DMA Study: QR Codes

A new study from the Direct Mail Association showed that Quick Response codes, or QR codes, are not only increasing in usage, but they are also seeing an increase in response rates from consumers.  Additionally, QR codes used in magazine ads actually had a higher scanning rate than QR codes that were included on direct mail pieces; direct mail having the second-highest scanning rate for QR codes.

The prevalence of QR codes doubled last year in print ads.  From only about 5 percent of advertisers including a QR code to about 10 percent of ads containing a 2D barcode.  Magazines had an average scan rate of 6.4 percent.  Whereas direct mail, coming in a close second, had an average scan rate of 5.9 percent.

Some of the theories as to why magazine, catalog and direct mail scan rates were so high was because of the engagement a person has with a printed message.  With the average person spending about 46 minutes with every magazine they read and 80 percent of households reading direct mail pieces, it’s a reasonable assumption that the people scanning the codes are slightly more engaged and therefore, more likely to take the time to scan an ad’s code to read the mobile content.

Quick Response codes offer consumers the ability to be easily connected from a brand’s printed message to its digital counterparts.  By using a combination of both print and digital touch points in your marketing mix, you ensure that your audience receives your brand’s message.  By combining the two communication methods you’re able to increase your brand’s reach and frequency — ultimately seeing higher return on investments.

Timothy Freeman
Printing Industries Alliance

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