While the short message service (SMS) and quick response (QR) codes have been around for years, they have not been effectively used in marketing, mainly due to the lack of smart phone penetration. But with smart phone penetration now at 25% of all cell phone owners, mobile marketing is going mainstream.
This week I saw two major retailers use mobile marketing for the first time. Whole Foods in West Orange, NJ had a QR code on a sign that you scan with your cell phone to receive a mobile coupon in the produce aisle and Costco.com had a SMS advertisement for special coupons if you text COSTCO to 71034 displayed prominently on their homepage. QR codes and SMS advertising are not just for large corporations; you can implement and benefit from mobile marketing in your business right.
What are some of the marketing and business applications of QR Codes and SMS for your business?
A QR code is an image that can embed any type of information from text, to pictures, to a URL. QR codes are free to create and in marketing can be extremely valuable for many purposes including:
- Use a QR code on the back of your business card.
- Start using it on all of your offline advertising as a lead generation tool to drive traffic to a specific webpage offer.
- Take people to a paperless coupon that can be redeemed directly on a cell phone.
- Take advantage of any limited space-All you need is a compelling headline/offer.
A QR codes is valuable because it eliminates typing, all your prospect has to do is point and click. You can create your first QR code at Google QR Code Generator to use on your standard or mobile webpage. But remember web quality may not be adequate for print.
SMS text to offers are frequently seen offline and on TV where you are told to text a specific phrase to a specific number in exchange for something of value; usually a coupon. The power of SMS text is twofold: SMS has an extremely high open rate up to 95% versus as lows as 5% for email and there are far more types of marketing you can do with SMS including direct to message voice mails. The marketing options are extremely versatile: You can use it all the same places as a QR code. The main benefits to the a SMS text advertisement is that it can be seen and applied from far away on signage and even almost all mobile phone users can use text to offers.
Some of the ways you can engage customers in a SMS campaign:
- Text to Win Contests
- Voting-(American Idol)
Once you have people opt-into your SMS offers, you can keep segmented lists and create campaigns to convert prospects into buyers and to give current buyers reasons to buy again and at higher price points.
Companies like Trumpia.com offer a wide range of basic to very advanced SMS and customer follow up features that will complement any mobile marketing features. SMS is more complex to initially implement but can be a very powerful method find new prospects and convert prospects into buyers.
While just an introduction to QR Codes and SMS, it is clear how compelling and powerful they can be leveraged with your existing online or traditional marketing and advertising. You can begin to implement QR codes into your marketing today and consider how you can begin implementing and testing SMS text to campaigns to complement your other marketing efforts. If you have questions or need assistance post your questions in the comments section below or if you need a consult go to contact.