3 Tips for Using QR Codes in Marketing

QR codes are popping up everywhere. If you’ve seen one of these black-and-white squares and wondered what it is, it is a QR code. In this vlog, we offer three tips for using QR codes in marketing.

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QR Code = Velma from Scooby Doo

QR codes are popping up everywhere. If you’ve seen one of these black-and-white squares and wondered what it is, it is a QR code.

The QR stands for Quick Response, and the image is basically a two-dimensional barcode like the ones at retail stores when you purchase something. A QR code contains data—most commonly a URL—but can also contain text, VCARD, SMS message, email address, and more. They can be used in marketing campaigns, education, or just for fun.

To get started, all you need is a smartphone with a camera and a QR-code reader app. The reader is necessary to “read” the QR code. Using your phone’s camera, simply snap a photo of the code, and the Code reader will decode it. Your phone will either display data or ask for permission to open your web browser and go to a website.

To learn more, check out Common Craft’s awesome video about QR codes.

Why are QR codes useful for marketers?

QR codes are useful because they allow businesses to interact with customers in new and interesting ways. Also, a QR code is a convenient way to direct users to your website from a print ad or packaging.

How do you create a QR Code?

Now that you know what a QR code is and why they’re useful, it’s time to create one. Many websites offer free code generators. Creating a QR code is simple. Just choose a QR-code generator, then enter the data you want to translate. After the generator produces the code, you can display, save, or print it. We recommend using a QR-code generator that is:

  • Free,
  • Easy to use and understand,
  • Customizable (has options for size, color, and format),
  • and Gives you the option to download, print or email the code.

Check out http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator and http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/. Go ahead and create one. We’ll wait.

Where does the QR code direct the user?

If the QR code is a URL, then the user will be directed to a website.

Now, finally…3 tips for using QR codes in marketing:

  • First, be creative with the placement of the code. Don’t just stick it in the corner. Put it in a prominent location to engage the end user. You want the user to be intrigued about what’s on the other end of the code.
  • Second, if the QR code links to a website, make sure the URL is unique and trackable. Don’t just send users to your homepage. Send them to a landing page with a call to action.
  • Third, make sure your site is optimized for mobile or at least mobile friendly. If it isn’t, then users won’t be able to see what you want then to see. A big mistake is using Flash on landing pages because iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices don’t support Flash.

How do you track QR Codes?

Tracking is an important tool for measuring the performance of a campaign. Many code generators also offer a service for tracking how many times the QR code is scanned. When looking for a tracking site, choose one that gives you the option to store, manage, and track codes and does not force a redirect through their site when users scan the code. There are a lot of options, but here are just a few:

What about Free QR Code Tracking?

Most code generators have some form of tracking available. But you can use a free URL-shortener service such as https://bitly.com/ to track how many times a link is used.

Final thoughts: Why should you consider using QR codes?

More and more people are using smartphones, and marketers are looking for new and interesting ways to connect the offline world with the online one. QR codes are easy to create, use and track. But, remember, most people still don’t understand exactly what a QR code is, and not everyone has a smartphone…yet. But if you want to try it, then please contact us. We can help!

Feel free to comment. We’d love to hear from you.

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