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Native iPhone QR Code Reader…Coming Fall 2017

iPhone QR Code Reader - Coming in iOS 11
A built-in iPhone QR Code reader has long been on the wishlist for direct mail marketers, agencies and printers.


Native iPhone QR Code Reader In iOS 11 This Fall

With great fanfare, Apple unveiled a new version of the iPhone operating system at the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) in June. Among many major announcements, a few influential tech industry press websites discovered that Apple is bundling a QR Code reader in the native camera app of the iOS 11 operating system.

That means that all new iPhones (and everyone that upgrades to iOS 11) will be able to simply point their camera at a QR code to be taken to the ultimate destination. There’s be no need to download any apps, or fumble around with typing on tiny keypads.

While the good folks at Apple aren’t telling marketers what to do, it probably makes sense to think about including QR’s in upcoming marketing plans. The iPhone and iPad user base is a very attractive demographic. You don’t want to be left behind.

Direct Mail Service Providers Need To Be Prepared

As mobile savvy corporate marketers get this update and start using QR’s themselves, they’ll start asking questions of their vendors. Direct mail agencies, printers and consultants should have their answers ready. Here’s a quick list that can act as a starting point for a deeper, more strategic conversation:

  • QR Codes in direct mail pieces help to drive recipients online to research or respond to offers
  • Variable Data Printing enables easy personalization of QR Codes – providing a valuable tracking tool to help determine ROI
  • pURL landing pages and microsites that build upon the personalization and offers from the Variable Data Printed mail boost response rates
  • It makes sense to test mobile centric audiences starting in Q4 2017 and into 2018 for evidence of increased adoption

More Background On QR Code Use

There’s a segment of marketers that have been led to believe that QR Codes aren’t effective, and will be skeptics despite the native Apple iPhone QR Code reader. It makes sense to provide some context for them. Below are some facts that can help clarify your position to your clients and prospects.

QR Code Use Has Been Held Back…By Bad MarketingBad Marketing Example - iPhone QR Code Reader

While direct marketers have long realized the value of an easy way to drive mail responders online, QR Codes haven’t exactly taken off, especially in the US. After an initial period of hype, along with some really bad marketing usage, they’ve settled in as a niche tool. Many marketers have have backed away.

Here are some really bad uses of QR codes that marketers have dreamt up over the years (credit):

  • Billboards – will you stop driving or crash your car just to scan a QR code?
  • Airplanes – where no one can use a cell phone
  • T-shirts – because walking up to someone and randomly snapping a picture of their t-shirt is okay?
  • Rooftops – Just in case you’re parasailing by

Notice that direct mail postcards aren’t on the bad list. QR Codes work really well with mobile oriented consumers that want to respond to a printed offer.

Asia Leads The Way – QR’s as Cash

As is often the case with mobile first technologies, Asian countries have lead the adoption. QR Codes have been embraced in Asia, with over 90% awareness in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

Incredibly, QR Codes are being used to replace cash in China. According to Forrester Research, “Thanks to QR code’s rapidly increasing usage at off-line shops, the amount of mobile payments on the mainland is now 50 times greater than that of the US. Mobile payments in the US totaled US$112 billion in 2016” (source).

What Exactly Is A QR Code?

Gartner IT Glossary Definition

More Articles Describing the iPhone and QR Usage:

The Next Web – iOS 11 Makes QR Codes Cool

Top 10 QR Codes Supported By iOS 11

The Death Of QR Codes Is Greatly Exaggerated

Fortune – Snapchat QR Reader

QR Codes Rise With Millennials

5 Genius Examples of QR Codes in Marketing

QR Codes In Boingnet

Boingnet’s Direct Marketing Automation platform generates QR Codes for pURL and lead generation landing pages automatically. You can download the files in a .zip file from within the Campaign Dashboard. Personalized QR’s are generated for each pURL, and generic QR’s are created for for lead generation campaigns.

QR Code In Dashboard - iPhone QR Code Reader

Learn More. Talk To Boingnet

Boingnet helps direct marketers think through the right strategies to integrate direct mail with digital infrastructure like QR Codes, Landing Pages, pURLs, CRM and Marketing Automation. If you’d like to speak with us about the new iPhone QR Code reader and it’s impact on the direct mail world…

Contact Us

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