Valpak Pushes QR Codes to 80 Million Households

Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc., a leader in local print and digital coupons, is launching a major initiative using quick response — or QR — codes.

Over the course of two months, Valpak will mail to more than 80 million households with QR codes on the outside of the envelope and on individual inserts.

“This huge initiative is a great example of the power of print and digital working together,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media. “It represents print to digital extension of our core platform, and harnesses the best of both worlds to create an entirely new experience for users.”

This is the first national QR campaign for Valpak, providing consumers a new way to engage with The Blue Envelope. It also positions Valpak as leading the way in direct mail. As an industry leader for 43 years, Valpak continues to grow and evolve using the latest technology. In addition to using QR codes, Valpak also uses augmented reality (AR), digital coupons, SMS texting, and smart phone apps for iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre, Blackberry and Microsoft WindowsPhone 7 platforms, to bring its offers to millions of consumers.

Working with the cable industry, Valpak will promote two television campaigns during July and August. The QR code will provide additional consumer convenience and engagement, allowing them to enter sweepstakes and access more information about some of their favorite shows.

“The QR code will not only engage our audience, but also engage a younger audience — the current generation of smartphone and social media users,” said Vivio. “Being able to offer this to consumers is part of our strategy of being everywhere the consumer is.”

The Valpak QR codes in both campaigns are designed by SPARQ.ME, a Seattle-based mobile marketing company.

“We believe that the SPARQ.ME platform, combined with Valpak's reach into tens of millions of households, will create a powerful marketing opportunity for advertisers and this new audience of smartphone and social media users,” said Jesse Chor, Co-Founder and CEO of SPARQ.ME.

While most QR Code solutions point to sites that are not mobile-optimized and not built to drive new customers, SPARQ.ME has built a platform that is specifically geared to deliver an easy experience for today's mobile consumer, and to deliver new customers to its advertiser partners.

The QR code — a 2D barcode that contains a call to action — has soared in popularity in the past two years, with conservative estimates going from 80,000 scans a month two years ago to 2 million scans a month currently for one of the industry’s leading companies.

To use the QR code, the consumers should first download a QR reader. Once that’s done, they merely point their smartphone at the QR code, scan or click, which will then launch to the next step: going to the Web, watching a video, dialing a phone number, etc.