Jun 05, 2011
Success Stories: Boosting Response with the Same Investment - QR Codes and Direct Mail
We've written about using QR codes in your direct mail piece before. Check out Is This a Barcode on My Postcard? QR Codes - What They Are and How to Integrate Them into Your Click2Mail Mailers for 5 tips on using QR codes effectively (and a primer on how to generate QR codes). Here, we'd like to share some stories about how others have successfully used QR codes in direct mail to boost response.
Using QR codes on a real estate property flyer. We've heard a number of success stories from real estate agents who use QR codes in marketing pieces from business cards to property signs. Sarah J. told us that she prints a QR code on the "For Sale" property flyers she mails out to her database of about 500 prospective buyers in the Phoenix area.
First, Sarah creates a microsite (a "mini" version of a web site) for the property she wants to highlight. On this microsite she has property details, photos, and a virtual tour, as well as a link to a "book your private showing" web form. Sarah's next step is to visit Kaywa.com and use their free QR code generator to turn the microsite URL into a QR code.
Next, Sarah saves the code as a jpeg image to paste into her "property flyer" template design. The full-color single-page flyer self-mailer includes a brief description of the property, a range of enticing photos, and the QR code. Above the QR code she has the text: Scan Me to Learn More about 1234 Any Street and to Schedule Your Private Showing. Sarah's last step is to upload the flyer to Click2Mail.com, upload her list, and click to mail.
Sarah previously used a similar concept, but instead of the QR code as the response mechanism, she listed the microsite URL and asked mail recipients to visit the site to learn more about the property and schedule their private showing. She says that she average about a 1.5% response rate on that flyer; with the QR code flyer, she says she's getting a 3% response - double the bang for the same buck.
Using QR codes in a window envelope to drive insurance quote requests. Perhaps taking a cue from insurance giant GEICO, William B. - a life insurance sales agent in Minneapolis - uses QR codes with Click2Mail's Easy Letter Sender. Like GEICO, William positions the QR code so that it's visible through the envelope picture window - mail recipients can scan the code even before they open the letter. Above the code, still visible through the window, William has the text: Protect Your Loved Ones for Less - Scan Me to Find Out How.
William's QR code takes the mail recipient to a web form (a dedicated URL) where the recipient can input some additional personal information and get a life insurance quote. It's a slightly modified version of Williams' previous strategy, where he included the URL in the body text and P.S. of the letter itself.
With the QR code, William has quadrupled the number of mail recipients who fill out and submit the web form for a quote. That is likely in part because of the unique and interesting aspect of the QR code (mail recipients scan it in part because they're curious) and because it's a way to generate response even before recipients open the envelope.
Using QR codes on a jumbo postcard to drive traffic to a targeted YouTube video. In another success story, Jose P., who owns a landscape service company in California, includes QR codes on his jumbo postcard. In every neighborhood his company serves, Jose finds one customer that will do a 2-minute video testimonial about Jose's services. Before, he would publish the video on YouTube, and publicize it as a URL on his postcards - that generated about a 3% response rate.
Jose still uses much the same strategy - he segments his radius mailing list into neighborhoods and sends a different postcard to each neighborhood (each postcard links to that neighborhood's video testimonial). But now, instead of a simple URL that points recipients to the YouTube video, he uses an image of the neighbor appearing in the video with a QR code in a call-out box (like a cartoon bubble) and the text: "Hi neighbor, scan this code to hear about our experience with Jose's lawn service!"
The QR code takes mail recipients directly to the YouTube video, which plays on their Smartphone. Response doesn't get much directer than that - not surprisingly, Jose doubled his already-great 3% response rate, to an incredible 6%.
We've seen firsthand the benefits customers realize when they use QR codes on their direct mail pieces. Because QR codes are new, they're a novel response mechanism - and that, in itself, can boost response rates. But QR codes also offer more options for responding: mail recipients scan the code to send a text message, visit a website, generate a Vcard or Vcalendar, read text, submit a web form, watch a YouTube video, visit a social media page, see a location on Google Maps. . . the options are almost endless.