Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Category: Emarketing

03 May

Five Ways a QR Code Can Help Your Business

Lately, you may have heard about QR Codes and wonder the heck they are? And further, how – if it all – they can enhance your marketing efforts? How do you even make one you might wonder? Who uses them?

Let me clear up some of the mystique so you can understand what they are and decide if they are a good fit for your business or nonprofit organization.

Just what is a QR code, anyway?

Simply put, a QR code is a 2-D bar code. It can be scanned by a reader and sent to a website or web page. These days, many people have apps for their smart phones that allow them to scan on the spot. I love mine! (QRReader App»)

How do I make a QR Code?

Its easy, you can use a QR Code Generator to create a code that looks like the one pictured.

Five Creative Business Uses for a QR Code

  1. Convert via a Landing page – Create a QR Code for a specific promotional offer that points to a unique URL. It’s best to send them to an internal landing page (versus your home page) with a relevant call to action and conversion form. A traditional print advertisement is the perfect spot for these, keeping the layout attractive and clean while providing a way for an interested prospect to dig deeper.
  2. Connect through a Business Card – Print a QR Code onto your business card, giving the recipient a place to go to learn more about your company, than merely how to contact you. You can even tap into your social networks by sending them to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages.
  3. Sell at Your Storefront – If your business has a storefront, or even online store, it is nice to display a QR Code at your entrance for those who stumble by after hours and want to reach out, or shop immediately. At point of contact, convert the visitor to a sale, or at least provide them the opportunity to connect remotely.
  4. Add to your Subscriber List – Use a QR Code to send people to your email list sign up form. Give them a reason to join and provide quality value-added material in your emails and you will create a loyal follower. These type of codes are great on a leave behind after a presentation or webinar.
  5. Share an Event Gallery or Video – Use a recent event as an excuse to share a photo gallery or video. People love photos and videos. You can add a gallery/video-linked QR Code to an event ticket, program or email blast which provides an easy avenue for those interested in experiencing the fun after the fact.

So while these are just a sampling of ways to use QR Codes to enhance a customer or member’s experience, you get the idea. A QR Code creates mystique behind the promotion or connection. Its one’s natural curiosity to scan and see, so take advantage of that instinct and try it out.

If you’ve already ventured into the QR landscape, what other successful ways has your business used them?

13 Apr

Top 5 Keys to your Email Success!

Brand. Target. Design. Think. Test.

Seems basic, but if your email campaigns are falling flat or you don’t know where your emails are going once you hit “send,” getting back to basics may be all you need to punch up those results and feel good that your message is being heard. Brown Dog came away from a recent conference with a renewed appreciation for our email campaign software, and tricks we would like to pass along to you:

  1. Brand Consistency! Ensure that all your messages across audiences are brand consistent. Your emails should look like you! Don’t sacrifice your brand to a generic interpretation!
  2. Target your audiences! It’s always great to be able to boast about whose list is bigger, BUT is that giant list getting you the results you crave or, worse yet, sabotaging any hope that your message is actually reaching an inbox! Using legitimate sources for creating your lists is key.
  3. Design to the email client and like its 1999! I think we’ve all sent an email to our personal account (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) after carefully finessing it to look a certain way in our WYSIWYG, only to realize that it doesn’t look that way at all – what is going on with those green headlines or black links? We all know that using up-to-date technology is critical, except when it’s NOT – email design is one time when using the latest stylesheets can bounce you quicker than a big guy at the door of the hottest club. Web Standards do not apply, so stay away from background images, divs, and relative links; embrace those tables you thought were long gone.
  4. Think about the device! While creating a graphically rich experience for someone sitting in front of a desktop is important, don’t forget about those customers who never get the chance to catch up on email except while standing in line on their iPhones, Droids and Blackberries. Your “graphically rich experience” has caused them to not see a thing, and your email will likely get tossed to a “mark as read,” never to be looked at again!
  5. Test! Test! Test! You can of course set up various email accounts and test in various browsers…but a paid service like or (which Brown Dog uses) is worth the few dollars to ensure your emails are getting to your customers and keeping you off a spam list.

Brown Dog likes to anticipate the needs of our clients and their customers, which is why, while we are developing your website, we also customize an email template that looks like you, communicates effectively to your audiences, and uses analytics so that you can know what is hot to your customers and what is not. Have questions about whether you have an email template, need a Create Send (CampaignMonitor) refresher – we now offer monthly unlimited, want to jazz up your existing CreateSend email template? Just whistle, we’re here to help!

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