email marketing qr code

3 innovative ways to use QR Codes in Email and Mobile Coupons

Marketers today face a dizzying array of options to help capture audience attention and drive sales. Email marketing through newsletters and coupons remains one of the most popular and successful vehicles for driving both online and in-store sales. But don’t rule out the new mobile technologies that are gaining momentum in reaching consumers.

The emergence of QR code technology is making it easier than you might think for even small businesses to take advantage of the mobile marketing movement.

Using QRs to Create New Consumer Touch Points

Traditionally, email marketing has centered on distributing emails to customers who are automatically rewarded with a discount, free shipping or other purchase incentive simply by clicking a link. Most often, this takes place on a desktop and is designed to drive online sales. But, as consumers increasingly turn to mobile, marketers are looking for new ways to bridge the gap between the desktop and mobile device.

Bridging email to mobile and ask for mobile permission

An example could be that the recipient views the email on his or her PC screen and,

Intrigued by the call to action to scan the QR code, picks up his or her phone and snaps it, which launches a specific microsite, video or other interactive content on their phone.

The recipient is rewarded with engaging content and perhaps a coupon. Now the marketer can easily ask for the recipient’s mobile number to continue sending offers directly to the mobile device, opening this important new line of communication to create another touch-point for ongoing interaction.

10x more redemption by embedding QR codes with mobile coupons

Embedding QR codes with mobile coupons can drive both in-store and online sales, as consumers are 10 times more likely to redeem mobile coupons as they are traditional ones – according to Borrell Associates. Obviously the email should be mobile responsive and the QR code right sized with the right email template dimensions.

Mobile coupons delivered through QR code can be configured for timed expiration from the time they are unlocked to drive immediate or delayed response.

Perceived exclusivity of QR codes

Aside from the ease and convenience of mobile coupons, consumers are drawn to the perceived exclusivity. While anyone can read the ad or view the billboard, not everyone can take advantage of the special QR code deal – only those with phone-in-hand can get in on the secret. The mystery and intrigue of what awaits behind the code combined with this “insider” feel is a powerful incentive for users to snap the code.

Using QR-codes to send email (to a friend)

In addition to driving mobile engagement, QR codes can even be used to track back to email communication, once again bridging the gap between the two media. An easy-to-use QR code generator can take any email message and convert it to a code that can be placed anywhere, in print or online.

When a mobile user scans the code, it automatically generates an email message with the content you’ve designed, ready for sending. This tactic provides an easy way for mobile users to share your content with email contacts and potentially earn rewards for doing so.

QR Codes & Mobile Marketing Made Easy

While all of this high-tech mobile marketing magic may sound overwhelming, especially for small businesses, it’s actually quite easy to devise a comprehensive and integrated mobile program, complete with QR code technology.

For starters there are a number of free QR Code generators that are simple to use: just drop in the text, URL, content or action to be performed, and copy and paste the resulting image into an email, newsletter or load it onto a mobile site.

Optimizing Email Offers For Mobile Customers

It’s highly likely that people are reading emails on mobile devices, right now. The statistics for mobile email readership certainly say so. Even if the marketer doesn’t know about it or plan for it.

Marketers should make every effort to get data on who in their email list views mailers on a mobile device or on a desktop. This crucial information gives you the power to further segment your audience and make a positive impact on subscriber experience.

Marketers can safely assume that a significant portion of their emails are being read on mobile phones. So for those who are looking to provide messages to mobile consumers that are specifically differentiated to cater for the platform, it makes perfect sense to partner with an email service provider (ESP) that offers feedback about which device and OS each subscriber is checking emails on.


This post is writen by guest author Wikus Engelbrecht. Wikus is writer and marketing enthusiast.