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2D mobile direct mail campaign delivers for Austrian Post

2D Mobile Barcodes Spur High Response from 3.2 Million Austrian Direct Mailing


Find out how multichannel best practices for using 2D barcodes helped the Austrian Postal Service achieve their largest ever 2D code campaign.

In July 2010, the Austrian Postal Service launched an online and mobile postcard service that enables consumers to create postcards with personalized images and text from an application on their mobile phones. Looking for a campaign to promote the online and mobile service, and to encourage consumers to download the relevant application to their phones, the Austrian Postal Service partnered with mobile barcode solutions provider NeoMedia Technologies and mobile marketing agency IQ mobile.

A multichannel advertising campaign followed, spanning broadcast, print media and online, and coupled with an aggressive direct mail promotion sent to 3.2 million households. By embedding both a 2D barcode (QR codes are a type of 2D code, this mailing used a similar barcode-based technology) and SMS shortcode in all creative elements, consumers were able to access and download the application needed to create the e-postcards simply by scanning the code with a smartphone camera or texting the SMS service number.

The Austrian Postal Service realized Austria's largest ever 2D code campaign, achieving a substantial response rate of one in every 1,000. The mobile call to action brought an element of interactivity to the more static channels that enabled consumers to act at the point of impulse, and it paid huge dividends.

"The response rate, especially from the 2D codes in the direct mail promotion, ... was tremendous," said Harald Winkelhofer , Founder and CEO of IQ mobile. "This was the first campaign where we had more responsiveness from users via 2D codes than SMS. [With] more than 10,000 scans in the first few weeks it was the best result we've seen from a 2D code campaign in Central and Eastern Europe."

What led to that success? Here are the multichannel best practices for using 2D barcodes that NeoMedia applied to the campaign:


1. Integrate 2D Barcodes into Existing Digital and Traditional Media

2D codes are most successful when they are an integral part of the overall campaign—included in both digital and traditional communication channels as a significant element.

2. Focus on Consumer Education

Given the 2D barcode's relatively recent entry into the consumer domain, consumer education needs to be paramount. Present clear instructions on how to scan 2D codes and what kind of information will be received as a result—otherwise consumers may be hesitant to participate

3. Ensure Consumer Privacy

Likewise, ensure that the consumer experience and privacy of interaction is safeguarded in all instances, or it will make them hesitant to participate in future campaigns.

4. Ensure Code Integration is Effective for the Medium

2D codes should be printed in black and white. If utilized on media that has a reflective element, they should be adapted appropriately and tested on that medium.

5. Ensure Campaigns Are Fully Tested

Test and test again to ensure that the code works accurately and efficiently. Indeed, any content or service that is triggered by scanning a mobile barcode should be tested to ensure that it works, that it is optimised for mobile and delivers on the value promised to the consumer. This is absolutely fundamental to the consumer experience and interaction with your campaign.


6. Utilize Global, Open Standards; Not Proprietary Technologies or Codes

Proprietary solutions should be avoided, as they can limit consumer access or market penetration, which will impact results. The use of mobile barcode solutions based on open standards is therefore vital.

7. Define Your Expectations

Prior to launching the campaign, ensure you have an understanding of the success metrics and how to measure them.

8. Have fun!

Mobile barcodes provide an easy means for consumers to interact with your brand. Have fun and get creative in the campaigns to ensure efficiency and high response rates.

With results in mind, the use of mobile barcodes as a call to action also brings a new level of analytics to campaign metrics, enabling brands and marketers to easily quantify the success of an initiative and track against campaign goals. This is to be encouraged. However, when leveraging the power of mobile in campaigns, a plan for continued consumer engagement should be part of the objectives. After all, once you have the consumer interacting with your brand, it is important to maintain that dialogue and continue to add value and interaction for the brand and the consumer.

If brands and marketers follow these simple guidelines for integrating mobile barcodes and employing them alongside the usual creative rules of engagement, they'll ensure success.

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