Engaging Mobile Users with QR Bar Codes

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The other night I went to a seminar regarding mobile marketing. It was located at the Rutgers University promoting their MBA program. The seminar held about 20+ people all business users in suites and fancy rings. I went there with a friend and we basically just listened in.

The presentation was really good from a speaking point of view. The speaker, CK was an amazing speaker and presenter. You can tell she has been doing this for a while, visit her blog here. The information was very informative but nothing new to my own experience since I have been doing mobile advertising for quite sometime.

You can vie the slide below:

I want to talk about QR codes. They are these 2d bar codes which holds information. These became popular, I assume with blackberry users. Scanning each others barcode for their pin to start BBM (black berry messenger). I started using barcode for the past couple months, infact my new business card will have a barcode on it.

If you were at Affiliate Summit West, you will have noticed multiple booths and vendors using and utilizing these barcodes. These bar codes hold information from your pone number, website, text, etc. The purpose of these barcodes it to give quick access to information. I have started using this on my other sites and it does increase engagement and even conversions.

Scan Me:

For example to the left is my personal QR barcode. To view what is behind this data you simple scan it with a mobile barcode scanner app. I have an iPhone so you can use apps such as the ATT Scanner or any barcode scanner application will work.

It will then provide you with a website, which then provides you with my contact information. It is a quick way to get all my information on your phone. This way you can contact me with just a point and click.

These little barcodes help with user engagement and conversions because it is a sense of completion. It takes time to take out your phone, opening your app, and scan a barcode. If there is a reward at the end they will then in turn follow through.

It is similar to doing landing pages with polls or quizzes. The end user wants to know what their score is or how their vote has any affect, so the end user will want to follow through all the way. “I did this much work already” symptom.

I have been using these QR codes for mobile marketing in a sense to engage users from website to their phone and obviously back online. I have it on a specific Fan Page for a niche vertical and I also have it on my health blog.

The best part is QR codes act like a link cloaker for affiliate links. Not essentially but if you have a branded URL shorting service the users will follow through to the site. The barcode above uses a service called JumpScan to provide users with my contact information. I am playing with it and find it to be very easy to use, I may change it to have it on my own server and maybe on a sub domain.

In any case, JumpScan provides you with a QR barcode and a page to your contact information. This provided very handy at the seminar the other day because I didn’t bring business cards. I pulled out my image of my QR code and the speaker and users scanned my barcode to get my contact information.

QR codes is not readily adoptive just yet, even though billions of users use mobile phones – not everyone is adoptive to these barcodes just yet. It does take time to open an app to scan. There has to be some type of incentive to actually get the user to act on the barcode, like a game or reward etc. I have been playing with these code with some campaigns and there isn’t big volume for it, there needs to be a purpose for a barcode.

Enjoy the slide!


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  • Good post Ian. Damn… you’re hitting a new conference everyday!