QR Codes in Magazines and Newspapers

phone scanning a qr code in news section of the newspaper

Using QR codes in magazines is a fantastic way to share augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences that go beyond one-dimensional print. Adding a QR code to any ad allows readers to interact by mobile phone, further educate themselves on important issues, enter in games and contests, and make more conscientious purchases.

Benefits of QR Codes in Magazines and Newspapers

1. It brings articles in print to life

Adding a QR code in magazines and newspapers with links to websites, social media platforms or even AR and VR experiences to regular print stories and ads, is a digital way to expand on the life of the story with interviews, work samples, behind the scenes trailers for entertainment, music downloads, and more.

a qr code on a page of a magazine
Image source: Speed of Reaction

2. It links to interactive experiences

Engaging with other readers is not possible by print alone. Using QR codes to scan to newspaper and magazine websites will allow readers to discuss, comment, and share the articles on social media and with others, expanding the audience and promoting customer interaction.

a qr code advertisement for better driving in a magazine
Image source: Canva

3. It can be tracked

Running a campaign in a newspaper and magazine can be tracked by the number of sales, but adding QR codes to adverts is more specific because Supercode analytics dashboard tracks the number of interactions and shows how many people, when and where scan the codes. 

4. It's cheaper than running commercials

Adding QR codes in magazines and newspapers with website links means that everyone who reads has access to the content but the interested consumers who scan the QR code can see the digital campaign when they choose to. This makes it easier for marketing teams to not have to run commercials again and again.

annual report qr code in a magazine
Image source: Canva

5. It's simple to design and use

Make a QR code on Supercode's and take advantage of the easy-to-use design system, that is fun and takes no time at all. Choose colors and frames that represent your brand and even incorporate your company logo. Add a clear CTA and anyone with a free QR code reading app on their phone can scan and enjoy the material.

6. It makes advertising convenient

Since QR codes are compact, they are more economical than using an entire printed magazine or newspaper page for running a campaign. A small, well-designed QR code will say it all when people are excited by the novelty factor to scan QR codes and find out details on a landing page that has room to provide more information. 

Applications of QR Codes in Magazines and Newspapers

1. Increase traffic to the website through product ads

Use QR codes on magazine adverts to route curious customers to your website to find out more. Capture client attention by providing VR experiences that go farther than one-dimensional adverts can. This is also a fantastic way to promote your e-store for clients to scan, click, and buy with ease.

kitchen fold qr code advertisement in an interior design magazine

2. Increase sales by promoting magazine subscriptions

For both digital and print subscriptions, having a QR code to promote subscription sales is a simple way for clients to scan and put in their information and payment within a few minutes. Offer a promotion or discount with a clear CTA for people to encourage people to scan.

3. Add QR codes for coupons to the newspaper

Instead of clipping tons of coupons on Sundays and wasting all the rest, scan QR codes to mobile phones for storage so consumers reduce waste and stay more organized, never losing a coupon again. 

4. Get exclusive content on mobile phones

Encourage readers to go green and reduce the use of paper and ink by having the latest news sent to their mobile phones by scanning a QR code.

CMC markets qr code advertisement in a free newspaper
Image source: Speed of Reaction

5. Use QR codes on product advertisements

Consumers enjoy seeing more about products that they would like to buy, such as reviews, sizing, pricing, and the option to shop online, especially through mobile phones. Having a QR code on advertisements will increase their willingness and ability to buy and increase consumer trust and brand loyalty.

6. Inspire people to download your app

Many products and services today have apps to connect with customers. Any advertisement in magazines and newspapers can be enhanced by adding a QR code for your app to bring traffic from readers who are specifically interested in your journalism. 

7. Encourage readers to follow you on social media

Whether Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or simply your website are the best ways to connect with you, encourage readers to follow you directly for more details on products, shows, events, author works in different publications, and expand their research on their favorite topics. Use social media QR codes to promote your social media accounts. 

How to Make a QR Code for Magazines and Newspapers

Creating QR codes with Supercode is easy and takes seconds. Here is a quick guide on how to create QR codes for magazines and newspapers to achieve your goals. 

1. Choose the right type of QR code. Here are some of our suggestions: 

  • URL QR Codes - perfect for sharing website content with downloadables, PDFs, AR, and VR experiences
  • Social Media QR Codes - ideal for brands, community projects, local clubs, and writers and editors, to share their social media accounts.
  • Email QR Codes - a great tool for getting in touch with writers and editors personally.
  • Plain Text QR Codes - static QR codes for information that doesn't change.
  • Bulk QR Codes - perfect for making many codes at one time with static, dynamic, and one-off options.
  • PDF QR Codes - great for sharing extra content with readers or enabling them to get a digital copy of an article instead of using paper.
Supercode different types of QR codes

2. Create a code

Creating a code on Supercode is easy and takes seconds. Choose the type, the link or the content to include and click on save when you are ready. 

create a QR code on Supercode QR code generator platform

3. Modify the design

Design the QR code to make it stand out so people want to scan.

modify design of a QR code on Supercode QR code generator platform

4. Add your QR code to a folder to organize your workspace

Add customizable categories for new folders in the Supercode dashboard. Or, add your new QR code to a preexisting folder, both of which you can share with your marketing and management teams. 

save QR codes to different folders on Supercode platform

5. Test the code 

Scan the code by directing your phone camera on it and check if all the content displayed is correct. To make changes, simply go back to the dashboard and edit the code. 

bright colourful QR codes generated on Supercode platform

6. Print the code

Print the QR code on newspaper and magazine pages to attract the readers' eye.

Supercode QR code printed on a business card

7. Track analytics

Track QR codes in the Supercode dashboard for analytics, to see the results of your campaign.

Supercode analytics dashboard with QR code scans performance

Learn how to make QR codes in bulk with our Bulk QR code generator.

Best Practices for QR Codes in Magazines and Newspapers

1. Use QR codes in magazines for contests and prizes

Target ran a campaign in Lucky magazine with a $5,000 shopping spree for the winner. Consumers could scan the QR code and enter the contest straight from their mobile phones.

qr code on a magazine cover
Image source: Here's the Thing Blog

2. Encourage reader interaction with QR codes

The Daily Monitor placed QR codes in their newspapers to get readers to scan in order for engagement. When readers scan the QR code, they can leave comments and respond by mobile phone whereas they cannot interact with each other by newspaper alone.

 qr code printed in a magazine
Image source: Dignited

3. Share interviews with your customers 

Georgia Pacific ran a campaign in 2010 for Quilted Northern toilet tissue in a magazine and used a QR code with a clear call to action to "Hear what Victoria has to say about Quilted Northern Soft and Strong." The QR code linked scanners to a 22 second YouTube with the lady in the commercial for a more virtual experience.

a qr code on a toilet paper advertisement in a magazine 
Image source: 2dbarcodes

4. Show a sample of the newspaper for free

Washington Post's Southern Maryland Insert - Local Living, offers potential readers a QR code scan to read the first of their "11 Healthful Habits for the New Year." This is also a great idea for giving people a preview of an article and entice them to buy the publication and read more.

a huge qr code on a newspaper cover
Image source: 2dbarcodes

5. Give readers a virtual experience

Bass Pro Shops ran campaigns for items for sale with QR codes printed on magazine adverts in 2011. In this advert is for a boat sale and linked to the QR code is a video to "see this boat in action!" It's an impressive way to feel the real experience of the boat and certainly gives the reader more than a one-dimensional ad.

boat advertisement qr code in a magazine
Image source: 2dbarcodes


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