With all the countless terms about mobile marketing being tossed around, chances are you’ve heard the term, “QR code” once or twice. Perhaps you’ve even noticed those funny looking boxes that contain a strange black and white pattern and seem to keep popping up on everything from websites to postcards to magazine ads and even business cards. While they may look odd, these little cubes are actually powerful marketing tools and are being used by businesses everywhere – including veterinary practices. If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, here is a brief overview of what they do and, more importantly, why you need one as part of your practice’s overall marketing strategy.
What is a QR Code?
QR stands for “quick response”, which basically relates to how quickly the code can be scanned and read by a smartphone. These innocent looking boxes actually contain a wealth of information, which is transmitted to the phone or mobile device via a QR reader. In simplest of terms, to scan a QR code, a user would simply pull up the QR reader app and hover the camera of their smartphone over the code. Once scanned, the user will have access to whatever the code contained, which may be information about a business, details about a particular product, a URL to a related website, or even a coupon to be used on a future purchase.
Are QR Codes the Same as Barcodes?
While the concept is basically the same, QR codes are actually much more useful than traditional barcodes for a number of reasons. First, they can store and digitally convey much more information and data, such as website URLs, geographical coordinates and a huge amount of text. They are also much more convenient and practical, since they can be scanned using common mobile devices, unlike traditional barcodes, which required the use of bulky handheld scanners.
Why Would a Veterinary Practice Want One?
We all know that one of the most important components of practice growth is creating a clear call to action for your prospects to follow. By providing people with a QR code that they can quickly scan, you can instantly deliver your contact information directly to their mobile device. When a potential client scans your QR code, your practice name, phone number, address, email address, website URL, social media links and whatever else you’d like to communicate will be instantly added to that person’s smartphone and ready to use! QR codes make it even easier for prospects to take that important step and call to book an appointment with you.
Where Would I Use a QR Code?
QR codes are incredibly easy to use, particularly with websites, and you can use them in a number of ways to generate more interest and increase leads. Some of the ways you could utilize a QR code for your practice include:
- Contact Us Page – Sure a visitor to your website can view your contact information when they’re at a computer, but why not make it even easier by letting them transfer that information directly to their mobile device by providing them with a QR code that contains everything they need to get in touch with you?
- Printable Pages – If your website contains any pages that are designed for visitors to be able download and print them, include your QR code on these pages that links back to your website.
- Printed Marketing Materials – If you’re sending out postcards, placing an ad in the local newspaper or handing out business cards, you should include your QR code on these materials to draw people to your website.
How Can I Get Mine?
There are a number of ways you can build your own QR code, but the good news is – if you’re a client of DVMelite, you don’t have to! This exclusive feature is now a free option for all of our valued clients. Use your customized QR code on your practice website, blog, social media profiles and in all of your online marketing. You will also be given a file of the QR code that you can use on your printed marketing materials as well.
Latest data reveals that an astounding 144.9 million smartphones were purchased worldwide in the first quarter of 2012 alone. With that much of the population owning mobile devices that are capable of scanning QR codes, it only stands to reason that businesses that are not leveraging this powerful marketing tool are missing out. The modern veterinary practice is no exception. In order to realize continued growth in the digital age, QR codes are a necessary component of the overall marketing strategy.