It’s easier than ever to use QR codes in marketing, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We recently ate at our local Chili’s and I was impressed with their mobile campaign.

QR code on Chili's menu

Scan the code to learn more about Chili’s sangria

screenshot of Chili's sangria video

This 53-second video explains how the sangria is made

Chili's menu

QR code to email signup form

Chili's email form

Nicely mobile-optimized form

The takeaways:

  1. You can’t have just one. Multiple codes make the menu almost interactive. In addition to the sangria video, there was one featuring their maragaritas. Giving your customers something to do while they are waiting that further engages them with your brand is smart.
  2. Be mobile friendly. Everything the codes linked to looks great on an iPhone. Or Droid. Or iPad. In short, a QR code that links to a site that’s hard to read on a mobile device will likely get you tweeted as an epic #FAIL.
  3. Less is more. The videos are less than one minute and are about a topic you’re already interested in. If you’re scanning the code next to the photo of a margarita, chances are you’re thinking about ordering one — or more. Adding a tidbit or two to something you’re already into is a win.
  4. Cook it while it’s hot. Use your most valuable real estate — in this case, the menu — the QR codes take advantage of both the wait time and your mobile phone addiction to heighten involvement.
  5. Make it worth their while. The videos are interesting and have a clear call to action — otherwise, what’s the point? Something active to do — whether it’s a video or an email signup — is better than just a link to your website.

How about you? Would you enjoy watching the videos while waiting like my husband, Jim, and I did, or do you put your phone away?

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