Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Did you know that more than 50% of internet searches are conducted on mobile devices? And 50% of mobile phone users use their smartphones as their primary internet source. Trends show that these numbers will continue to grow, which is why it’s so important that mobile be a significant part of your marketing plan.

One of the tools that’s available to us—and that has become more discussed in the last few years—is QR codes. Yes, they’re still around, and they can be an effective way to connect mobiles users with your organization.

Here are five reasons we should care about QR codes.

They’re very easy to make and they’re measurable. With QR codes, we can look at the analytics right after we launch a campaign and we can know exactly whether or not it’s working—and how well it’s working.

They complement existing campaigns. Using QR codes is not another new strategy in and of itself—it’s something that complements other marketing efforts, whether we’re talking about direct mail, email marketing or display marketing (like placing posters in a coffee shop, for example). QR codes work in conjunction with existing campaigns and other marketing tools to increase effectiveness.

They can work for everyone, big budget or not. QR codes make it possible to reach out and connect with people, no matter the size of your marketing budget or department. Nonprofits of any size can use them. You don’t have to be big and you don’t necessarily have to be small. They’re an equal-opportunity marketing tool.

They’re versatile and can be used for more than marketing. Let’s say you work for a children’s museum. You could place a sign near each exhibit with a QR code that’ll take visitors to a landing page with more information about that particular display or feature. They’re an effective way to help educate, inform and spread the word about your cause.

They can drive donations. One of the most successful results we’ve seen from the use of QR codes happened a few years ago, after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It was the largest fundraiser the American Red Cross has ever conducted via mobile devices. There were more donations by mobile than during any other campaign in history, and it was largely due to the use of QR codes and how they allowed people to easily connect and donate.

As you prepare your marketing plan for the new year, mobile will certainly be a part of it and using QR codes may be an effective way to enhance a campaign and connect with your mobile users.