It’s just plain fun having cool, innovative sponsors around the TechDrawl Cave. I was cruising my tweet stream last night and ran across one of the smarter iPhone app plays I’ve seen in a long time: MailChimp’s soon-to-hit Pyow! It essentially rolls up 100% of the functionality needed to run QR codes baked right into your MailChimp campaigns – and with a style that’s unmistakably MailChimp. So for all you marketers who didn’t know where to start with QR codes, or were too scared to ask your agency to price out a pilot program, that was the sound of a starter’s pistol you just heard…
In short, QR codes are those square barcode-looking things you’ve seen on shop windows and in the occasional print ad. Like a traditional bar code, they bake specific info into the image that’s then displayed when read by a camera and the correct software. And that’s been the whole problem with QR codes; the redemption process assumes every user has some special app. But by turning the process inside out, MailChimp now only requires the merchant to have the reader (since the QR code is delivered in an email to the end user).
The customer can then trot into their favorite shop and flash the message from their inbox to the cashier. The decoding is done on the merchant’s iPhone via the Pyow! app, and all the metrics are rolled-up in the standard MailChimp reporting metrics. Hell, they even do countdown redemptions where you can limit the number of times a specific QR code can be used – or set that number to triple digits to encourage viral sharing. Not exactly beginner-level stuff.
As a recovering corporate and agency marketer, I can tell you having this technology in-hand to pilot test QR codes is amazingly cool – especially when you can leverage the free MailChimp account to test drive the whole solution. Bravo!
And just in case you thought this functionality stuff was the coolest thing on the MailChimp blog, all the business folk should definitely read Ben Chesnut’s post on the topic of freemium. He gives every gory detail in the process, including how a sometimes-misunderstood pricing strategy drove their customers up over 5X in one year, and increased profit over 650%. A great read if you’re considering freemium.
Viva la Chimp!