Giveaways With QR Codes: A Guide To Successful Marketing Contests

Need a creative method to boost your brand awareness, increase social media engagement, or build your email list? Try using a giveaway contest in combination with QR Codes to get fast results.

Implementing QR Codes in your giveaway marketing strategy can help better connect you and your brand to your target audience. Custom QR Codes can help convey more brand awareness, while their metric tracking features keep you up to date on how to improve your giveaways and overall QR Code marketing campaigns to get a better return on investment (ROI).

Curious how? Read on for some giveaway contest ideas with QR Codes and best practices to help you run a successful campaign. 

Why your giveaway contest needs QR Codes

If done right, giveaways have this fun-loving way of increasing customer engagement with a brand or its products and services. After all, they not only are exciting and relatively low effort but also promise free rewards, which is an appealing factor for many. Even alone, they can offer good results. 

QR Codes elevate giveaway contests and encourage more participation from audiences by making it easy for them to join. Most people have smartphones with a built-in QR Code scanner, making them accessible to the public. Plus, they’re malleable and can link to virtually anything online, allowing you to bring a little creativity into your giveaways. 

For example, you could create QR Code scavenger hunts to add a bit of competitiveness and excitement to your giveaway—the more fun it is, the better your results will be. 

Still not convinced? Here’s a deeper look at why these 2D Barcodes are precisely what you need:

Custom brand design

Because giveaway contests are often used to increase brand awareness, they can be a user’s first interaction with your brand. It’s important to give a good impression, as well as synchronize brand styling for all of your marketing materials. If you use QR Code Generator PRO software, you have access to full-scale QR Code customization.

Demo of QR Code Generator PRO’s customization features
Demo of QR Code Generator PRO’s customization features

You can easily customize the look of your QR Code to match any graphic design by using custom frames and edges, adding a logo or image in the middle, using unique brand colors, and incorporating a CTA (call to action). You can even adjust the size and file type of your QR Code to work with various graphic design materials—both print and digital. For help with your QR Code design, take a look at our Practical Guide to Designing QR Codes With Style.

Engage mobile and desktop users

Another awesome reason to use QR Codes in combination with giveaway contests is that they come with automatically optimized mobile content. So, whatever you link to, users get the perfect view, no matter what device they use. All linked content is also completely customizable for your brand and individual marketing needs.

An example of a QR Code to promote a giveaway contest on a print brochure
An example of a QR Code to promote a giveaway contest on a print brochure

Furthermore, companies have opted for QR Codes in their marketing campaigns because they simplify the transition from desktop to mobile and access to digital platforms from print mediums. For example, if you want to promote a giveaway contest through brochures at a conference, users can scan the QR Code to get direct access to your link instead of looking it up later or typing it manually.

QR Code campaign tracking

Let’s face it—the costs of running sweepstakes can be incredibly high. If they weren’t, almost all businesses would run giveaways every week or month, preventing them from standing out. You can maximize the value for your money by making sure you’re investing in the right kinds of giveaways and using the right marketing mediums—both things QR Codes can help with. 

We highly recommend choosing Dynamic QR Codes for any marketing campaign because they come with essential QR Code tracking data. Whether you’re promoting your giveaway contest on print or digital platforms, you can access data on QR Code scans by location (city and country), time scanned, unique vs. total scans, and operating device used. 

You can use this data in combination with Google Analytics to track your entire customer journey. This helps you understand the ROI of the mediums you use so you can make informed decisions about your strategy and budget.

Update QR Codes without reprinting

Dynamic QR Codes come with another added benefit: You can update the information linked to them, as well as the QR Code solution itself, without reprinting it. For example, if you’ve accidentally made a mistake in your link or need to change from an Image Gallery QR Code to a Video QR Code, you can do this anytime without changing how the original QR Code looks.

Pro tip: QR Code Generator PRO has developed solutions for images, videos, social media links, digital business cards, and more. Find our complete list of QR Code solutions here.

Giveaway contest ideas with QR Codes

Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and actually implement your giveaway contest. There are many ways to do so, but the best one depends entirely on your business and what you’d like to promote. For inspiration on how this works, we’ve gathered some examples to help get you started:

Boost gym subscriptions

An example of a billboard ad with a QR Code promoting a giveaway contest for a gym subscription
An example of a billboard ad with a QR Code promoting a giveaway contest for a gym subscription

If you run a subscription-based business, offer customers a free month of membership using a QR Code. You simply need to create a Dynamic URL QR Code that directs customers to your website for registration and promote it on social media, email, and billboard ads. The idea is that enough people will participate by accepting email marketing campaigns, following you on social media, and checking out your website so that even if they don’t win, they’ll make a purchase later on.

Promote app installations

An example of a QR Code on a landing page to promote an app-related giveaway contest
An example of a QR Code on a landing page to promote an app-related giveaway contest

With over 8.9 million mobile apps in the market, how do you bring attention to yours? By creating giveaway contests with QR Codes! You can share an App Store QR Code on your social media pages, landing page, and via email to direct target audiences to Google Play and Apple App Stores, where they can enter the contest. This can boost awareness for your app and increase downloads—more downloads could mean greater visibility in app stores

Attract social media followers with freebies

An example of a QR Code on lotion packaging promoting a giveaway contest through social media engagement
An example of a QR Code on lotion packaging promoting a giveaway contest through social media engagement

If you’re new to social media and struggling to get followers, you can offer freebies in exchange for follows using a Social Media QR Code. You simply need to create your code, share it via whichever marketing medium you use, and encourage your audience to scan the code by using a clear CTA that tells them about your giveaway. 

If you run a restaurant, you could offer guests gift cards containing Social Media QR Codes to encourage them to follow and engage with you. With these codes, they don’t have to type in your name or scroll endlessly looking for your profile—they provide direct access to your pages. 

Build a bigger email subscriber list with special assets

An important part of email marketing is ensuring you have a subscriber list and getting permission to contact your list. You can get both by offering giveaways with QR Codes. 

An example of a QR Code promoting a giveaway contest to build email subscribers for a financial consultant
An example of a QR Code promoting a giveaway contest to build email subscribers for a financial consultant

Say you run a financial consultancy firm; you could offer something of value like an ebook, webinar, or a free strategy session to get more email opt-ins to build your subscriber list. For this, you can create a Dynamic QR Code, which, when scanned, leads your audience to a landing page where they can opt in for email marketing in exchange for a chance to win your giveaway. 

Alternatively, you can use an Email QR Code to get customers to email you first. 

Attract travelers with a scavenger hunt

If you run a travel company, you could leverage QR Codes in your marketing campaign by planning a fun QR Code scavenger hunt for travelers, with the promise of a free tour for the first people to complete it. 

To actualize this idea, create a landing page with clues for your hunt and generate a Dynamic URL QR Code to direct travelers to the clues. To make things exciting and reap even more benefits, ask the participants to photograph themselves at whichever spots the clues lead them to, post the pictures on social media, and tag your travel company or use a company hashtag. 

Reward loyal customers with a shopping spree

Retail store owners can enhance their customer engagement and awareness by offering gift cards to loyal customers. If you have a physical location, you could position Dynamic QR Codes throughout your store to direct shoppers to giveaway entry forms for a chance to win. 

If you operate online, you can use QR Codes on social media posts to direct customers to your social pages. This way, participants can easily join giveaway contests, and you can kill two birds with one stone—reward customers and boost your engagement on social media. 

How to maximize the value of giveaway contests with QR Codes

To make a giveaway profitable, you have to keep a few things in mind:

  • Define your goals so you can understand how a giveaway can help. Do you want more email subscribers? Or is your goal to reward loyal customers? Either way, this will help you define how you measure your ROI. 
  • Map out your target audience.
  • Choose your giveaway product based on your target audience.
  • Draft a plan in which you set the running time of your giveaway promotion, eligibility rules, how to participate, prize, and announcement.
  • Track and measure your success so you can keep optimizing your giveaways.

Here’s a deeper look into how you can maximize your QR Code marketing ROI:

Use different QR Code types to amplify reach

From photo contests to getaways, there are more than a dozen clever ideas for brilliant social media giveaways. The good news is that there are QR Codes for each one. So, don’t confine yourself to a single idea or QR Code—leverage multiple QR Codes to reach a broader target audience. 

You can use a Social Media QR Code to capture people who are active on social media, a Dynamic URL QR Code for those who are not, an Email QR Code for those who want to join the giveaway through email, and an SMS QR Code for those who’d prefer to text you. 

You can even leverage multiple marketing mediums—add your codes to print materials like brochures, send them via email, post them on social media, and incorporate them in in-store displays. 

Determine what metrics you’ll use to monitor progress

Metrics like the total number of scans, unique scans, entry submissions, and landing page bounce rate can show what resonates the most with your audience. So, don’t just go into the giveaway process blind—determine which metrics to assess and invest in the right tools to help you optimize future giveaways. 

With QR Code Generator PRO’s tracking features, you can access a wide range of real-time data that can help you monitor your giveaways’ progress. You’ll get information on the frequency of scans and unique scans as well as the location, date, time, device, and operating system used for each one. With this real-time data, you will always be up to date on your QR Code’s performance.

Follow QR Code best practices

The QR Code no longer abides by monochromatic constraints, which means you no longer have to give it a dull prescriptive approach. You can now design it to fit your brand or your very own identity with a variety of creative tools, which will help you convey more brand awareness to a wider audience. Here are some best practices to guide you:

  • Add a CTA: Include a short written explanation of what the consumer would gain or learn from scanning your code to maximize the number of scans. 
  • Frame it: Make your code aesthetically pleasing by adding a unique frame. With QR Code Generator PRO, you have access to numerous QR Code frames to make your codes stand out. 
  • Add a logo inside your QR Code: Incorporate a brand image or company logo at the center to boost recognizability and trust. Our system automatically detects the best and largest size for uploaded logos to make sure QR Codes remain scannable, so you do not have to worry about making the correct adjustments.
  • Save your designs: QR Code Generator PRO allows you to save all your designs as templates so you can easily reuse them. This can save you a lot of time when planning future giveaways or marketing campaigns. 
  • Use a customized URL: By default, every Dynamic QR Code gets a random short URL that redirects to any page you want when the QR Code is scanned. Customize the link by adding your company’s name or a familiar phrase to build customer trust. 
  • Test before printing: Before releasing your code to the public, do extensive field testing with various smartphones and apps to ensure it is perfectly readable. 

Run successful giveaway contests with QR Code Generator PRO

Giveaway campaigns are a valuable addition to any marketer’s toolbox as they enhance brand awareness and customer engagement, even more so with the incorporation of QR Codes. QR Codes can help your target audience join in more easily and provide valuable performance data.

With QR Code Generator PRO, you can create as many types of QR Codes as you need for your giveaways. Whether you’ve settled on a Social Media, vCard, Email, or even a Coupon QR Code to facilitate seamless giveaways, the platform has you covered! And the icing on the cake? You get real-time performance data to help with campaign improvements. 

Sign up for QR Code Generator PRO today to create QR Codes that’ll elevate your giveaway contests and encourage more participation!

Armanii Glaspie

Armanii is a Product Marketing Manager at Bitly. He received his MBA from the Cox School of Business at SMU, where he concentrated on marketing and strategy. With over four years of marketing experience spanning the SaaS and CPG space, he is passionate about helping companies connect with their customers on a deeper level through the use of tools like Bitly and QR Code Generator. You can find out more about him on his LinkedIn profile.

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