Promo With Purpose Shop.com now offers promotional music download cards which feature stock art (shown) with your logo added or full custom artwork.
PromoWithPurposeShop.com, a shopsite of Thorne Communications, has just added an extensive collection of digital media download and gift cards to their product offerings. Download cards are available for music, phone minutes and ringtones. Gift cards are available for dining and DVD movie rentals. All cards are made in the United States and ecofriendly card stock options are available.
“With the addition of our PWPMobile.com mobile marketing services, it made sense for us to add these digital and gift products to our PromoWithPurposeShop.com lineup,” says Heidi Thorne, president of Thorne Communications. “These gift cards can be used as either a reward or incentive to opt in to mobile marketing programs. Plus, they are an excellent giveaway item for tradeshows and events due to their high perceived value and ease of transport.”
Stock art (typically shown on product description pages), stock art with your logo included, or full custom printed card fronts are available. Logos or custom artwork can be easily uploaded at time of order.
QR codes, those checkerboard-like squares also known as 2D codes, are everywhere it seems. On signs, clothing, business cards, heck, even tattoos. The beauty of them is that when scanned by a smartphone, they’ll make things happen such as take you to a website, return information, send messages, and more.
But there are some issues with them that you need to be aware of when using them on promotional products…
Size – Though I’ve tried and used QR codes quite a bit smaller, usually about 1″ square is recommended as a minimum for best scanning ability.
Surface – I’ve seen some pretty kooky uses of QR codes including knitted and on a waffle (seriously, I just saw that in a presentation today). But here’s the catch: It must be readable by a smartphone or other reading device. For best scanning, I suggest imprinting on only smooth plastic, paper, painted metal, or flat even surface fabrics.
T-Shirt Issues – Unstretched T-shirt fabric is just fine for imprinting QR codes. But realize that if it is stretched when worn, it may lose scanability. Conversely, if someone tucks the shirt into their jeans, it may scrunch the imprint together and be unreadable. And, please, do not imprint on the front of a shirt. It is especially awkward when women wear them, resulting in a lot of scanning of, well… do I have to explain?
Color and Contrast – You can use colors other than black. But dark colors are suggested. Do not imprint the code in white. It will mess up the reading since what was white is now black and vice versa, a completely different code. I’ve tried it. On a related issue, make sure there is a definite contrast between the dark and light areas. That’s why imprinting on colored surfaces is problematic. There may not be enough contrast between the surface and the code to be readable. So choose white or very light surface colors and dark imprints. On a related note, clear plastic or glass surfaces may also be problematic because of the color and contrast issues; choose white plastic or ceramic instead.
Ink Imprints Recommended – Debossing (impressing your code into a surface) or laser engraving cannot be used successfully for QR codes due to the contrast issue discussed above. And though contrast can be achieved with it, embroidery also has the potential to not be scannable due to uneven surface texture. Ink imprinting on smooth surfaces, please.
Order a Physical Production Sample for Large Orders – Let’s call this insurance. When you are investing thousands of dollars in promotional products, it makes sense to do a physical (not virtual!) production sample to see if the artwork will be properly scanable on the surface and in the colors you have chosen. Say it costs you $100-$200 to do that. Better that than having to pitch a $1,000 to $2,000 order because it doesn’t work.
I think people are just enchanted with the technology right now and that the novelty will wear off. Would you want to wear a UPC pricing barcode on your clothing? Probably not. Essentially that’s what you’re doing when you’re sportin’ QR codes. Wearing barcodes. Kinda reminds me of the scene in the Mike Judge satirical masterpiece, Idiocracy (those of you who’ve seen the movie know exactly what I’m talking about… unless you’re “Not Sure”).
Got any other helpful tips for printing or imprinting QR codes? Share them with us in Comments.
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Editor’s Note, December 2012: Since this post published, we have moved all of our mobile marketing content to a dedicated mobile marketing how to blog, MessagingMarketing.com. The new blog will be a companion to the PWPMobile.com shopsite.
Thorne Communications, owner of PromoWithPurposeShop.com, now offers mobile marketing services that will be offered through a new website at PWPMobile.com that help keep “your brand in their hand.” Services offered include text “mailing” list creation, mobile text messaging campaigns, and instantly texted information on request. Previously, due to the high cost of implementation and maintenance, these types of programs were only available for those with large marketing budgets. With PWP Mobile, this type of program is affordable for even small to mid-size companies and events.
“Texting is the future of media and commerce,” says Heidi Thorne, founder of Thorne Communications. “We’re watching the trends, especially for Millenials (Generation Y). Teens are texting at a frenetic pace of over 3,000 text messages a month according to a 2010 Nielsen study. And their younger counterparts under age 12 are texting at over 1,100 texts a month. Their use of texting outpaces their use of social media channels. We’re also encouraged by an Oracle study that shows the number of people 35-years and older that have used a mobile phone to make a purchase has doubled since 2009. We anticipate this to be the next marketing frontier.”
Because users opt in to receive messages with PWP Mobile, the program is spam free and users can opt out at any time. The challenge for marketers is getting people to opt in to these programs. So PWP Mobile suggests imprinting opt in information in alternative marketing placements such as promotional products, in-store promotions, and signage that cannot typically be deleted or ignored. The PWP Mobile site offers a full line of promotional products that can be purchased in conjunction with mobile marketing services. However, the PWP Mobile Marketing services can be purchased without promotional products for use in print advertising, email, websites, and more.
“We believe PWP Mobile has great potential for use in conjunction with and at events and tradeshows,” Heidi continued. It can used to help promote your tradeshow or booth before or during the event. It can even be used to incorporate gaming elements. For more ideas, the PWP Mobile site includes an entire page of suggestions for using these services for tradeshows, events, restaurants, bars, colleges, sports, and retail.