Be there when they’re ready. Using QR Codes Effectively

This weekend I received a booklet in the mail from Room and Board. It’s one of my favorite furniture stores, and I love getting the catalogs for home decorating ideas.


On the mailer is a QR Code, that reads:

“Scan this code with your smartphone to sign up for e-mails so you can be among the first to learn about new products, design tips and special events.”


In case your not familiar: QR Codes (Quick Response) are scannable information barcodes, that link to content, like websites.  The codes are scanned using a smartphone. The smartphone camera is pointed toward the code and the content or website is delivered to your phone

When I scan the QR code, I’m taken to a mobile friendly page to sign up for emails.

Here’s why this works. Qr codes are great to integrate offline and online marketing strategies.

  1.  I’m not ready to buy yet. I love their product however so it is likely that I will buy from them again in the future. So they have given me an easy way to opt-in and get updates for when I am ready to buy.
  2.  The QR code is specific. Im not sent to a random page, like their home page. The reader is given a specific call to action and follow through – this is key as well.

That’s one mistake I see many making with QR codes. Having a QR code that sends interested prospects to your website home page isn’t really effective. They may visit your home page, see more images and think “cool, great images.” Then they leave your site and never come back.  You need to give a specific action for visitors to take and you need to stay in front of them.

 How can you use this in your studio? Be there when they are ready. 

Let’s say you have a studio display somewhere, maybe in a mall. Someone walks by and sees your beautiful images. They’re not really looking right now for portraits, in fact they have never given it much thought.

This is where you want to get them on your list, so you can send them updates so when they are ready to buy, they will think of you.

Having a Qr Code there, that sends interested prospects to an easy sign up page is one way to do that. You could also send them to your Facebook Page to ‘Like’ your page, so they get updates in their News Feed.

It’s so important to build a list of interested prospects, whether it’s email, direct mail or Facebook. You need to stay in front of buyers. Have some way to capture names and addresses whether its a mobile QR Code or a sign up form in your studio.



This is a recent mailer from Express. When I scan the code I’m taken to a mobile friendly page with a video, and there’s also a place to download their apps to I can keep updated or shop.


The call to action wasn’t as strong as Room and Board’s, it simply prompted me to watch a video. It would have been better to have a more clear specific call to action. Room and Board had one specific action – get on our list and stay updated.

Whether you are sending a direct mail piece, have a mall display, or even in your studio window, use QR Codes to get potential leads to take a specific next step. Giving them a way to sign up to receive updates from you is one of the best ways to use QR Codes.



About Nancy Nardi

Founder of HiFi Social Web, Co-Founder of Seniors Ignite, website maker and entrepreneur. I help photographers and entrepreneurs leverage the power of the web with WordPress.