Posts Tagged ‘QR Codes for Dummies’

Get smart on QR Codes with Joe Waters

They’re everywhere from billboards to business cards. They’re gaining momentum so people don’t mistake them for decorative designs anymore. QR (Quick Response) Codes are the latest technological advance and now with Joe Waters’ assistance, you can access them with ease. Waters’ new portable edition of QR Codes for Dummies covers everything you need to know, including how to access them, create them, troubleshoot and use them effectively.

Even though Waters honestly admits QR Codes may not stick around forever, as technology is fickle and fast-paced, their purpose will always serve. They are a way to “link the offline world with online content” or simply, they are “offline hyperlinks.“So, the codes may be replaced with other devices or methods, but this new wave of “offline hyperlinks” through some type of code/method is here to stay. Waters asserts the “third screen,” i.e. the one found on smart phones, is taking over, which is where you access QR Codes.

The basics

With illustrations and extensive, clear explanations, Joe Waters shows you how to download a QR code reader, scan it and link to the site. He even provides codes with which to practice. The benefit of QR codes vs. bar codes is they store more information and link more easily online. He also explains how to create your own QR code by choosing and downloading a mobile generator. Other available features include abilities to test, accessorize and track the codes. One of the most useful pieces of a QR Code is the ability to track its use, including where and how often it is scanned. Waters’ constant advice, though, is to keep it simple and non repetitive. Make sure your QR Code links to new information on a website or URL. For example, if a restaurant provides a menu with a QR Code, the code should not link to another copy of the menu online, but should give more information, such as ingredients or how the food is specially prepared.

General uses

“In 2011, a survey of 415 smart phone users by marketing firm MGH in Baltimore, Maryland, showed that consumers would scan a QR Code for these top reasons [most used to least used]: 1) to get a coupon, discount, ordeal; 2) enter a sweepstakes; 3) access additional information; 4) make a purchase; 5) sign up to receive more information; 6) access video; and 7)interact with social media properties.” If you look at this list, you can see the trend is catching on with consumers, as you are seeing them in grocery stores, in businesses and most recently, in women’s magazines. (Interestingly, in 2011, women’s magazines led in QR codes’ use).

Nonprofit sector specific uses

The nonprofit sector, as in any business, needs to spread the word about QR Codes, explaining what they are and how to use them. They can place them on email signatures, on all marketing materials, in presentations and at conferences. These codes could link to a nonprofit’s website or other pertinent information. Joe Waters focuses on using QR Codes with fundraising and cause marketing in the following ways: The QR code can link to pictures, video, etc. that tell your organization’s story or educates your visitor. The codes can link to a donation page, thank-you page, petition page, frequently asked questions page or informative page about a demonstration. They can also link to your Facebook page so scanners can like your organization. Finally, QR Codes are the best option right now for mobile giving. Waters suggests Give.mobi as a service to connect to a donation page and a link to your PayPal account. The advantage of a QR code over a text campaign, says Waters, is you can donate any amount you want versus a set amount with a text.

Waters, in no uncertain terms, states that nonprofits can lag in the latest technology use, suggesting it could help them with their good work. QR codes are an easily accessible, growing way to market your cause effectively and the best way to connect people with your online newsletters, donation page and other information. Getting the word out is half the battle, which can be fought with another weapon, the QR Code.

Waters has extended a special promotion for our CausePlanet readers. Please email him, telling him you read about his book on CausePlanet, and he will send you an entire chapter of “QR Codes for Dummies” free. His email is iamjoewaters@gmail.com.

You can follow more of Joe Waters’ cause marketing insights at www.SelfishGiving.com.

See also:

Fundraising with Businesses

Image credit: the2dcode.com

 

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The four great truths of cause marketing

Cause marketing is the talk of the town, and with good reason. Cause marketing,  a partnership between a nonprofit and for-profit for mutual profit,  is a progressive fundraising strategy that can help nonprofits raise money, build awareness and diversify their support from corporate funders. But to succeed with cause marketing, nonprofits need to accept the four truths of cause marketing.

First, the reality.

Cause marketing is a life preserver not a lifesaver. Nonprofits need to be realistic about how much they can do with companies and how much their partnership will raise. The bad news is that cause marketing won’t solve all their financial woes. It will help, for sure, but we’re not talking about a mountain of money. Jocelyne Daw has a good rule of thumb on this: 5-15% of your total revenues: that’s what nonprofits can expect to raise from cause marketing. So, if your nonprofit has a $500,000 budget, you can expect to raise between $25,000 and $75,000. It’s not chump change, but it may not be as much as you expected.

Second, follow the money.

The real money isn’t in the companies. It’s in the customers. People often make a big mistake with cause marketing: they confuse it with sponsorship. They talk about logos and billboards and companies cutting fat checks. For every cause marketing program that is funded by a company, there should be three more that allow consumers to give through or because of a company. The reason is quite simple: you’ll almost always raise more money from consumers.

Third, walk toward the light.

Skip ahead to mobile. You need to jump ahead with mobile technology and tap text messaging, location-based services and QR codes. (Here are some posts to get you started!) Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional tools like point-of-sale and purchase-triggered donations, but the future is in the mobile. And I wouldn’t begrudge any nonprofit that looked ahead instead of over its shoulder.

Finally, forget cause marketing. Really.

It’s about philanthrotunity. It’s not about cause marketing. It’s about nonprofits thinking innovatively about their unique assets and how they can leverage them creatively and lucratively with companies, consumers and donors. Cause marketing is just another hammer in the toolbox. You may need to choose something else to get the job done.

Nonprofits need to reorient themselves to rediscover who they are and what they do to survive. Henry David Thoreau, the father of environmentalism, set off to live a deliberate life in the woods but journeyed just two miles from his mother’s house in Concord, Massachusetts. No matter. Thoreau’s journey was within, not without.

Nonprofits don’t need to sell their souls to save themselves, but they do need to adjust their thinking and work inside out or deny themselves a better future. But it won’t happen by itself. As Thoreau extolled, “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”

See also:

www.selfishgiving.com

Fundraising with Businesses

Cause Marketing for Dummies

QR Codes for Dummies

Image credit: amptoons.com

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