Drive Consumers to Your Social Media With QR Codes
If you've put most of your marketing efforts in digital media but ignored direct mail, you're skipping a method of gaining exposure for your business that's still effective. Postcards have a 2.47 percent household response rate, compared to emails' .12 percent, the Direct Marketing Association reports. You don't need to keep your direct mailing efforts separate from your digital marketing efforts, either—QR codes provide the means to merge your online and offline marketing, particularly if you tie the QR code in with your social media accounts. Postcards provide a quick, succinct marketing message for customers, and they don't cost as much as a complete direct mailing package.
One of the biggest advantages of a postcard is that it doesn't have to be opened. Not only does the recipient see your marketing message but so will everybody whose hands touch the postcard. They enable you to build brand recognition in the household.
Another advantage of postcards is that they are relatively inexpensive to produce compared to other direct mail marketing pieces. When you look at the cost of a brochure, catalog or informational mailer, the postcard represents a low cost-upfront way to dip your toes into the direct marketing world.
Using a Social Media Tie-In
The QR code (short for quick response code) is that funny-looking square barcode on the backs of product packages or on marketing materials. It has a Web address and other information encoded in it, so when users scan it with their smartphones, they can pull up your business' pertinent information (if, of course, they've installed a QR code-scanner app).
So instead of including a long URL and basic profile names on your postcard, business owners can include everything in the QR code. This makes it easy for users to access your information and drives them to your website and social media accounts. QR codes are popular in many forms of marketing today, so most consumers know what to do with them. You can send them to your main social media profiles, a specific section of a social media profile for tracking or to targeted offers and sales.
While applications exist to design postcards with QR codes, go through a professional printing company. This reduces the hands-on time you invest on design and ensures they're done right. You also don't have to worry about finding out whether your business printers are capable of printing on the heavy paper stock that a postcard requires.
According to Printing for Less, postcard sizes range from 4.25 by 5.5 inches to 6 by 11 inches, so talk with the printing company about the best size for your message. Even the biggest postcard gives you fairly limited space for your marketing message, so be succinct about a specific event, sale or product you want to promote.
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."