Enhance Direct Mail with QR Codes

Technology allows CUs to engage immediately with consumers.

February 13, 2012
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You don’t have to travel far these days to see how smartphones have affected society. Walk into a deli during lunchtime or a commuter train station anytime and it seems like at least half of the people there are glued to the small screen in their palm.

According to comScore, 82.2 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones as of July 2011, up 10% from the preceding three-month period. For credit unions, it only makes sense to look for ways to engage with consumers through the growing mobile channel.

One of the hottest technologies to emerge for mobile is the Quick Response (QR) code. These two-dimensional codes drive users from printed material to online content via smartphones.

Direct mail has been an important channel for credit unions wanting to attract new members or grow their share of wallet among current members.

QR codes can enhance already powerful direct mail campaigns, turning a printed direct mail piece into an instant interactive mobile response and allowing static messages to become a hyperlink to just about anything online.

Awareness and use of QR codes continues to rise. A study by comScore found that in June 2011, about 14 million U.S. mobile users scanned a QR code on their mobile device. These codes are appearing in magazines and on billboards, customer statements, in-store displays, and numerous other venues.

While the momentum of QR codes is continually picking up steam, there remains untapped potential as well as errors in how they’re being used.

Many marketers, for example, have used QR codes to link to general websites rather than to information relevant to the marketing materials the codes are printed on—and too frequently the websites aren’t optimized for mobile devices.

We have found a number of ways credit unions can integrate QR codes into their direct mail campaigns to engage with current and prospective members.

QR codes serve as an immediate call to action at the moment of emotion that serves to bridge the physical world with the online arena. On-the-spot access to online resources can make integrated marketing campaigns extremely effective, providing immediate access to all sorts of additional information of interest to consumers.

Next: How CUs can use QR codes

Many QR Codes

Rita Johnson
February 22, 2012 1:31 pm
QR Codes are adding up on my phone and I'm unsure how to know which code belongs to which company, how can I tell before activating the code? They are very popular and I want to use them more efficiently!

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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