Archives for May 2010

My Latest Thoughts on Marketing Print

  • Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. A printer in Ohio promotes PURL campaigns and touts response rates of 25% on their home page. Regardless of how it’s worded, that extraordinary success rate is what people will see, remember and expect. Why set your customers up for disappointment?
  • Extra effort matters. According to Seth Godin, it’s the last 10% of quality that requires the greatest amount of effort.  But it’s also the last 10% that will set your company apart from the competition; the other 90% is the easy part that everyone is doing. A little extra attention to your website, your phone routing system, marketing efforts, etc., will always give you a competitive advantage.
  • Useful content means competitive edge. Too many websites are short on great content and long on “blah.”  Not only does that type of self-promotion significantly impact search engine optimization, it also detracts from any competitive advantages your company may have. Your website must answer one central question: What makes your company unique? I’ll cover this topic more in future issues but for now, the message is simple. Start now (and don’t stop) adding content to your website that will offer value to visitors. Blogs, newsletters, and white papers are great examples.

I spend at least two hours of my day seeking out and reading articles that I think would be of value to the print community. It’s far too much info for me to be writing about in our Marketing Briefs, so I’ve begun posting a few of these each week on our company’s Facebook page. Please follow us if you’d like to read these.

QR Campaigns: A Surprising Success Story

More people are wondering these days: Do QR codes really increase response rates?

Insqribe, a company that provides a real-time QR analytics platform, recently published a success story. One of its clients, Letterbox Deals, used QR codes to launch their first print catalog in Sydney, Australia. The objective was to build awareness and promote the brand through a direct mail sweepstakes that gave away Dell notebook computers. Recipients could enter the contest either by logging directly onto the Letterbox Deals website or by using a QR code found in the mailing.

The results were quite interesting:

  • Fully 25% of entries were submitted via QR code to mobile site
  • 60% of QR code respondents downloaded a code reader to enter the competition
  • A 25%  of the QR code scans occurred within people’s homes

One of the perceived barriers to wider QR code use has been that not every mobile phone comes pre-installed with a reader. Yet with proper motivation (in this case, a chance to win something), nearly two-thirds of those who used the QR code downloaded a reader to do so. This suggests that not having a reader pre-installed on the user’s cell phone is not necessarily an obstacle — if the incentive is right. Admittedly, not every campaign gives away free PCs, but there are many other offers that would also work.

Also interesting is that, according to Insqribe’s data, one-fourth of the entries came from people scanning the QR codes at home. Most respondents could have entered through a home computer, but they chose to use the QR codes with their mobile phones instead. Was it out of convenience, coolness, or some other factor? Whatever the reason, the campaign was a success.

So again we ask: Do QR codes work? For the right campaigns and the right markets, you bet!