Watch the QR Codes - Best Practices Video

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A QR code is a small block of coded instructions that when read by a QR reader, can direct a browser to open a specific landing page. They are very common, widely understood, but often not used to their full potential.

In this article, we look at a broad overview of how to best use QR codes when promoting your video campaigns, covering such areas as:

  1. Best Practices - Do’s and Don’ts of presenting a QR code
    1. Flip don’t open
    2. Motivation
    3. Mobile Optimization


  1. Samples - Some relevant examples of successful campaigns using QR codes

Best Practices

In this section, best practices for QR codes are explored, with a selection of tips to help you maintain a high engagement rate with your campaigns.

Flip Don’t Open

If you think about your own junk mail, stuff that lands in your mailbox or on your doormat is effectively cold calling you to engage with its content. When you pick it up, you probably FLIP through the envelopes and avoid opening anything that doesn’t immediately engage with you. These items end up in the paper recycling without ever being opened.

To maximize your engagement, it’s important that your target audience can Flip to the QR code without having to open an envelope first. To achieve this, the ideal scenario would be to place the QR code on the outside of the mailer, or to provide a medium that incorporates the QR code but doesn’t need to be opened.

A postcard is often the ideal solution for this problem as it doesn’t need to be opened at all.

Motivate Your Target

The process of scanning a QR code (until smart glasses or retinal implants become a thing) is to simply take out your phone, load up the camera or a QR reader App, then scan the code and wait for the website to load. While this might sound simple and easy, it does require a significant commitment from your targeted audience. Remember, you are cold-calling!

You must offer very strong motivation to the user for wanting, or needing to scan the QR code. It has to be compelling enough to get someone to take out their phone & scan, so it has to be more than simply being mildly interesting.

The first question you need to ask yourself, when creating a QR code campaign is:

"How do we motivate the desire to scan the QR code?"

In order to correctly answer this question, consider the following points:

  • What’s in it for them [the viewer]?
  • Why should they care?
  • Does this connect to what they are already thinking about?
  • What do they want to know?
  • How can this help them?

Mobile Optimization

If you are utilizing a QR code to direct your audience to a personalized video, it is likely nearly all of the video views are on a mobile device. With this in mind, think carefully about how you present your video.

For mobile presentations, the following rules of thumb should be considered:

  • Vertically formatted video is a very good idea. Most people hold their phones vertically and do not want to rotate their phone to view a video, leading to an imperfect display of your campaign material.

  • Short videos are also a good idea. Most people do not want to watch a lengthy video on their mobile device!


In this section, we look at two examples of how to best engage with your target audience using a QR code.

National Grid Mailer

In this first example, from the National Grid, the QR code is visible to the user without ever having to open the mailer. If they do open the mailer, then further information is made available to them, but the initial point of contact, the QR code, is readily available on the outside of the package.

American Express

In this example, American Express motivated their user base to engage with the QR code by offering Membership reward points to promote their Business Gold card. This QR code directed the user to a personalized video, and in this case, saw a rise of over 1,000% in the net response vs a control group.