Poorly placed or ineffective QR codes can lead you to consumer frustration. Here’s how to use them to enhance- NOT EMBARRASS- your gym.
I have a love/hate relationship with QR (quick response) codes. These boxy symbols which you see everywhere these days from business cards, ticket stubs and pizza boxes function like a bar code on steroids. It allows people who have a QR code reader on their smart phone to visit websites, access discounts or otherwise engage with your brand. In your gym business it is another great way to interact with your current clients and your potential customers.
WHY I HATE THEM-
- Sometimes they lead NOWHERE. A QR code on a pizza box brought me to their menu! I had already ordered and picked up the pizza. This was of no help! A QR code that brought me to a NON-mobile-friendly site.
- NO INCENTIVE- I scanned a QR code and was brought to a site that wanted my Name, e-mail address so they could send me future specials. Right- I don’t get enough spam already. I am going to sign up for more. Plus- typing that info into my iPhone is a PAIN IN THE ASS.
- BAD PLACEMENT- A QR code on a bottle of shampoo? Sorry- I don’t happen to have my phone with me in the shower. A QR code on a billboard along the highway? Isn’t driving and texting dangerous enough? Let me try to scan that code as I drive 65 mph through traffic.
- TOO MUCH INFO- No one likes to wait. Don’t make me wait for a video to load onto my phone.
All these are really a shame because I really do love the potential.
WHY I LOVE THEM-
- QR codes can bridge the online and offline worlds and enrich your efforts to generate leads.
- They are FUN
- They present an easy way to get information to potential customers
- They are another way to interact with customers.
FOCUS ON USER EXPERIENCE.
The mobile web is rapidly becoming a major conduit for relationships with customers. Take a look in your waiting room someday and look at how many parents have their smart phones out. Make sure your mobile efforts are purposeful and relevant in order to better attract new customers and service those you already have.
Practice the K.I.S.S. method. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. In a practical sense, BREVITY RULES- in terms of speedy load time on the QRs landing page.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
According to an article in Entrepreneur Magazine 14 MILLION U.S. customers (6.2% of the total mobile audience) scanned a QR code on their mobile device in JUNE of 2011. That may sound like a small portion but consider this, 40% of customers ages 25-34 have scanned a QR code. I don’t know about your gym- but that is the age group I am marketing to.
HAVE A POINT
As with any of your marketing efforts, be sure to have crystal clear objectives.
- Is your goal to generate leads to your gym?
- Are you just looking to grow your database of potential customers?
- Are you looking at expanding 1 program in your gym (summer camp, pre-school)
GIVE THEM A REASON TO SCAN
Offer an incentive to scan and visit your site. We recently had an Ad for our summer programs in a magazine. Our QR code lead them to our summer page where they received $15 off if they signed up by March 1st.
If you were doing a direct mail piece, the QR code can lead them to access “the rest of the story”. Whatever you do, be sure to frame the offer contextually. Don’t just point to a website. Think of the QR code as being a step in the customers journey. Treat the code not as a passive entry but as a call to action.
It is clear that the mobile experience is going to change everything. It is estimated that by 2015, more people in the U.S. will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs.
What are you doing to take advantage of that MOMENTUM?