4.2 billion. That’s the predicted number of email users by 2022. It’s not the least bit surprising in this digital era. It also explains why marketers flock to a user’s inbox. But did you know that nearly half of all consumers feel like they’re receiving too many of these emails? Customer fatigue sets in pretty quickly and renders all your marketing efforts ineffective.

Which brings us to good old fashioned direct mail. Direct mail marketing is personable, cost-effective, and persuasive. A study by Epsilon showed that 77% of customers still sort through their physical mails. A whopping 98% of Americans check their mailboxes every single day according to USPS. Millward Brown, a research agency, found that physical mail also leaves a longer-lasting impression on the brain compared to digital mail.

And if you find direct mail marketing an arduous and expensive strategy, Inkit has got you covered. Inkit automates your direct mail so you don’t have to. With high-quality printing, integration with all your favorite CRMs and interpolated customer data, Inkit is the only tool you need to cut through the noise.

But, if direct mail marketing is so great why are marketers still sending emails?


Plain and simple. Direct mail marketing numbers are harder to get compared to digital marketing channels. Marketers cannot see open rates, engagement, and other metrics that they have become used to which also impedes fine-tuning and A/B testing.

Here’s where a two decade-old technology can help fetch those crucial numbers and give you an edge over your competitors.

We’re talking about QR Codes!

So, what are QR Codes and how do you use them for direct mail?

A QR Code is a 2-D barcode that opens up a webpage or allows you to perform other actions such as make a call, save contact information or add an event when it is scanned with a smartphone’s camera.

By placing a QR code on direct mail, you can track user data – location, time and date of scan as well as compute the efficiency of the marketing campaign by looking at engagement, scan rates, and sales.

While gathering valuable analytics is a primary motive for placing QR codes on direct mail, there is more you can do with a QR code.

Here are 7 things you can effortlessly achieve with a QR code on direct mail –

1. Create ‘smart’ direct mail marketing campaigns

QR codes elevate physical direct mail to allow customers to access the latest technology. Ikea’s direct mailers include a QR code that – when scanned through the Ikea app – allows customers to see how an item would look in their space using the power of Augmented Reality. This can be easily achieved by using what is called a ‘marker’ which can be uploaded as a logo in the QR code.

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2. Leverage digital coupons

According to Statista, 31 billion eCoupons will be redeemed worldwide in 2019. Jump on the bandwagon by adding a QR code coupon – for a limited time period or a one-time redeemable offer. Not only does this add value to the direct mail but it also helps businesses and customers save valuable time and effort at checkout. You can even attach a URL to the QR code coupon for immediate sale.

3. Offer customers a way to reach you

Customers want to be heard. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – all brimming with tons of customer complaints and support requests. 55% of shoppers complain online not just because they want a resolution. 70% of these customers air these views to raise awareness and deter other potential customers from giving the company their business. This quickly turns into a PR nightmare with companies attempting to salvage the brand image.

Businesses and brands can avoid social media slandering by giving buyers a direct way to reach them. Add the number of support staff’s hotline to the QR code so that when it’s scanned users can directly call and get issues resolved.

4. Engage customers with QR code marketing

Since direct mail leaves an imprint on the brain, QR codes can be used to make it even more engaging. Allow users to access an online game, download your new fun app or even have them participate in a scavenger hunt. It’s all possible with a QR code. Verizon’s efforts to get users to download their app through a QR code on direct mail paid off. In just over 3 months, they received 150,000 scans.

5. Increase your ROI with online retargeting

The average CTR of a retargeting campaign is 0.7% compared to the CTR of a display ad which has a measly CTA of 0.07%. Retargeting can also help to reinforce the brand image and buyers are more likely to purchase new products from familiar brands. When the end user scans the QR codes on the direct mail, even if they don’t act on the campaign, they can be retargeted online on Google and Facebook.

6. Manage dynamic campaigns

Now, you may already be aware that a QR code can be customizable. You can add colors and a logo to it to align with your branding. But, did you know that the same QR code can be re-used and re-purposed? Advanced QR code solutions allow you to create QR code marketing campaigns that can be changed every day of the week, every 15 minutes or at will. Adding these dynamic QR codes to the direct mail opens up a world of possibilities. For instance, if a customer receives their mail on Monday, when they scan the QR code they can see an exclusive offer for Monday making it highly personalized and effective.

7. Share digital media

New product launch? You can write tons of copy to promote it but a single video is far more impactful. Users retain 95% of a message when they watch a video compared to 10% when reading text. Attach a video or an image gallery to the QR code which allows for a truly immersive experience with direct mail.

Want to start sending QR code powered direct mail?

Here are 5 things you should keep in mind:

  1. Create a colorful QR code: There are way too many black and white QR codes out there. Align the QR code with your brand colors and change its color to make it easily identifiable and stand out.
  2. Add your logo: Another way you can drive your branding home is by adding your logo to the QR code. Or, add the corresponding logo for the associated action. For instance, if you want shoppers to come visit your new location, add a Google Maps logo to the QR code.
  3. Printing size: It is recommended that QR codes should not be printed smaller than 2 cm x 2 cm. Anything smaller than that may be difficult to scan.
  4. Add a compelling CTA: Let the user know what will happen when they scan the QR code. ‘Learn more’ is not an effective CTA but ‘Scan and get 50% off’ is.
  5. Test the QR code before printing: Whether you’re running a discount or a special offer or just want shoppers to visit your website, make sure it works. Test the QR code to ensure the associated action pops up on all smartphones.  

To start incorporating QR codes into your direct mail, try Beaconstac. Beaconstac’s QR code solution allows you to create trackable, dynamic and customizable QR codes with online retargeting.

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