You don’t have to travel far these days to see how smartphones have affected society. Walk into a deli during lunchtime or a commuter train station anytime and it seems like at least half of the people there are glued to the small screen in their palm.
According to comScore, 82.2 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones as of July 2011, up 10% from the preceding three-month period. For credit unions, it only makes sense to look for ways to engage with consumers through the growing mobile channel.
One of the hottest technologies to emerge for mobile is the Quick Response (QR) code. These two-dimensional codes drive users from printed material to online content via smartphones.
Direct mail has been an important channel for credit unions wanting to attract new members or grow their share of wallet among current members.
QR codes can enhance already powerful direct mail campaigns, turning a printed direct mail piece into an instant interactive mobile response and allowing static messages to become a hyperlink to just about anything online.
Awareness and use of QR codes continues to rise. A study by comScore found that in June 2011, about 14 million U.S. mobile users scanned a QR code on their mobile device. These codes are appearing in magazines and on billboards, customer statements, in-store displays, and numerous other venues.
While the momentum of QR codes is continually picking up steam, there remains untapped potential as well as errors in how they’re being used.
Many marketers, for example, have used QR codes to link to general websites rather than to information relevant to the marketing materials the codes are printed on—and too frequently the websites aren’t optimized for mobile devices.
We have found a number of ways credit unions can integrate QR codes into their direct mail campaigns to engage with current and prospective members.
QR codes serve as an immediate call to action at the moment of emotion that serves to bridge the physical world with the online arena. On-the-spot access to online resources can make integrated marketing campaigns extremely effective, providing immediate access to all sorts of additional information of interest to consumers.
Next: How CUs can use QR codes
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