Step #5: Use QR Codes to Track Offline Affiliates & Partners

This is the fifth step of the 7 Steps To Upgrade Your Affiliate Program for 2021 series. Check out the first four steps in the series:

The old real estate adage that success is all about “Location, Location, Location” is noteworthy on a few levels.

  • It’s extremely sound advice for anyone looking to buy or sell property.
  • There’s no better way to seem competent when discussing real estate -- while not actually knowing anything about the market.

Similarly, success for most traditional affiliates and partners (such as influencers) comes down to one factor:


Convenience, Convenience, Convenience.

Your affiliates and partners love offers that are built to convert. Doing everything possible to make the online sales cycle run smoothly is a key focus for brands:

  • Landing pages are optimized for conversion with clear CTA’s, easy-to-use forms, and persuasive copy
  • Ads are continually created, tested, and analyzed to entice consumers to take action
  • Email campaigns are built to grab attention, compel the consumer to take action, and provide a simple structure to ensure a successful conversion

Standard practices like those listed above are tried and true, but are built to boost “online” conversions -- which means offline traffic isn’t being considered in the equation.

Brands usually only think of working with partners that drive online promotions like PPC, content, email, SEO, and pay-per-call.

Driving traffic from offline performance wasn’t even considered for traditional affiliate programs.  The COVID-19 pandemic has gotten us used to QR codes like never before, and this opens up massive new opportunities for driving traffic through offline promotions.

Let’s unpack QR codes and how these little squares of convenience can generate more revenue for your program through tracking the offline efforts of your existing affiliates and partners.

COVID-19 & QR Codes

According to BusinessInsider.com, QR codes are “a type of barcode, or scannable pattern, that contain various forms of data, like website links, account information, phone numbers, or even coupons.”

QR code usage has taken off since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to how useful QR code links have been for businesses trying to remain open.

From paying the tab while dining out, to renting electric scooters to travel solo, to checking into sporting events, concerts, and medical appointments, QR codes have proven their value.

Since the invention of the QR code in 1994, there have been many incredible business use cases that make conversions easier (we love creating customizable Nike shoes from the home office, as well as checking out faster at Ikea).

Another cool example we came across recently was from our customer Dermeleve.com, which provides dermatologists with free samples of OTC creams. When a patient likes a sample, he or she simply orders via the code, the dermatologist gets a sale, and Dermeleve sends out the cream. How sweet is that?

QR codes have always been useful in a sales capacity, but their usage hasn’t been on this scale of display until the pandemic hit. With more consumers now likely to scan a QR code, it’s an ideal time to make QR codes a bigger part of your affiliate program.

This emphasis on increasing QR code usage in your affiliate program begins with tracking.


The Value Of QR Code Tracking To Your Affiliate Program

By introducing QR code tracking as an option for your program’s campaigns, you’ll unlock multiple new revenue-generating benefits:

  • Growing Your Offline Base: Providing a tracking option to attribute offline sales conveniently allows traditionally offline affiliates and partners to make their mark in your program. Links to your campaigns can be promoted on almost anything imaginable, including physical goods, billboards, or any other item that can fit a QR code on it. By expanding offline tracking with QR codes, you’ll open up your program to a diverse new group of affiliates and partners who promote campaigns in more unique ways.
  • Uncover Hidden Stars: The phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know,” applies quite aptly to QR code tracking. Without enabling QR code tracking, you may not know which of your affiliates or partners aren’t getting credit for driving conversions to your campaigns. By tracking offline efforts through QR code tracking, you may discover affiliates or partners who were previously dormant or inactive and are quite capable of producing strong results in your program.
  • Give More Power To Your Influencers: As covered in step four of this series, influencers can make a huge difference in your program’s bottom line. Tracking your influencer’s QR code usage can unlock a massive boost to their productivity and longevity in promoting your program, as was the case with proper coupon-related tracking. By not tracking QR codes, you’re denying influencers an easy opportunity to promote campaigns in their often preferred manner, like in videos, flyers, merch, and on their sites.

Setting Up Tracking In Your Program

More advanced affiliate/partner marketing platforms can easily create QR code tracking links for affiliates and partners.

In Everflow, the process is pretty quick, and essentially entails entering some basic info about the affiliate or partner who needs the code (such as Partner ID, sub ID, Destination URL). Once complete, you’ll get a unique QR code for that specific affiliate or partner (process shown below).

QR code tracking setup in Everflow

After your code has been created, you’ll be able to drill down easily into your platform’s reporting to view offer clicks, conversions, scan locations, device type scans, and other metrics.

Ready To Make QR Codes A Bigger Part Of Your Program?

Book a demo today and we’ll be happy to walk you through all aspects of QR tracking, including best practices for adoption, use cases for affiliates and partners, and showing you how easy it is to set up via Everflow.

The Next Step In Upgrading Your Affiliate Program For 2021 Series

Look out for “Drill Down Into Affiliate Placement Reporting” coming soon.

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