Are Your QR Codes Clear?

A realtor once told me that holding open houses to try to sell a house is a waste of time. She stated that usually only curious neighbors come to open houses.

CSPAgraphicQR

I must admit, there is something to her thoughts. I am one of those curious neighbors. I like to check out the houses in my neighborhood that are hosting a sales open house just to see what they look like inside. Fortunately, with the Internet, I no longer have to go physically into a house that is for sale to satisfy my curiosity. Now I can usually take a virtual tour online.

The other day, I came across a beautiful house for sale. On the flyer, it had a QR code. Wanting to take the virtual tour, I utilized the QR code and ended up very disappointed. First, the QR code did not link to a virtual tour of the house; it simply linked to the realtor’s website home page. Second, after I had searched the realtor’s website for the house I was looking for; it did not have a virtual tour, just the three pictures that were on the flyer.

There is a lesson to be learned from my disappointment: Make sure your QR codes do not disappoint.

In other words, be clear with your readers what your QR code is for and where it will take them, and then deliver on that promise.

Don’t point your QR codes to a generic site such as the publisher’s home page or the author’s home page. Be sure to point your QR codes to a specific place that has to do with your book and tell the reader where the QR code will take them.

If your QR code is to your Facebook page to engage more fans, then let your reader know that. If it is to a trailer of your book, let your reader know that. If it is to a site where your reader can immediately purchase the book, then let them know that also.

The clearer you are about your QR codes, the better return you will have for using them.

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Creating a QR Code Campaign

An ebook store recently used QR codes to run a unique campaign to get mobile device owners to learn about the books they offer for sale. The ebook store, Four Directions, based in Hong Kong, printed QR codes on cookies.

QR Cookies

The QR code took the mobile device owner to a free trial copy of an ebook. To increase consumers’ awareness, Four Directions distributed the cookies throughout popular cafes for one week and encouraged the businesses to hand out the cookies for free.

This campaign was titled “Eat What You Read.” After all, consumers could get the free ebook by scanning the QR code before eating the cookie.

The company reported that they felt the campaign was successful. After handing out 8,000 cookies for a total cost of about $5,000, the Four Directions reported that their website traffic increased by 45% and their sales rose by 12% during the week of the “Eat What You Read” campaign.

While you may not be willing to shell out $5,000 for a large QR code campaign, what “Eat What You Read” demonstrated was that QR codes can generate some measurable success when used in unique and creative ways.

It is worth considering how you might be able to run a creative QR code campaign to promote your next book on a smaller scale. The possibilities are really endless.

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