The Complete Guide to Email Marketing With QR Codes

Email marketing may not be the flashiest or most glamorous marketing tactic out there, but it’s certainly one of the most effective. Decades after its introduction, email remains a very reliable technology for companies to promote their products and communicate directly with their audience. 

Email marketing campaigns boast consistently strong open rates and ROIs, so it’s no wonder that marketers continue to use this tactic to connect with customers.

Adding QR Codes to your emails can help you enhance your email marketing strategy even further. With QR Codes, you can connect your email newsletters to your other marketing assets with one simple scan, creating a seamless customer experience. Here’s how to create email marketing campaigns with QR Codes and why they’re so effective.

Why email marketers love QR Codes

Email marketing can deliver powerful results for your brand. The average email open rate across all industries is 21.5%, which means you can reach hundreds or even thousands of consumers with a strong email list. Email also delivers a strong ROI of $36 for every dollar spent.

Adding QR Codes to your email content can make this trusted marketing strategy even more effective. QR Codes are square barcodes that users can scan with the camera on their mobile device. Scanning the QR Code will take them to a specific webpage or app.

QR Codes are a powerful tool for marketers because they’re very versatile. They’re easy to create and place in your email marketing content, and you can even customize their appearance to match your brand identity. They’re also a cost-effective marketing tool that can help you maximize the ROI of your email campaigns.

QR Codes can link to many different types of content, from landing pages to social media posts to in-app content. Including them in your campaigns helps you direct your email subscribers through the sales funnel, giving them opportunities to engage with your brand in different ways.

Email marketing statistics

The fact that email marketing is so accepted by such a wide variety of people is what has made it so popular. Research shows that as much as 3 out of 4 adult online users actually prefer email marketing over other marketing methods. So basically, users are used to and enjoy receiving these types of emails. Here are a few other noteworthy email marketing statistics to grab your attention:

  • 93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.
  • 73 percent of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.
  • 80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.
  • 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.

5 ways QR Codes strengthen email marketing strategies

Adding a custom QR Code to your email marketing materials is a simple yet effective way to boost audience engagement. QR Codes can also help you track engagement metrics so you can identify which marketing tactics resonate most with your audience. Here are five ways that the use of QR Codes makes your email marketing even more powerful.

1. Collect more data about the success of your efforts

Email campaigns require regular data analysis and optimization to reach their full potential. Dynamic QR Codes are the perfect complement to any email marketing campaign because they come with built-in tracking data.

With Dynamic QR Codes, you can track scans from your email message in real time to measure engagement levels. You can also track scans by browser, city, and country, which gives you more insight into your target audience.

QR Code tracking metrics about device and location displayed in charts
QR Code tracking metrics available in QR Code Generator PRO  

Traditionally, many marketers have relied entirely on click-through rates to track the success of their email marketing campaigns. However, clicking on a link is just one way that recipients can engage with an email. QR Code tracking accounts for situations where a recipient opens an email on their desktop computer but wants to engage further on their smartphone.

2. Leverage the power of A/B testing

A/B testing can help you fine-tune your email marketing strategy to better appeal to your audience. A/B testing means that you send two or more email campaigns with slight variations between them to determine which one resonates more with your audience. For example, you might use this method to test different graphics, subject lines, or calls to action (CTAs).

You can use unique QR Codes to conduct A/B testing campaigns. With this strategy, you would create a custom QR Code for each email you want to test. Then, you can track the QR Codes to see which one gets more scans.

With QR Code Generator PRO’s detailed metrics, you can even see how engagement levels vary by location. For example, your A/B tests might have equal engagement levels, but the engagement comes from two different regions. You can use this information to optimize future email campaigns for different locations.

3. Express your brand identity

Since Dynamic QR Codes are customizable, you can adjust their appearance to match your email design and overall brand image. This creates a cohesive, professional look to catch the eye of potential customers.

A close up of a bottle of Old Goose gin with a QR Code
Product packaging with a custom QR Code

QR Code Generator PRO allows you to customize the color scheme and Barcode pattern according to your preferences. You can also add a custom frame, your logo, and a call to action to make your email QR Codes even more eye-catching.

4. Guide your audience to any destination

Not only are QR Codes customizable, but they can also link to a wide variety of online content. You can use QR Codes to encourage app downloads, send users to targeted landing pages, or increase social media engagement—just to name a few ideas. This versatility means you can use QR Code marketing automation to guide your audience to any online content you want and even influence their purchasing decisions.

Use different types of QR Codes

All QR Codes fall into two main categories: Static QR Codes and Dynamic QR Codes. Once you create a Static QR Code, you cannot edit it. If you want to make changes, you’ll need to recreate the whole thing from scratch. 

However, Dynamic QR Codes are much more versatile. You can edit them at any time without altering their original appearance. You can also change the type of media you’re linking to. This makes it easy to update the QR Codes in your marketing campaigns and avoid frustrating mistakes.

There are many different types of QR Codes you can use for email marketing. Some of the most popular choices include:

With these different types of QR Codes, it’s easy to share so many different types of media with a single scan.

5. Smooth the transition between devices for a seamless user experience

We no longer live in a desktop-only world. Most of today’s consumers use both desktop and mobile devices at various points throughout the day. This trend is particularly evident with shopping, as 45% of global consumers shop online at least once daily using their phones.

QR Codes provide a natural transition point between desktop and mobile devices. If you’re using email to promote content that is very mobile-friendly, a QR Code ensures that desktop users don’t get left behind. This is particularly important when linking to in-app pages or app store listings that wouldn’t necessarily be accessible on a desktop computer.

Great examples of email marketing with QR Codes

There are so many potential use cases of QR Codes for email marketing. Here are three examples to spark some inspiration for your next campaign.

Get more attendees to your real estate agency open house event

QR Codes used in a real estate email and a phone with a mobile version of the real estate website
QR Codes make it easy to add comprehensive information about homes for sale

Open houses and other events are a very important part of the marketing process for many real estate agencies. Email marketing campaigns can help entice potential buyers to these events with beautiful property photos and descriptions.

You can use QR Codes to attract more people to your real estate events and get a head count for attendance. In your event emails, you can add a QR Code that links to a signup form and event page.

For example, The Home Finders used QR Codes for real estate agencies to get more attendance at a particular property showing. The agency added an Event QR Code to an email campaign on its for-sale sign on the property and on the shop front next to the property’s description. Attendees could view all of the event details, including a Google Maps location, register, and automatically add the event to their calendar.

Simplify the app downloading process

A gym using QR Codes in their email and a mobile phone showing an app download prompt for the gym
An App QR Codes simplifies the app downloading process

QR Codes make it easy for users to find your app in the app store and download it quickly. There’s no need to remember the name of the app or search for it in the app store, resulting in a better user experience.

For example, eGo Gaming Studios used QR Codes for game developers for its new mobile gaming app for a successful desktop computer game. In order to direct current desktop game users to the mobile app, it added an App Store QR Code to an email campaign, its social media feed, and a particular landing page to ensure its users could conveniently access the app.

Promote mobile-based discounts as a fashion retailer

A fashion retailer's email with a QR code and a phone with a mobile version of the same email offer
A discount offered with a Coupon QR Code in an email campaign

For fashion brands, sending out discounts and sale information via email is one of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged. Today’s top fashion brands use email to send personalized offerings and keep customers engaged.

Many fashion enthusiasts have shifted from shopping in person to shopping on their mobile devices. You can use QR Codes for retailers to share mobile-only discount codes with your customers and boost engagement.

For example, Elle Boutique, a fashion retailer, wanted to direct users to its mobile app store because its conversion rate was better via mobile than on its desktop website. The boutique added a Coupon QR Code to its email marketing campaigns to encourage users to shop more on its mobile apps to maximize sales.

How to create Dynamic QR Codes for email

Creating a Dynamic QR Code for your email marketing strategy is a quick and easy process. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to QR Code Generator PRO and select the type of QR Code you’d like in your email. 
  2. Enter all the details you’d like to display.
  3. Select Generate QR Code.
  4. Now, customize the design of your QR Code by adding a frame with a Scan Me CTA.
  5. Select colors to match your style or company brand identity and add a logo.
  6. Tap Download to receive your QR Code file in .jpg format.
  7. Integrate your newly created QR Code into your email design.

Sign up to choose more QR Codes—such as Event, Video, and Coupon—where you can add more information and visuals and edit or replace all the information without printing a new QR Code. You can also choose from a variety of frames and upload your own logo.

QR Code best practices

When creating a QR Code for your email campaign, start by customizing the design to match your branding. Opt for a color scheme that matches your brand identity and other visual elements that will make the QR Code pop. Finish things off with a dynamic CTA that leaves your readers feeling inspired to take action.

You’ll also need to consider readability. For example, if your email has a light-colored background, your QR Code should be a darker color so it stands out. The QR Code also should be large enough to read—at least 2 cm x 2 cm. Test out the QR Code with several different devices to make sure it scans properly.

Once you’ve sent your email campaign, make sure to check your metrics and monitor your email scans. This will help you identify whether your campaign has been successful. You can also use the insights to optimize campaigns for the future.

Enhance your email marketing efforts with QR Code Generator PRO

Building your digital marketing strategy with QR Codes helps you bring your email campaigns into the modern world and boost engagement levels. They’re a simple, convenient, and flexible way for marketers to strengthen their email marketing tactics, giving greater insights into customer behavior and preferences while moving them through the sales funnel. Because of their flexibility and customizability, they’re also a great way to express your brand identity and smooth the transition between devices, creating a consistent and seamless experience for customers.

 QR Code Generator PRO has all the customization and tracking features you need to build a successful email marketing campaign. Whether you want to encourage customers to download your mobile app with an App Store QR Code or boost event attendance with an Event QR Code (or anything in between), QR Code Generator PRO has what you need.

Sign up today and start creating stunning custom QR Codes!

Trupti Desai

Trupti Desai is Bitly’s Senior Director of Growth Marketing. She has over 10 years of experience working in B2B and B2C marketing roles spanning the UK and the US. A key part of the marketing strategy at Bitly, Trupti elevates global teams with her expertise and insights and was notably a speaker at the Digital Marketing World Forum. You can connect with Trupti on LinkedIn.

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