Late last year, one of my rather geeky friends mentioned QR codes to me. “This is going to be so big!” he said. My response went something like this…
What the heck is a QR code?
Google to the rescue!
QR code aka Quick Response code (def.) – a barcode readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. This barcode stores information in square modules in black on a white background. (Like the one in this picture.)
In other words, it’s a fancy barcode, like the ones you use at the supermarket, except instead of giving you the price when you run it through the scanner, it gives you a whole ton of information, anything from images, contact information, website urls…even a secret message.
What’s the big deal about QR codes?
QR codes are a convenient and efficient way to store and share information. You can store anywhere from 1,800 – 8,000 characters in that teeny black and white box. It can be encrypted if you want, and anyone with a scanner or the free QR code reader app on their smartphone can access it in a heart beat.
Think about how annoying it is to type in website urls on your mobile phone. With the information you want contained in a QR code, you can access everything instantly with one scan. This makes it much easier for mobile users to learn about your business.
As a bonus, QR codes make it super easy to track your marketing. If you use a QR code in an ad, your Google Analytics account will show you which ones actually work to get brides or grooms.
Check out this video for a simple explanation of QR codes and some rather amusing examples:
Fortunately, another of my friends who rides the cutting edge of technology, Rob Heppell, wrote an excellent blog post describing how the funeral industry can use QR codes. It’s a good thing he did, because otherwise, I might have completely missed the point.
His post inspired me with to come up with some ways wedding vendors can use QR codes in their businesses…
Ways Wedding Businesses Can Use QR Codes
1. On Your Business Card.
Encode your website, phone number and social media info into a business card and couples can scan and save instantly to their smartphone.
2. Directions to Your Store, Office or Meeting Place.
Store the QR code on the Directions page of your website and set it up to go directly to Google Maps so they can use their mobile phone to instantly get directions from their location.
3. Get More Reviews.
In your post-wedding survey or thank you follow up, use a QR code asking the couple to post a review. It provides instant access to review websites, making it quick and easy to gather those reviews and testimonials.
4. Get More Brides On Your Email List.
Use a QR code on your direct mail piece or postcard that you send to a bridal lead list. When they scan the QR code, it takes them directly to the url where they can sign up for your email list to get a cool freebie…thus giving you permission to follow up with them.
5. In Your Email Signature.
Store all your pertinent contact information in a QR code right in your email signature. All a bride or groom has to do is scan and store immediately. No more losing leads because of lost business cards!
6. Use a QR Code to Promote a Special Discount, Deal or Event with Social Media.
When you’re promoting your business on Facebook and Twitter, you need to maximize every bit of space you have. Simply encode the information or link to your promotion to a QR code image and use it on social media. The bride or groom immediately knows all the details and exactly what to do. Say goodbye to frustrating 140 character limits!
7. In Your Print Ads and Marketing Materials.
Today’s young couples know that scanning a QR code reveals hidden information. This is a great way to arouse curiosity and get action. Include a QR code on your printed information and provide a link to a video, special bonus or deal.
8. Use It For Instant Event Registration.
If you’re hosting an event for brides that requires them to enter information, put a link to that website url right into a QR code. They simply scan and register.
9. Use It At a Bridal Show.
Imagine this: a giant QR code on your screen or tabletop display at a bridal show. The bride and groom simply snap a photo and capture all the information about your business.
A powerful conversation starter, an instant way to stand out from the competition, and a way to make sure your business gets remembered.
10. Offer Your Couples a Way to Share Their Wedding Info Instantly.
This is perfect for Invitation Designers and Stationers. By adding a QR code to a Save the Date or invitation for your clients, guests can instantly scan and access all the pertinent details of the wedding: date, location, directions, wedding website, registry.
QR codes are just starting to get adapted in the US, but twenty-something, mobile loving, tech savvy brides and grooms are among the first to jump on board. Make it easy for them to capture and keep the information you want them to have, and you’ll win ‘em over.
What’s the latest technological advance you’ve used for your wedding business? Tell me about it!