Using QR Codes in Email: Everything You Need to Know

Emails are a crucial way of marketing your brand. Most marketers understand and accept this as a fact, but the difficult part is building an email list and then keeping the audience engaged to your business through emails. Which is where QR codes in emails can have a crucial role to play. Quick Response Code […]

Using QR Codes in Email: Everything You Need to Know

Emails are a crucial way of marketing your brand. Most marketers understand and accept this as a fact, but the difficult part is building an email list and then keeping the audience engaged to your business through emails. Which is where QR codes in emails can have a crucial role to play.

Quick Response Code (better known as QR Code) is an exciting tool that can change the face of email marketing for small businesses. From adding new subscribers to your email marketing campaigns to keeping your audience engaged, QR codes in email can work wonders for your business.

This article is the ultimate guide to understanding how you can create stronger email marketing campaigns by leveraging QR codes.

Building an Email List with QR Codes

Imagine this scenario. You are holding this amazing event for creating brand awareness for your company. People flock to your stall and they are very interested in what you have got to say.

What do you do? Do you let this be a one-day event and allow this huge group of people just forget about you, or do you collect their data to try and convert them into valuable customers for your business? Of course, any business will choose the latter.

You can hand out forms to collect data from people interested in your business. But that will require someone to collect, keep the forms safe, and then enter each data manually into the system. Whoever has the time?

Utilizing QR codes in such a scenario is a great option since people can just scan the code with their mobile device, enter their information, and voila! You have all their data stored directly into your system.

People might be apprehensive to scan the code, in which case you might consider offering them a benefit in return. It can be a gift voucher or a special discount coupon.

How to Build an Email List with QR Codes?

Here are tips that you can utilize to get relevant data from people and build a sturdy mailing list with the help of QR codes:

  1. Add QR codes into leaflets and pamphlets when you have an event.
  2. Keep a QR code handy in your storefront for people to scan and subscribe to your newsletters.
  3. Make sure to link the QR codes to a Google form so the users can input their information.
  4. Test the code before printing it.

Using QR Code in Emails

Using QR codes in your email marketing campaigns is one of the best strategies to pack in a lot of useful information but within a shorter space. They can just scan the QR code to the information or the offer they are interested in, instead of having to scroll through everything within the email.

For example, you are having a sale in your clothing brand e-store and you create an email with some lucrative offers such as office wear, casual wear, and evening wear items. By just adding QR codes with pictures of the apparel, your users can just scan the code under the category they are interested in and be taken to the page directly.

Such QR codes will not only make your emails look more interesting but will engage your customers too, thus improving your email click-through rate. And, if you can keep your customers engaged in your business via emails, the users will feel more connected to your brand. This will lead to creating brand loyalty amongst your users in the long run as well.

So, how do you include QR codes in your emails? Here are some ways:

Adding Customized QR Codes to Emails

As a call to action (CTA)

A great way to make use of QR codes in emails is to incorporate CTA into them. Say, for example, a user reads your email and is interested to know more. Instead of writing a response, they can just scan the QR code in the email, which will send a text message directly to you that might include a message like, “Hey, I am interested to know more, can you get back to me?”. It will save the user’s time and build engagement too.

Generate entry passes for events

If you are planning to sponsor an event that has entry passes, have these passes sent to customers via emails with a unique QR code. Patrons can get the QR code validated at the entrance of the venue for attending the event.

You can also include your social media page details within the QR code. When a user scans the code, he will not only learn about the event but also get to know about your service or products. It is in fact a great way to increase traffic to your website.

Offer discount to customers for scanning QR code in-store

If you have a store, it is a great way to attract more customers. Just send them an email that has a discount coupon embedded in the QR code. This code can be scanned in-store to place an offer and avail of an instant discount. This will encourage a greater number of walk-ins from your customers.

Create business cards with QR Codes

Create a business card with QR Code and load all the details of your business such as website details, portfolio, app download option as well as latest products. Add this to your Gmail signature at the bottom of your emails. If your users need to contact you or want to know about your business, they will get all the information at one go simply by scanning the QR Code.

The fact is that the list and kind of information you can include within a QR code is seemingly endless. For example, some other data that you can embed in the QR Codes include web page URLs, email addresses, postal addresses, texts, as well as phone numbers.

In fact, you can even write a full email message inside a QR code. When users scan the QR Code, the message will open right into their inboxes.

QR Codes Tools for Email Addresses

Let’s take a look at some of the better QR tools available right now for email addresses:

With, you can enter in your email address and receive a QR code version to share with people. The site also lets you create QR code versions of other information like phone numbers and social media handles. Pricing for the email QR code is free, but you’ll need to pay $12 / month to customize the QR style.

QRcode Chimp

QRcode Chimp is another QR code generator for email. You can turn your email address into a QR code, as well as add a subject line and message. Therefore, the QR code acts as the body of the mail itself. The basic version is free, but advanced features like analytics will cost you upwards of $34 / month.

QR Code Generator

Using QR Code Generator from Bitly, you can write an entire email that is encoded within a QR code — making it easier for your audience to get in touch with you. This helps you reduce human error by accidentally mistyping any information. The service lets you choose frames, colors, shapes and logos. The best part is that QR Code Generator is 100% free.

Important Points to Remember Before Integrating QR codes in Emails 

1. When you want to build your list of email subscribers, do not seek lots of information via the QR Codes

When you are building your email list with the help of QR codes, remember that most of the users will scan the QR code on their mobile. Hence, they might not be available or willing to share more than just their names and email addresses. Asking for more information may result in users abandoning the subscription altogether.

2. Add valuable and meaningful content in the QR Code

Whether you are offering an incentive to your readers to join your company subscription or giving them a discount, add engaging content to the QR code. Remember, users will make an effort to check out your business by taking out their valuable time to scan your code, so give them something to feel excited about.

3. Do not forget to add a clear CTA. 

It is always better to let the users know what they can expect when they scan your QR code. For example, you can say “scan this code to reveal a surprise voucher”, or “scan this code to send an email to us”.

4. Make sure that the QR Code is leading to the correct landing page 

Make sure that the landing page the QR code will redirect the user to is working correctly. You don’t want users to encounter an error when they scan the code since that will harm your credibility. It is also a good idea to keep some white space around the QR code so that the scanner app can detect the code conveniently.

5. Use the QR Code in PNG format

It is not necessary, but advisable to use the QR code in a PNG format. This is to ensure that the code will not get distorted when embedded into an email.

6. Keep alternative channels of communication open

Not all customers are tech-savvy. They might not want to scan the QR Code. It is a good idea to keep an alternative option, such as an URL, for such customers in your emails.

Frequently Asked Questions About QR Codes in Emails

Given below are answers to some FAQs that you might have about using QR codes in emails:

How to Create a QR Code for Emails?

Creating a QR Code for using in an email is pretty easy. Follow the below-mentioned steps to create a QR Code for your email campaigns.

  1. Choose a good QR Code generator
  2. Input all the information you want to, within the QR code
  3. Test the QR Code
  4. Choose from Static and dynamic QR Codes
  5. Download

How to choose a good QR code generator?

You will be spoilt for choices when looking for a QR Code generator since there are several available online. However, you will need to decide on one that offers specific features that will help you in achieving your marketing goals.

To assist you in your quest to finding a good QR code generator, here are some general features that you should look for:

Customization: with this feature, you will be able to design the QR Code that matches your exact requirements.

Analytics: This feature will help you in the performance tracking of your email campaigns. It is great for checking the impact your emails have on your clients.

Easytouse: having a QR code generator that can give you and your customers a good user experience is of utmost importance.

The best thing about QR Code generators is that they can take any email message and change it to a code. You can now place the code anywhere. When a user scans the code, the email is decrypted with the content that is stored in the code.

Are You Ready to Implement QR Codes in Your Email Campaigns?

QR Codes are taking the world by storm and transforming how businesses are conducted. Especially now with the global pandemic, touchless transactions are the way forward, and QR codes are proving to be extremely beneficial in this regard. Even restaurants are using QR coded menus to ensure safety.

With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, QR Codes can benefit all industries. Apart from saving money and time, it can also help you in measuring and tracking your marketing campaigns. And now, with the help of QR codes in emails, you can better engage with your customers as well.

So, if you too are not leveraging on the benefits, you are making a big mistake, huge!

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David Campbell

David Campbell is the editor of the Right Inbox blog. He is passionate about email productivity and getting more done in less time.


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