The QR Code is the abbreviation of “Quick Response” Code.
With the ability to store 1800 characters of useful information that can be set up to automatically send someone to a website, even download an app. These little pieces of graphic imagery can be used to elicit any number of responses from customers or potential clients.
Although they aren’t growing in popularity in North America as rapidly as they have become mainstream in China – we are finding there are several uses to the QR code that many companies have been using successfully. One company has found a way to use them to eliminate passwords entirely.
To ‘read’ a QR code you need to download (most are free) a reader app. I have an iphone and have tried several different ones but really prefer the i-nigma.
Uses for the QR Code
A few of the uses are:
- Full Business Card Information
- Website URL
- Simple Text Message
- SMS Message Sent to a Special Number
- Special Event
- “Hidden Sale”
- Many, many, more…
Who Uses QR Codes?
Any person or business can find use for a QR Code. Some places in Europe have adopted them for shopping while on the subway or to self check-out in stores.
You can put them on your business card and then your info can be scanned directly into a persons contact directory.
They can be on billboards to drive people to a website or an offer. They are used on real estate signs with property and agent information.
If you use a QR code specifically to drive traffic to your website – there are two things to keep in mind.
Free or Paid QR code Generator?
There are many free qr code generators available. The most simplistic generates a black & white code. The more innovative you want to get with your code the more likely you will need a paid service.
There are two overt drawbacks to free QR code generating services.
1. You cannot store the code/information. The drawback to this is – if you should change your contact information, all your codes out there now have the wrong information. This also applies if you are updating coupon codes or any other tracking info in the code.
2. paid services offer some really great tracking and analytical information. If you are conducting any marketing techniques with your QR code, it’s a good idea to be able to track who or what sales/leads were generated from where.
Top QR code Mistakes
QR Codes need to be in a place that has cell service. Paying thousands of dollars to run an offline marketing campaign in an area with poor cell service (ie a bill board high in the mountains) won’t work.
QR codes need to be flat – wrapping them on round or cylindrical objects can render them unreadable.
Make certain they link to where they should. Linking to your home page when you are marketing for a specific sale isn’t the best use of the QR Code in marketing. Test your link before you print them up.
Spreading the Word on QR Codes
Lots of people still haven’t used or know how to use QR Codes – so make it easy for them. Anytime you are using a QR code, include instructions of the how to’s.
For example you can say something like – Inside this image is the secret answer to win 20% off your next pair of shoes. To read this QR code, just download a FREE reader app by going to [favourite reader site] or search for “QR Code reader app”