Digital action codes in magazines draw better than direct mail, study says
According to a recent study by the mobile marketing and technology firm Nellymoser, reported by Audience Development, scannable digital action codes (QR codes, Microsoft tags, digital watermarks) gain a much better response than traditional direct mail. Now this should be taken with a grain of salt, coming as it does from a firm with a direct interest in promoting mobile interraction and given that the research was based on analysis of response to seven magazines over a 12-month period. Still, a median response rate of 4.5 to 5.9 per cent, going as high as 26.8% is very, very good.
"Mobile becomes an extension of the magazine," says Roger Matus, executive vice president of Nellymoser. "I think of it as a virtual magazine insert, so instead of putting in extra pages, you're putting in virtual pages the reader can go to for extra content.
"The response rate is growing as people become more familiar with [mobile action codes]," says. "It also grows as people become more familiar with them within the magazine itself. So as a particular magazine runs their first campaign, they've trained some of their readers. Then when it's in the next issue, there are new groups of readers that they train. Usually by the fourth or fifth issue, all the readers know about them and know what to do. We're seeing increased awareness both in the general marketplace and in the individual magazines."The more codes there are in magazines, the better, apparently. Twenty or more per issue get up to 50 per cent more scans per code than magazines with fewer than 20. Not surprisingly, response to contents or sweepstakes are stronger than codes leading to shopping or e-commerce.