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A number of my client inquiries lately have been about using QR Codes. It seems many of you want to use QR codes and point them to existing websites. My first question is always, “Is this website mobile friendly? Has the website been optimized for viewing by the small screen on a mobile device/smart phone?”

When I ask that question, the phone usually goes silent for a few seconds but invariably the caller’s answer is “I don’t think so.” My clients often see the value of mobile marketing using QR Codes, but hadn’t considered the critical “mobile friendly” issue.

Most websites need upgrading to be useful to smart mobile device users, as well as computers with larger monitors and the new tablet devices. But, and this is a BIG but, it is both time consuming and costly to remake a website. There are important considerations to be addressed: which browsers are supported, how much text and graphics can be used, and many other issues that arise when moving in this direction. I highly recommend upgrading a website to QR Code compatibility be a long-term project.

May I suggest a simpler solution? Landing pages can be easily developed for mobile viewing. A client with a smart phone can navigate through a mobile enabled landing page quickly and efficiently. A well-designed landing page can determine if a mobile device or a computer is making the query, and can be programmed to change views to accommodate the device being used.

Since computers are more allied with pURLS, which can be pointed to the same QR Code landing page, you may want to provide recipients both pURLS and QR Codes. I often recommend using both on the same mailing to ensure the recipient actually visits the landing page. By the way, these two directional devices don’t always have to direct users to the same landing page or website…but that’s a story for another day.

If it becomes necessary to link to a website that is not optimized, it is possible to only revise a single page within the site (i.e. a donation page or an ordering page tied to a shopping cart). Mobile optimization of those few pages is an easier task than having to reinvent an entire website.

Since QR codes and cross media mobile marketing are becoming much more popular, our Transformailer and postcard mailings frequently use QR Codes. The recipients scan their way onto a landing page without bothering to type a link into a browser. How convenient!

Please call me to discuss your next QR Code project, I’d be happy to help you over these hurdles.


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