is there?

4. Your QR Code is an Island Without Content

As noted above, it takes time and effort to scan QR codes. With the increasing amount of QR codes surrounding us daily, you need to make a compelling argument why a user should scan yours. Add content before your code to prompt the user to scan and clearly state what they will get. 87% of users expect a coupon after a QR scan, followed by sweepstakes (64%) and product info (63%). You can also experiment with exclusive content only available to the scanner. It’s all about user rewards!

5. Your QR Code Directs to Your Homepage

Ok, so maybe your homepage features a coupon or sweeps entry. If so, this is not a fail. But, other than that, there’s not usually specific enough content for QR scanners to feel satisfied simply directed to a general page like your homepage. Customize the experience for your scanner, don’t just direct them to any ole’ page on your site.

6. Your QR Code is in Your Email Signature

You just sent me your email, so I have your contact info. Have you ever scanned your monitor?

7. You Didn’t Test Your QR Code

Is your code big enough to scan easily and does it scan on multiple devices? Does it go to the right place?

8. You Stick a QR Code Anything on Without a Clear Strategy

A QR code is simply a link. It is a tool to use with your other advertising efforts. A QR code is not a promotion or strategy. But, it can work very well within a promotion or strategy if you think about how it can contribute to your overall goals.

14 million Americans scanned a QR code in June this year. Make sure when they scan yours, you don’t fail them! What other QR pitfalls do you see?