August 8, 2022

How to Generate Dynamic QR Codes for Your Email Marketing Strategy

smartphone user scrolling through emails

Hearing the words email marketing might elicit certain thoughts in your head as a marketer. Maybe you think it’s archaic or dying out or just— like so totally yesterday.

Fair enough, fair enough. After all, email marketing has been around for a very long time. It certainly represents the earliest days of the internet— when it was first introduced, it was a hot commodity in both the workplace and in the personal lives of those with access to it.

The thing is, email platforms have evolved according to most of our everyday lifestyles, and we kind of take it for granted now— like come on, who doesn’t have an email app (or two or three) installed on their smartphone?

So let’s not forget some important email marketing statistics we previously mentioned in another post about app deep linking and email marketing. For example, did you know that:

  • 50% of media planners use email marketing?
  • Upward of 306 billion emails are circulated every single day?
  • That the majority of emails are viewed on a mobile device (41%), while desktop computers are now trailing behind at 39%?

There is no doubt email marketing is going strong— and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read more here about the importance of having and maintaining an effective email strategy.

So the question is, apart from simply asking customers to sign up to your email list, how can you reach new and existing customers with email marketing in fun and new ways outside of the inbox (which is overflowing for most consumers— me inlcuded!).

The answer is dynamic QR codes for email marketing— and I don’t mean your run-of-the mill QR code. What I’m talking about is pairing up your email marketing strategy with a solid, robust Enterprise dynamic QR code strategy. The phrase ‘Enterprise dynamic’ means you can control the destination to be an app screen or web page and that it can be changed any time— even after the QR code is printed. Let’s dig in.

Make the Most of Your Email Campaign With the Use of QR Codes

So let’s say you have your email marketing strategy in place and your conversion rates are pretty good, but you still believe that there is potential to increase click-through-rates and reach new customers with the email channel. QR codes can help, but let’s be more specific. Round your team up around that virtual conference table and have a discussion about what you want to accomplish with your QR codes for email.

Here are a few use cases for dynamic QR codes that can serve as a launching point for you to turbocharge your email marketing strategy (while you brainstorm new ideas!):

QR code for email campaign
  • Drive more customers to sign up for your email blasts
  • Increase special offer conversion (e.g. Scan to email us for a free gift!)
  • Drive event registration (e.g. Scan to register via email!)
  • Email customer support (e.g. Email us your questions!)
  • Check stock (e.g. Email us about product availability!)
  • Drive sign-ups to a special, date-driven event (Scan to email your entry!)
  • You get the idea!

Sure, the classic way to do these things is with a link CTA in your email— but as we mentioned— and as we all know ourselves, inboxes are overflowing. People simply can’t read every single email message and click on every single link within each respective one. Customers do have time, however, to take out their phone and quickly scan a QR code. Hey, just ask our friends over at Coinbase (remember that Super Bowl commercial?).

When you generate a dynamic QR code that opens your customer’s email app with a pre-populated subject line and/or message, all they need to do is hit send and boom! No wading through hundreds of emails that are stuck in the promotions folder. When your customer emails you about something they are more likely to notice your reply and the special offer or task being completed!

You might be thinking— oh no! I need to ask my team to install an SDK or something. And friend? You actually don’t. You don’t need an SDK and there’s nothing at all you need to install (and yeah, some companies like to make you think so). All you need to do is use a cloud-based, Enterprise QR code platform like URLgenius.

And guess what? You can set up a dynamic QR code for email marketing right now in real time— we’re even going to show you step-by-step!

Step-By-Step: Generate a Dynamic Email QR Code With URLgenius

URLgenius offers agencies and marketers the ability to create and customize dynamic email QR codes (including app deep links) that open your visitor’s email app on their iOS or Android mobile device with a pre-populated message.

They seem like regular QR codes, but they contain special configurations embedded in them that can access the right email app— regardless of whether it’s an iOS or Android device doing the scanning. The secret? URLgenius’ patented process to embed app deep links to email apps (which also act as your QR link).

URLgenius lets you instantly create dynamic QR codes for email marketing that opens with a pre-populated message

We’ll do some marketing ourselves and use our own info box in this example. In this case, let’s suppose our offer instructs the customer to text the phrase, ‘Hello! Please send me some information about enterprise pricing. Thank you!’ to a specific email address. To generate our dynamic email QR code and campaign link, simply put a text string into the URLgenius homepage in the following format, which includes the email address, subject and body text:{email address}/{subject}/{cc’s}/{body}

Important: You cannot have special characters or spaces in the string. Make sure you encode your message. If you’re not familiar with encoding, just use an online encoding tool. For example, instead of a space use ‘%20’. Contact us if you need help encoding your email message.

The number of characters that you enter will affect the density of your QR code, so make sure to keep your message short. You can always change your pre-populated message later in the settings.

Pro Tip: You can use your brand’s domain for your email marketing QR code. This should be easy to set up from the settings of your QR provider. URLgenius lets you do this in minutes!

When you enter the string of information for your dynamic email QR deep link, look for the email icon in the top right corner, which indicates that URLgenius recognizes the type of link you’re generating (if you don’t see it, something is wrong!). Note— there’s also a section where you can personalize your QR link after the backslash. As we continue on with our example, we have changed the end of the link to ‘pricing’ to correspond with our campaign.

URLgenius-generated email QR code to open email app

When you click on “Compose,” you’ll be directed to the QR app link settings page. This is the section where you can test your QR code link and see it in action!

The routing tab lets you edit your email message— and please note: the ‘Default URL’ is your desktop destination, just in case someone shares the link behind the QR code and a desktop computer clicks it. Remember, URLgenius QR codes are dynamic! You can update your email message on the ‘Routing’ tab anytime, even after the QR code is printed. Just remember to update the message for each mobile device type.

URLgenius-generated email QR code to open email app - app routing by platform and device

Pro tip about multi-language destinations: URLgenius supports multi-language QR codes. Traffic is routed based on the user’s language-geo preference. Contact us if you need help setting up a multi-language dynamic email marketing QR code.

Now click ‘QR Settings’ to download your QR code. You can upload your brand’s logo or change the colors of the QR code. Just beware that changing the design of the QR code can affect the ability to scan. If you’re unsure about QR code customization best practices, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions (it’s the best way to ensure that you avoid a QR code fail!)

URLgenius-generated email QR code to open email app customization

Dynamic QR codes for email marketing are quite easy to make once you get the hang of it, but they’re also easy to get wrong, ultimately making the code unscannable. Whether you’re using the code for television, print, email, packaging, or retail displays; all QR codes need to be optimized for design, size, density, channel, and placement.

Make sure to check out our QR Code Strategy Guide and QR Experience Playbook to learn more about the common mistakes and what to consider in relation to apps, websites, and QR analytics.

Your Email Marketing QR Code Analytics

You can log in to your URLgenius dashboard at any time to understand how often your QR code is being scanned. URLgenius will track scans separately from clicks in case someone is sharing the link behind it. This is also helpful when both the QR code and the link are in a multi-channel campaign.

Tracking scans from email QR codes is a great way to enhance your first-party data over time as you increase your understanding of how your customers and prospects like to engage with email marketing and the QR channel.

URLgenius-generated email QR code to open email app - analytics - visits by web referrer / visits by app referrer

The following chart shows the number of email app-opens by platform and device. The app-open rate tells you what percentage of people who scanned had an email app installed for iOS and Android.

URLgenius-generated Facebook QR code analytics - visits by device opens

This chart shows scans by city and separately by language preference. These insights are anonymous and help you confirm the focus of your campaign geographically and by language.

URLgenius-generated Facebook QR code analytics - visits by city / visits by language/region

  • Check your spending during the month at any time by clicking ‘Settings.’
  • Keep in mind— there is a one-hour delay in reporting.

You can create singular or thousands of dynamic QR codes for email marketing, and personalize them in bulk using the URLgenius API. Our team at URLgenius will even create them and send them directly to your printer! And if you need help or guidance, just let us know. Sign up to get started.

If you found this content helpful, check out some of our latest how-to posts for QR code app marketing:

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