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QR codes are springing up everywhere.  They’re on movie posters, in the pages of magazines, on billboards; you can even find them on bags of your favorite coffee beans.  So what exactly are these funny looking black and white squares? They’re called QR codes, or Quick Response codes. They are like bar codes or UPC symbols, only much more sophisticated.  

QR codes were originally created by a Toyota subsidiary to track auto parts. They have since become an extremely valuable marketing tool.  QR codes have information embedded into them, and when read with certain smartphones, they can trigger actions like launching a website or downloading a file. 

Most smart phones are able to read the codes right out of the box. All one has to do is start the application and take a picture of the QR code. Depending on the software, it may take between five to thirty seconds for the application to decode the information written behind the code.  If it is a URL, the QR code reader will open the browser and launch the site the code is linked to.

People are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices, and typing out long URLs or other data on tiny keyboards is not very efficient. In an age of instant gratification, these squares of elaborately arranged boxes are ingenious!  No typing, no reading. Just point and click! It has never been easier to drive traffic to your website or business.

Not only are they easy to use, they’re incredibly easy to create! Type ‘QR Code Generator’ into any search engine and hundreds of websites pop up; many of them are free. You simply provide the URL of the website you want to direct traffic too and they will create the code for you.

With the growing trend of multichannel marketing, it only makes sense to incorporate the QR code into a direct mail campaign. It’s a quick and easy way to give your prospects a call to action, directing them to your website. It can be put onto any form of direct mail piece such an envelope, a business card or an eye catching postcard. Once your prospects get your mail piece, they will always have a quick reference to your website. The uses of QR codes in direct mail marketing are limited only by your imagination.

QR codes provide the perfect opportunity for multi channel marketing, fusing mobile technology with direct mail. QR codes can help increase response rates and broaden the target base by reaching out to those that don’t already have a relationship with mail – like the younger generations.

Using QR codes is a great innovation for direct mail, but it doesn’t make up for a poor direct marketing campaign. You still need a properly targeted mailing list, quality copy, and an effective call to action.

Considering their ease of use, and potential benefit, the use of QR codes in direct mail is certain to take off. And what better way to show your prospects that you’re hip and at the forefront of the latest technology trend by including a QR code in your next Direct Mail campaign.