Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How to manually "build" a Call2ACTION™ Symbol

Please, INVEST 2 Minutes, 47 Seconds watching this video first!

A FREE Vector Graphics Software program, InkScapes, can be used - and I recommend that to my clients who are on a BUDGET!

But, the process using this freeware is not as easy as using the #1 Industry-Leading Graphics Program by Adobe, which is part of Adobe's Creative Suite.  Although, CS6 is quite expensive, that is the program I use to serve my clients.

Rather than take the DIY (Do It Yourself) route that I see most companies take, you might be wise to consider hiring a Professional - as the RESULTS you achieve will most likely provide a huge ROI - Return on Investment, versus the possibility of a failed "CAMPAIGN".

Unfortunately, I have seen these DIY failures occur all too often in the marketplace.  Even the best program by Wal-Mart [their "Saving Catcher"] can be dramatically improved by following the "Best Practices" presented here:

INSTRUCTIONS: Using Adobe Illustrator CS6
1. Create an Adobe Illustrator Template - 500 x 500 pixels to start with a square "Artboard".  To utilize a "Transparent" Artboard - in Adobe Illustrator go to the Top Menu >>
View >> Show transparency grid, or use the key sequence: SHIFT+CTRL+D

2. File/Place the newly created QR code, downloaded from the "MOVS™ - sounds like “Movies” - Mobile Optimized Video Site" Dashboard system as an *.EPS file. (Or, *.PNG) - to save as a Vector Graphic.

NOTE: JPG is a bit-mapped format, which is like the dots used in the old magazine 4-color printing process.  When enlarged, the image tends to "Pixelate" and look terrible, and possibly even become UN-scanable.  Vector Graphics are created using a math formula and can be resized without any loss of quality.  Most publisher/printers prefer to receive *.EPS - which means "Encapsulated Postscript", an industry-standard Vector Graphic.  SVG format is also good, as it is a Vector Graphic in a format that means "Standard Vector Graphic".

Both EPS and SVG can be easily manipulated/edited in the #1 Vector Graphics software creation/editing program - Adobe Illustrator.  However, thumbnails may not be visible within Windows Explorer when searching for files on your PC.  For this reason, I like to also use *.PNG - which means "Portable Network Graphic".  Thumbnails of *.PNG files are usually visible when searching on a PC.  However, the PNG format specs allow for bitmapped images as well as vectors, so it can be quite confusing for the novice.

STICK to EPS and you'll be SAFE!


NOTE #2:  I recommend InkScape - a FREE Vector Software Editing Program to my clients.

If you are going to use this program, I suggest you download the *.SVG format from the "MOVS™ - sounds like “Movies” - Mobile Optimized Video Site" Dashboard system.
I also suggest downloading and installing a companion FREEWARE program, Ghostscript, which will provide further capability to work with *.EPS and *.PDF files.

3. Once "Placed" on the artboard, select the imported QR Code Symbol and change BOTH the W: (Width) and H: (Height) setting in Adobe Illustrator to 400 px

4. Position the QR Code Symbol at the very top of the artboard - for example, I do this by changing Y: to 201px

5. Click the "T" - Text Tool and click on the artboard in the blank area just below the white outline border of the QR Code Symbol.

6. Cut and paste the "Shortened URL" from your "MOVS™ - sounds like “Movies” - Mobile Optimized Video Site" / Delivr Campaign Manager "Dashboard" - using the keyboard combination Control+C for "cut" and Control+V for "paste".

7. Now "Select" the text box you just created - using the "Arrow" selection tool

8. Change the Point Size to 40

9. Making sure the text box is still selected, drag it and position it below the QR Code Symbol, aligned in the center, left to right.  Be sure it is BELOW the border outline of the QR Code Symbol so it does not interfere with the "White Space" necessary around the square symbols puzzle - to assure proper scanning.

10. Now select both the QR Code Symbol and the text box containing the "Special Shortened URL"; right click and select "GROUP".

11. Congratulations, you now have created a Call2ACTION™ Symbol - a Human-Readable QR Code, with the "Special Shortened URL".  To avoid any potential negative association that may be present in someone's mind from "less than successful or exciting user experiences" encountered with QR Code campaigns created by the "Less than Professional Marketers" who were early adopters of this fantastic technology, I have branded this combination: Call2ACTION™ Symbol.

12. Now do file save, or file "SAVE AS", assigning an easy to understand filename name, and use the drop down box to create multiple output formats.  Not only do I save mine in the native *.AI format, but I also create a PDF and EPS.  If sharing with folks who will use InkScape, I also save as a *.SVG file.

13. To have a file available in a format where the thumbnail can be viewed on most Windows and Android systems, and for pasting into other programs, I do FILE/EXPORT and save as a *.PNG file.

The significance and power of this Call2ACTION™ Symbol UNIQUE ADVANTAGE and difference from regular QR Codes should not be overlooked.
Many QR Codes, created by "Freebie" software, or by "Do It Yourselfers" who are not professionally trained, will only scan "Some of the time".  Our Call2ACTION™ Symbols are designed to scan ALL OF THE TIME!

PLUS, even if people cannot or will not scan.... we can still achieve CAMPAIGN SUCCESS - as the vast majority of smart device users are in an "always connected" environment, connected to their cell phone networks with internet access and web browser capability -- so they can simply type in the "Special Shortened URL" by typing: into their favorite web browser.

We thus can still accomplish the objective, leading them to the landing page we chose, while retaining the benefit gained from the TRACKING ANALYTICS and MEASUREMENTS.


There are three main reasons a QR Code scan fails (and therefore some "newbie created" campaigns produce unacceptable RESULTS!):
1) The symbol creation process did not use a "Special URL Shortener" functionality, and the end-result symbol contained too much data (too many characters) and resulted in very small and dense squares in the puzzle pattern.

It is hard for a low-pixel smart device camera to properly scan such a dense symbol.  If the scanner on the smart device does not have autofocus capability (as is true with early phone devices, and MOST TABLETS!) - it will be virtually impossible to scan many of the codes produced by these amateurs using "freebie" software to generate the regular QR Code symbols.

2) The target audience does not have an "App" or know how to use it.

Most smart devices do NOT come from the factory with a scanning "App" installed.  Many smartphone users are overwhelmed by the technology and do not even know how to access, download, and install a FREE "App".  They become over-whelmed again when presented with hundreds of options of scanning software available from the Apple iTunes Store and/or Google Play Store.


During my Due Diligence phase of developing and preparing the Call2ACTION™ Symbol and MOVS™ SYSTEM - I have literally watched hundreds of folks struggle to:

- Frustratingly search to find where the scanning "App" icon was

- Frustratingly search to find the "App Store" in order to obtain a FREE APP! - whether it be Google Play or Apple iTunes

- Apple iProduct [iPhone and iPad] users especially had about a 50% FAILURE RATE, even after finding, selecting, and downloading the proper "App"... as they had no clue what their own password was; and Apple products prevent the installation of the "App" without entering a password!

- The vast majority of folks also did not know the skill of "pressing on and holding" the newly loaded icon and then dragging it to the home page screen where it will be readily available should they come across a Call2ACTION™ Symbol or regular QR Code in the future and want to scan it.

.... THEREFORE, they are setting themselves up for future frustration when they ONCE AGAIN frustratingly search to find the scanning "App" - IF they even attempt to scan another code they see in the future.

NO WONDER.... Not being able to find and use the scanning "App" is the #1 cause for failure of QR Code Campaigns!

Failure to scan is less a factor, but A POOR USER EXPERIENCE once they get "there" is the killer in over 60% of the cases!  THAT spells a "Death Sentence" for QR Code Campaigns, if and when they are not properly IMPLEMENTED.

Most folks who publish QR Code symbols encode it with their REGULAR HOME PAGE web site as the "Landing Page" after the QR [Quick Response] Code is scanned!

DUH!   Probably one of the worst USER EXPERIENCES POSSIBLE!

  Especially for someone who is MOBILE and pressed for TIME!  

FYI - Most business web pages are designed for the general population to access from a desktop, and therefore are not MOBILE OPTIMIZED!  So, the user arrives, has trouble viewing it, or sees NO VALUE, and within a matter of just a few seconds is GONE!

Even if they are led to a "Mobile RESPONSIVE" business home page [which most of my smaller clients cannot afford to have specially re-designed and developed for them], the user finding NO HIGH VALUE, will soon be GONE!

FYI, "Mobile RESPONSIVE" is a technology that uses the same web page URL as the desktop version, but delivers a different layout on the smaller screen - based on the identity of the device accessing it which the browser identifies as a mobile device (phone or tablet).  The functionality of the web page remains basically the same as the PC-accessed version.

MOBILE OPTIMIZED usually uses a different URL address, and presents an APPLICATION web site that is totally designed from the ground up with consideration of the FUNCTIONALITY that is most important to the mobile user.  When Mobile, people want one-button telephone calling, GPS navigation with DIRECTIONS to the business and minimal input requirements.  Mobile users will not put up with a lot of typing - and certainly will not read a lot of text on a smaller mobile screen, as little as 4 inches!

That's why VIDEO is by far the #1 communication medium utilized on properly designed MOBILE OPTIMIZED web sites.

MOBILE OPTIMIZED sites are continuously rated and reviewed as providing a SUPERIOR USER EXPERIENCE, in every survey ever conducted among Mobile users. 


So, if the LANDING PAGE is not chosen with care, and does not provide REAL VALUE [I call it a "Kiss & A Hug"] - the busy, time-pressed, tiny-screen Mobile viewer will not be shy about LEAVING QUICKLY....

... and once this USER EXPERIENCE ENDS after such a short time, leaving behind a negative taste in the users mouth - FAILURE OF THE QR CODE CAMPAIGN INEVITABLY RESULTS!

ROI – Maximizing Return on Investment

If this is the magnitude of the risk your company takes when they publish a "Naked and ALONE" QR Code that leads people to a company home page designed for desktop users... Do you really want to leave your company's CAMPAIGN RESULTS to the hit and miss process used by the vast majority of DIY-designed promotional programs?

Professional tools and talents produce Professional RESULTS!

3) If the MARKETER who created the QR Code campaign did not focus on the "Rule of 4 Industry Best Practices for QR Codes" that I teach and promote, the EXPERIENCE upon landing at the destination may be far less than satisfactory, and that can hurt your business among the 2 out of 3 people today who are Mobile Users!

...AND THAT, creates a huge failure - which in turn creates a NEGATIVE MENTAL BLOCK to future usage of this fantastic, exceptionally powerful communication vehicle.

Do you fault me for my resistance to using the common "QR Code" term for this Quick Response technology?

I have yet to come across any prospect who felt Call2ACTION™ Symbol had any negative connotation, whatever.... and MY CLIENTS only experience the MAXIMUM SUCCESS possible, due to the way this Call2ACTION™ Symbol is both PREPARED and PRESENTED!

A final note, please...
I additionally suggest to MY CLIENTS that they use an "Explainer" graphic that explains WHY people would want to scan the code - and how to go about getting the “App”, if they did not have one.

I call this "Explainer Graphic", a Call2ACTION™ Symbol Carrier or Envelope - and suggest my clients actually run the 1,2,3 GO graphic I provide, in their ads.  I provide this powerful "Explainer Graphic" to all my clients who purchase a "MOVS™ - sounds like “Movies” - Mobile Optimized Video Site"Plenty of examples can be seen on the web page I created to feature some of my best clients: http://RECENT.BudgetVideo4.BIZ

I even ask my clients to purchase larger ad space if that is necessary - to make the text in the 1,2,3 GO graphic readable [Minimum business card size - 2" x 3.5"] - convincing them the BETTER ENGAGEMENT that results -and the POWER and flexibility available to them with a solid "ONLINE Landing Page" - is certainly worth the extra OFFLINE print ad expense.

Net result, they achieve a much more positive sales boost from their precious advertising dollar - gaining a SUPERIOR ROI - Return on their Investment.

Why do I say Call2ACTION™ Symbols are the most Powerful Communication Vehicle Known to Mankind?
The whole objective of a Call2ACTION™ Symbol Campaign is to present a "Subtle Invitation" - that is what the Call2ACTION™ Symbol IS! - and the objective is to MEASURE whether
or not your target audience ACTUALLY TOOK THE ACTION SUGGESTED!

Think of it as a Wedding Invitation sent with a RSVP card inside!

The only difference is, this state-of-the-art digital tool provides the response - without requiring them to take any secondary action to fill out the card and return it!  The initial scan itself creates this feedback MEASUREMENT; which you can track within your "MOVS™ - sounds like “Movies” - Mobile Optimized Video Site" SYSTEM on!

God Bless and Happy Scanning!

Bringing the OFFLINE World to Your ONLINE Presence™
Providing Call2ACTION™ Symbols as the entrance ramp to the Information Highway!



BudgetVideo4BIZ  is a video creation, editing and production company - helping companies “Propel their Sales Forward” - with Video.  We specialize in Camera-less Video Production; featuring PowerPoint to YouTube Motion Graphics and Interactivity.

We provide two "Drugs of Choice" - to rapidly convert prospects into extremely satisfied clients, who call us asking for more!

1) facebook LIKES GENERATOR™ - using a QR code and "Shortened" URL to drive folks to a Special Video Landing Page, with an "Explainer Video" - subtly presenting your Value Proposition in return for a LIKE

2) MOVS™ - Mobile Optimized Video Site -- a fully functioning Mobile Web Site with generic Video INCLUDED (or use your YouTube Video), that "under the hood" provides a QR code Campaign Manager, Symbol generator and robust TRACKING system -- on Steroids!