Posts Tagged ‘best practice’

How hard is email marketing really? I mean, you get a list of people, take a blank email and load it up with pictures and words about your products and services, link to your website and send the email out right?

Um…. only if you have the intent to send really terrible emails that will harm your deliverability, and create a bad perception of your brand for your subscribers.  Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels out there and it can do amazing things for conversions, sales, ROI… if you put just a bit of time and effort into it.

However sadly most people take the ‘slap it together’ approach and this only serves to work against you long term. So seeing as I am always writing about best practice techniques and how to do email marketing better…. I thought I would do the complete opposite and list the ways you can do email really terribly to make my point…

aintnobodygottimeforthat

 

Below I list all the ways that are guaranteed to ensure your email marketing program dies a slow painful death:

Purchase lists and upload them and blast your emails out to everyone – they all want what you have, they just don’t know it yet!
Don’t bother having a mobile version of your email or incorporting a responsive design
Don’t bother including alt text on images to tell people what they are about, people should just download the images
Don’t include an unsubscribe link – these people obviously need to be receiving the information you are sending
Sender score? What’s a sender score? If you don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist, therefore don’t worry about it
Include merge fields and don’t check them – people don’t mind if the email says ‘dear first name’
Don’t worry about testing, it’s enough you lay the email up and make it look good, shouldn’t it just work?
Don’t bother doing any analysis – just a lot of numbers and mumbo-jumbo – just watch the unsubscribes
Getting someone’s business card gives permission to email them so collect, collect collect, and send send send!
Send emails without a call to action – the awesome information in your email is enough
Preference centre – what’s a preference centre? Just have one type of email and one list of people and they all get to receive what you send….
Don’t take the time to identify inactive subscribers – just keep sending them emails, they are probably just busy, they’ll open them eventually
Save out a previously sent email to create a new email, which increases your chances of you sending the email out without updating the links
Keep content boring and be sure to avoid anything interactive, engaging, fun or surprising, just stick to sending those limited time offers
Ask for your customers preferences and then disregard the data  - isn’t the point to ask people what they want, you don’t actually have to do anything about it?
Take all that stuff off the footer – it just takes up extra space and people can Google that stuff anyway
Don’t test in Litmus – it’s not important to see how the email displays in different email clients and mobile devices – I’ll just test to my email address and its good to go
Don’t bother checking any of the links in your email campaign, they’ll be fine…
Send a plain text auto responder welcome email with something bland such as ‘thanks for subscribing’ with no branding or important information
Personalise each and every email subject line and greeting with the persons name just because you have it – subscribers love that
Don’t include a pre-header link – just jump straight into the email itself – it just takes up space, why is it there anyway?
It is all about your marketing goals so remain completely centered on promoting your company and don’t worry about what the subscriber wants
Send as many emails as possible – if in doubt of the most appropriate sending frequency, just email away
Don’t bother including dynamic content (Dynamic content, what’s that?) Just send the same information out to everyone, too complicated to figure out  any form of personalisation or targeting
Include important information and links below the fold (The fold? What’s that?) so that people have to scroll down to the bottom…  people love scrolling
Don’t make it easy for your subscriber to click through to your landing pages or website, or find what they want, and don’t include an obvious call to action, and remove any helpful navigation. (Customer journey? What’s that?)
Make links really small and close together and make it really annoying especially for mobile users who are reading your email on the go. People love a challenge.
Use 14 point font, make some font bold, some italic, even comic sans and non web-safe fonts, and use lots of different colours to really make it stand out, the more attention getting the better
Strip out any recognizable logo’s and be very inconsistent in the look, functionality and branding of your emails from one to the next. Better still don’t use a template or use branding at all!
Even better, just stick an image into a blank email and send it out. No alt text, no template, no branding, nothing. Emailing your PDF flier out as one big JPG is a great idea!
Use a from name that you know who it is but is not obvious to your subscribers, like Barbara Smeath @idaily.co.nz, if you keep them guessing they will have to open your email
Best thing ever – to stop people unsubscribing, link them to a login page so they need to login to the account they made 10 years ago and have forgotten about to unsubscribe. It becomes so hard they don’t unsubscribe! Win!
In addition to that, forgo signing up for feedback loops or ignore the unsubscribe requests for as long as possible and send them more emails in the meantime in case they change their mind

After you have done all of this, be sure to include links to your social profiles so people can connect with you on there and share their terrible experience – just be sure to ignore them and bury those comments…

OK now we have had a walk down bad-practice lane, it’s honesty time folks – do any of the above points sound anything like your email marketing practices? Are you ready to step it up? Email the experts to see how you can dramatically improve your email program, improve your deliverability and make all your subscribers really happy!

Uh oh, you just sent an email out with Hi {Name} as the salutation. Or even worse the names were there but they didn’t match up and Sally got an email that said ‘Hi Bob’.

personalization

This is one of the most common mistakes we see, yet one of the most avoidable, if only everyone took the time to thoroughly test their emails before they sent them out.

If it happens, it’s not the end of the world and you can do things to quickly rectify the mistake.

One example we found was this company who sent an email out with ‘Hi {SubscriberName}’ as the salutation. Oops. However they handled it really well – they quickly followed up with an email acknowledging the mistake, apologising that they forgot the subscribers name, and they started the follow-up email with this very apt subject line as follows:

Subject: Lyndsay, “To err is human, to forgive divine” – Alexander Pope

They then went on to pepper the subscribers name throughout the email, to drive the point home they do know your name and they know how to use it. Below is a screenshot of the intro of the follow-up email. Click on the below image to go through to the full email where you will see they went on to offer a big discount just to drive their apology home.

MAEmailFailSml

 

 

 

 

 

The thing is, these things happen, as emails are sent by humans not machines, so the best thing you can do is follow-up with an email acknowledging the mistake, apologise, perhaps add in a bit of humour or something light, throw in a discount or special offer, and most of the time your subscribers will forgive you.

If you would like more tips, check out this post for the top 5 tips for a great apology email here in our post on sending apology emails

Dear {Generic Subscriber}

Thank you for taking the time to read our long email all about our company even though you have 573 emails to read and you are very busy.

All the information contained in this email is generic and fairly bland although very informative. We are sending the same information out to everyone, so don’t worry we haven’t taken much time looking at creepy data analysing your particular preferences or interests. Why spend time doing that when all 15,679 of our subscribers will enjoy reading the same generic news ins our batch and blast email this week, next week, and every week. In saying that, we may get busy and  just send one really long email with out dated news once a month, which we are sure you will want to read because it’s all about us.

Also it is not mobile optimised as we haven’t prioritised mobile optimisation yet but that’s OK, you still read your emails on a desktop computer right? The email also won’t contain any dynamic content or personalisation which would make the email more about you and your preferences, because as we mentioned we haven’t got the time or budget for that.

We didn’t spend too much time thinking about the subject line, so as you can see that says ‘September Newsletter’ which is exactly what this is. Also we don’t tend to put much emphasis on testing  so there might be a broken link in there somewhere. Just email our esp if you find it.

Also we probably won’t notice how many of you clicked on anything or who is engaged or not engaged because we don’t tend to do any reporting or analysis on our campaigns. And we we will be sending the email at 5pm on a Friday as we don’t really prioritise our email marketing or think about what the best send time is, just as long as we get to send our news out to everyone before we leave for the weekend.

We hope you enjoyed reading our generic email (that you care about even less than we do).

Insincerely and apathetically yours,
Batch and Blast Inc.

BrandsTalk
Sadly the above story is not so far from the truth for many companies. If the whole area of personalisation, engagement and analysis seems like a lot to get your head around, take a moment to read these posts that are bulging with best practice advice on everything from how to really your subscribers, how personalisation can make a huge difference to your readers and how engagement has a flow on effect to your reputation and deliverability.

Do much more than just batch and blast

To personalise or not to personalise

- Here’s how to really show your subscribers some email love

- How and why you should treat your subscribers like friends

- Why engagement is important and how to do it

EmailLove

See, that wasn’t so hard. All it takes is for you to implement a few simple best practice initiatives into your email marketing and you can be seeing a remarkable improvement.

 

If you are sending notification or transactional emails that contain important information, do you still need to include the unsubscribe link?

The CAN-SPAM act is pretty straightforward on this matter – transactional emails do not require unsubscribe links; promotional emails do.

This is a fairly straight forward rule for emails that are clearly transactional – sometimes you send emails for legal reasons and it may be crucial that your subscribers receive that information, e.g., financial notifications, legal notifications etc so that would count as a transactional email.

However – there are some emails where the nature of the content is gray. For example, it’s possible to put promotional material in a transactional email. What do you do then? Well, there are some guidelines the FTC provides but it’s mostly common sense. Say if an email is predominantly transactional but has a little bit of promotional content, it’s OK to omit the unsubscribe link. BUT if the email is largely promotional should be treated as such.

For an example if your email is transactional, you can take the unsubscribe link off, and replace it with some copy,  perhaps something along the lines of:
“We use email to communicate important information to you. If you are not the key contact for this message, or you have another reason to request that we do not email you, please contact us on email@domain.com and we will update our records”

Here are a couple of key questions you can ask yourself to determine where your email lies on the spectrum so you can determine if that unsubscribe link is legally necessary:

Q. How do I know if what I’m sending is a transactional or relationship message?

A. The primary purpose of an email is transactional or relationship if it consists only of content that:

  1. facilitates or confirms a commercial transaction that the recipient already has agreed to;
  2. gives warranty, recall, safety, or security information about a product or service;
  3. gives information about a change in terms or features or account balance information regarding a membership, subscription, account, loan or other ongoing commercial relationship;
  4. provides information about an employment relationship or employee benefits; or
  5. delivers goods or services as part of a transaction that the recipient already has agreed to.

Q. What if the message combines commercial content and transactional or relationship content?

A. It’s common for email sent by businesses to mix commercial content and transactional or relationship content. When an email contains both kinds of content, the primary purpose of the message is the deciding factor. Here’s how to make that determination: If a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line would likely conclude that the message contains an advertisement or promotion for a commercial product or service or if the message’s transactional or relationship content does not appear mainly at the beginning of the message, the primary purpose of the message is commercial. So, when a message contains both kinds of content – commercial and transactional or relationship – if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it’s a commercial message, it’s a commercial message for CAN-SPAM purposes. Similarly, if the bulk of the transactional or relationship part of the message doesn’t appear at the beginning, it’s a commercial message under the CAN-SPAM Act.

If you have any queries, feel free to email roanne@jericho.co.nz

Good on Australia’s ACMA for issuing this timely and detailed reminder that set and forget for email marketing best practice isn’t enough – you need to plan, set, check, plan, set… Here is there great clear minded advice on ensuring your email program is high quality and effective.  The ACMA blog post is here.

Many businesses use email marketing templates that automatically incorporate their contact details and an unsubscribe facility; information that is required by the Spam Act. But it’s still important to test your campaigns to make sure everything is working properly. All too often, we encounter e-marketers who don’t know that their unsubscribe or contact details have ‘dropped off’ their template.

One of the most effective ways to protect your reputation is to do regular quality assurance checks of your e-marketing campaigns and processes.

Quality versus quantity

How you conduct quality assurance will depend on a number of things:

>       the nature of your business

>       your systems and resources

>       the nature and number of e-marketing campaigns you conduct.

Ideally, every e-marketing campaign would be quality-assured, but in some cases this may not be possible. You need to weigh up the risks to your reputation if you breach the Spam Act and with the number or percentage of messages that you consider appropriate to review.

Quality assurance 101

Having overseen a number of enforceable undertakings and conducted a lot of investigations, we have a pretty good idea of what you might want to include in your quality assurance. Think about including the following steps.

1.    Audit your campaigns

Your business may not have a single department or person handling all of your e-marketing activity, making it a real challenge to keep on top of the e-marketing rules. So we strongly recommend that your quality assurance includes an audit of all campaigns conducted:

>       Record the total number of messages sent in the period.

>       Keep a copy of each campaign (if possible), including the number of messages sent, format, date, sending address, subject and content.

>       Keep records of which messages were sent to specific electronic addresses.

2.    Confirm consent

A fundamental rule of the Spam Act is that your e-marketing messages must be sent with consent. Consider:

>       how you gather consent

>       what information you give to recipients when you collect consent

>       how your system handles and records subscriptions, unsubscriptions and re-subscriptions

>       how long you’ll rely on consent for, blacklisting, the consequence of making a purchase and your account management tools.

You should also review your current records. They should clearly identify if:

>       A person has given consent—and also show that you have proof.

>       A person has requested to be unsubscribed in the period—and if any further messages were sent more than five business days after that date.

>       There are any patterns to be aware of—like someone consistently re-subscribing and then quickly unsubscribing.

>       A person has bought an item from you—and the date of the purchase.

>       A person has contacted your business.

3.    Show your identity

Each e-marketing message must clearly identify who authorised the message and provide a way to contact the authoriser—either through information in the message or a direct web link.

4.    Test your unsubscribe functionality

Defective unsubscribe facilities are one of the most common reasons people complain to the ACMA. It’s always a good idea to check (and check again!) that your unsubscribe facility is working properly:

>       Confirm that each message includes a functional unsubscribe facility.

>       Establish a process and timetable for testing the unsubscribe mechanism (and listen to complaints to identify any corner cases that your testing might not cover).

>       Keep records of when you tested the unsubscribe facility and the outcome of the test.

5.    Review complaints

Complaints can be a great source of information about potential problems and a chance to engage in direct conversation with your customers. Consider how you investigated each complaint and what you have done to fix these issues.

6.    Offer training

Often problems with e-marketing arise because staff are not aware of the Spam Act. Do your policies, procedures and training need updating?

>       Keep a note of any relevant training you or your staff have undertaken in the period.

>       Consider the need for further training in problem areas identified through your quality assurance.

7.    Form conclusions

Writing up the outcomes of your quality assurance gives you an ongoing record of when you got things right—or wrong. It demonstrates to your management—and to regulators like the ACMA—that you take compliance seriously. Follow these steps to make sure that your business’s e-marketing is above board:

>       Record details of any issues identified in the audit and any necessary changes.

>       Draft an overall outcome/conclusion of your quality assurance.

Any questions?  We can help!  Email us or call Jericho today.

If you follow the email marketing industry, you know that engagement is quite the buzzword lately.  But Engagement isn’t new at all. It has been a part of the filtering mix for quite a while. ISPs including Yahoo! (Xtra) Hotmail and Gmail are adding clicks, opens and other measures of user engagement to the long list of other engagement metrics that have been in use for a while. All these metrics try to do the same thing — figure out which messages are truly wanted by subscribers.

ISPs are measuring engagement and using it to decide who gets to the inbox, and who goes to the junk folder. In simple terms, the ISP is basically looking at whether or not your subscribers open, click, and in general, “interact” with you. If you send an email that mistakenly goes to the junk folder, then the subscriber moves it back out, you scored some engagement points. If your subscriber clicks your links or hits “reply” to send you a message, you get some engagement points.

Returnpath’s George Bilbrey says to senders:

“Treat inactive subscribers differently: This is probably the biggest change that most marketers need to think about. Mailing to a lot of inactive accounts may actually make your reputation look worse at some ISPs. Segment out inactive users and run a win-back campaign. If you cannot win back these subscribers, you may simply want to stop mailing them altogether.”

Over at Clickz, Jeanne Jennings had this to say about inactive members of your list:

“If these folks really aren’t that into you, they may take the next step and report you as spam. It’s like that shunned suitor who just won’t go away; eventually the victim will consider him a stalker and get a restraining order. Keeping inactive names on your list can open you up to blacklisting and deliverability issues.”

There is an art to deciding who is engaged and who is not.  This will depend on your buying cycle and the types of emails you send. It is good to use an email expert to help you make a matrix for your own business but there are some things you can consider:

Do you have strong calls to action in your emails – so that there is something to click?

Do you have a genuinely relevant and  interesting email stream, sent at least bi-monthly (6 per year)?

If you have a frequent email (weekly or more) do you allow people to control the frequency and type of emails they get using a Preference Centre?

  • From time to time you should dissect your email list to identify who have never opened, clicked or bought something from you. We call them ‘zombies’.  They bring all your metrics down, they impact your engagement measures and they don’t pay their way.  Try to get them to wake up – or kill them off.
  • Next look for who is in a coma – used to engage and now don’t.  Talk to them differently too.
  • Who is on their way out?
  • Who are you best responders?  Make them feel special, use them to spread your word, and keep up the good work!

There is much to this and a good agency can help you do this and come out the other side with a more profitable program.

And worst case is you get to kill a few zombies!

 

 

 

The three pillars of commercial email law in Australia and New Zealand are the same in both countries – have consent, identify yourself, and have a functioning and actioned unsubscribe facility.

This week the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued Tiger Airways (a Singapore Airlines backed operator) with an $110,000 infringement notice — for failing to unsubscribe customers from marketing emails.  Tiger must now launch a program of audits, reviews, training and process to improve their email practices.

This follows similar action and outcome last year when Virgin Blue was fined for having an unsubscribe link that malfunctioned over a relatively short period of time.

‘This is one of a number of investigations in which the ACMA has found businesses have allowed faulty unsubscribe facilities to continue, in spite of repeated customer complaints,’ said ACMA Deputy Chairman Richard Bean.

‘This action is another reminder to businesses that they should pay attention to what their customers are saying, test their email unsubscribe facilities regularly, and not simply set and forget them. Tiger has now committed to ensuring its unsubscribe facilities are functional and effective.

‘Marketing to customers who have unsubscribed is not only against the law, it causes consumer frustration and that ultimately damages a business’s reputation,’ he added.

The ACMA highlights that marketing to recipients who do not want to receive your emails is not a successful business strategy.  If any of your email recipients are in Australia then it’s probably a great idea to sign up for the ACMA’s emarketing blog.

Action for commercial email breaches in New Zealand is detailed on the website of the Department of Internal Affairs, who manage enforcement of NZ’s UEM Act.

If you have any questions regarding the best practice management of your emarketing databases and mobile and email marketing programs, feel free to post them here and we will answer them here too – or if you prefer, email roanne@jericho.co.nz

We say it with only a slight tongue in cheek – 100% of the emails you send that are not delivered will never sell anything.   So, since email-in-inbox is the start of everything – here they are – the top 5 deliverability myths de-mystified!

1. Thinking that sending legally compliant messages will protect you.
Not true! Legislation like the NZ UEM Act, and the USA’s CAN-SPAM is just the bare minimum threshold that you should adhere too.  We always say that if you are trying to hide behind fine print you are doing something wrong. Treat your database with respect by doing what you say you will do, increasing the relevance of your content to your subscribers, and working on all of your deliverability best practices to improve your reputation over time.

2. You think confirmed opt-ins wouldn’t click the ‘mark as spam’ or ‘add to junk folder’  button.
Not true! This action is viewed as a complaint by ISP’s and is taken really seriously by them.  If you have more than 1 in a 1000 of these ‘complaints’ you could see an impact on your email delivery.  Why do they do it?  It can be a quick way for subscribers to remove the email even if they have subscribed. A significant % of recipients do this rather than unsubscribing – one reason is they may not know the difference between the ‘spam’ and the ‘unsubscribe’ functions and not realise the effect it has on reputation.  We’ve seen reports that subscribers don’t want to ‘hurt your feelings’ by unsubscribing so they just sweep you out of the inbox.  For others hitting ‘spam’ is simply quicker than finding the unsubscribe button and going through that process.

3. You think if you make it difficult to unsubscribe that you will stop people unsubscribing.
Not true! It only makes people flag your email as spam (as in 2. above) if they don’t want your email, rather than searching for your unsubscribe link. Best practice is to have a clearly visible and simple unsubscribe link in all your emails, and allow subscribers to simply and easily opt out and don’t give them any reason to complain.  We recommend they are in the top and the bottom of most email campaigns, and prefer a one click instant unsubscribe method on our own clients emails.

4. ‘Free’ ‘Deal’ and ‘CAPITAL’ words instantly flag your email as spam.
Not true! Certain words aren’t great for sure, but they won’t do this if they are relevant and effective in the context of your campaign. Deliverability is measured on many factors, and these combined determine the reputation. So words such as ‘deal’! and ‘free’! used well in the right context will do no harm.  These days, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) filter based on reputation, so content plays a much smaller role in that filtering decision. If you have a good reputation, it will usually override any content filter being used, and your mail will be delivered appropriately. However, that doesn’t mean that your content is never a factor in determining inbox delivery.

5. Compelling content is the best way to create engagement and retain long term subscribers.
Not true! Sending good emails and good content will make your emails welcomed and useful to your audience.  However if you send just one  email too many, or any email at all if you’re ignoring other deliverability best practices, this will affect your reputation despite having the greatest content in the world.  Also on content -  balancing ‘image to text’ by having as much of your email as possible in text, while leaving images in a supporting role, is important both to the eye and to the deliverability of your email too.

Yes there are many more things you can do to enhance your reputation and optimise your deliverability, these are just the top 5 things that you should be aware of and take into consideration.   If there is one thing we can be sure of – there’s no sure thing.

If you’d like more detail on deliverability or if you’d like to discuss concerns or ideas, give us a call any time on +64 9 360 6463.

 

With the rise in smartphones, QR codes have suddenly become very prevalent in marketing.  Are you already using QR codes in your email campaigns? Or maybe you’re asking, what’s a QR code?… (n.b. be sure to keep reading to see the two ‘best QR codes ever’ at the bottom of the post!)

A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data”

QR Code Symbol
QR code (Quick Response code) technology was invented back in 1994 by Toyota’s daughter company, Denso-Wave, to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. They offered a much higher data capacity than the bar- or UPC codes in use at the time, and was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. And while it was a big improvement over barcodes, its use was limited to consumer products at the time. Remember, smartphones were not common then, and had no scanning or camera capabilities, so there was no market for mobile QR applications.

Your business can benefit from QR codes because they enable customers to interact with your company and brand in real time, anytime. The QR Code experience is compact, takes place in seconds, and requires little more than a scan or a click by the target consumer. It’s virtually free to implement, except for a few minutes of labor required to create and code the data or links. And it’s 100% multichannel – from hard copy print to mobile, social media, email marketing, and the Internet.

QR code in envelope
Here’s an example of how this can work in email marketing: if you paste a QR code into an email, recipients can scan it with their smartphone, and they will instantly be able to perform the actions you intended using the encoded information, e.g. sign up, donate, share, “like”, etc. Depending on the coding, they would also be able to contact you (or your source page/site) in real time with their camera phone without having to type numbers or text messages in those tiny screens.

And you don’t need a “magic ring” to “unlock” the data. Many smartphones come with QR readers today. If you don’t already have one, you can download one of several that are available on the online app store. So anyone with a camera phone equipped with a QR code reader app can scan them!

QR codes are a great way to build your subscriber list from sources other than your website and email campaigns. The benefit is that customers can respond immediately and conveniently to your request − without having to type, change screens, scroll, or try to remember your website or landing page address. That improves your response rate. It is also a form of lead generation!

QR codes in email marketing
Here are some powerful ways for email marketers to use QR codes:

1) Offer QR Code sign up via email. What you do is encode an email message with the address of your campaign and an appropriate subject. When the user scans the code, their mobile email client will open in their smartphone and, once they accept to send the message, they will automatically be added to your campaign. It combines the best of the old and new to make it easy for any skill level.

2) Use it in follow up campaigns. Such a campaign could be a dedicated follow-up/auto responder series available only to those who sign up via a QR code and offering, for example, additional educational content. This could constitute part of a multichannel engagement strategy, and offer another incentive to new subscribers to become customers.

3) Link QR codes to exclusive content. Such as case studies, white papers, or product demos to help drive response rates and sales. Increase the value by segmenting your subscribers by interest, demographics, and purchasing history, for example:
“Segment a list of “high-value” subscribers who make larger dollar purchases or buy more often, and reward them with a “secret” QR code offering an e-book, exclusive sale, or 2-for-1 discount on their favorite items”

QR codes and how to use them
QR code can make it easier for subscribers, customers and prospects to contact your company, for a variety of reasons, some of which may be urgent are a few simple, but keep in mind there are some essential rules to follow in your QR code strategy to keep it relevant, useful and valuable:

  • Good ad copy is essential. If you’re not a great writer, consider hiring one.
  • Know why you want to use the code and where you want to take the user.Don’t make them do anything that will be perceived as useless. Lots of campaigns and companies are creating QR codes that simply link to their website.
  • Instead, make sure you do something that gives the client something exciting, interactive, or exclusive.
  • Give something that makes sense on the phone – and that can be delivered instantly.
  • Tell people what they are going to get and how to use the QR codes to get it.
  • Be sure the pages you lead people to are mobile-ready – load quickly, scale nicely, and are easy to navigate.

And finally, whatever you do, don’t waste the users’ time. Use this mini-course as your guide, then experiment, test, and only implement when you’re sure it’s going to work.

Tip: “It’s smart to link the QR code to a specific landing page to make it easier to track the links and identify the exact response provided by each mobile device. Furthermore, if you assign a reference number to a web form that is promoted by a QR code, you’ll be able to track the number of sign ups captured. You can then compare it to other ways of directing traffic to web forms (e.g. PPC campaigns, social media, surveys, etc.) and analyze the conversion rates”

When done right, QR codes can be a valuable tool for lead generation, and interaction with customers, however inneffective use will render it overkill or useless without a specific purpose or intent in mind.

Lastly, if you are not sure about using QR Codes in your email, you can try them in chocolate.  Yes, chocolate QR codes.

Update: As if chocolate QR codes aren’t cool enough, MediaPost has found a QR code made from Oreo Cookies – yes, Oreo Cookie QR Codes!