MSM|August 8, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: ,

QR Code Use in Allure Magazine Shatters Engagement Records

Condé Nast property Allure is engaging print readers in a new digital way with the use of mobile scan codes in the August issue of the fashion and beauty magazine.

Allure still holds a record for QR Code engagement from their August 2010 issue, where a total 444,000 scans were recorded during the campaign from that issue. Allure‘s general manager of digital media, Marie Jones, spoke enthusiastically of the print mag’s engagement level with forms of digital media during the tagging campaign and why the strategy resonates with the magazine’s particular demographic:

“We broke 200,000 scans in three days… It has been phenomenal… It is based on the concept of sampling – the number one driver of sales in the beauty category.”

The way it works integrates the print issue with users’ mobile devices- a text message goes out to all readers who have opted in, prompting them to enter giveaways for a single big-ticket item or a slew of deluxe samples 15 minutes before the individual contest starts.

At the start of this year’s campaign, Jones says, Allure had 25,000 subscribers waiting for the August issue giveaways- some of whom decided to subscribe after interacting digitally with the title:

Reflecting on last year, “The opt-in levels were pretty good,” says Jones, “and there was a respectable conversion to subscriptions.” With a greater emphasis on retaining these mobile sign-ups for later messaging, Allure is hoping to develop a new channel for content distribution. “We can use it for content like a beauty tip of the day,” she says.

Although the mag is upbeat about reader participation, it is a bit difficult to see how this strategy can prop up print media significantly enough to compete with beauty blogs and web-only content- many of which may implement a similar strategy eventually. Can QR Code use really boost reader engagement enough to compete with more efficient forms of distribution? Have you participated in any campaigns similar to the Allure “Free Stuff” issue?

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