How to create and correctly use QR codes
We've seen so many poor uses of QR codes lately that we decided to highlight a few and give you some more tips. A QR code requires your customer time to open the app, scan the code & wait for content to load. It better be worth their effort. Let's look at how to create a QR code & use it effectively?
What is a QR code and what should you use it for?
QR code stands for quick response code. A QR code can be accessed via a mobile phone to deliver information to consumers through a smart phone device. BUT... Its not a shortcut or quick thing to use! QR codes require planing, context, and rewards. Let's go through the bad... and the good of adding QR codes to your marketing mix.
Point #1 - QR codes must be used with care
We have seen QR codes on bent signs (won't scan), on the back of trucks (driving so can't scan), emailed, on Google+ and Facebook pages (on a computer or phone so cant scan) and on signs up too high to scan. All carelessly used... all
inappropriate for scanning with a mobile phone. All doing more damage to the brand than good.
Not to mention where those QR codes take us. If your code just
offers your customer a chance to view your ad or
website, don't waste their time! Scanning your QR code should provide people with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and
Scott Stratten, Author of Unmarketing (the Chuck Norris of QR codes) is VERY passionate about QR codes being misused. Watch the video and save those poor kittens please.
What works with QR code marketing?
- Novelty. People will try out what's new. A lot of people have not yet scanned a QR code, so
it's a great time to get their interest!
- Fun and competition. One of the earliest
implementations of QR codes have been in reality games and
scavenger hunts. Using QR codes
to tie your product with fun, games, and perhaps some friendly
competition can help engage your customers. This works particularly well
if you offer large prizes.
- Reward. Imagine you're in a restaurant and they
have a QR code on their table napkins. You scan it and you are shown
some advertisement for a product plus you are treated to a free
bottle of beer for taking time to scan the code.
- Exclusivity. Man is a social being, but he also
has a need for exclusivity. Think VIP events that are not open to the public and
are by QR code invitation only. We use them on our business cards to give potential customers exclusive access to locked tips and tricks in our website client only area.
- Freebies and Discounts. One of the best ways to
get them to click on your QR codes is to offer them a way to save money,
be it by giving them something for free or giving discounts!
- A definite call to action. It's okay
to say that "Product X is only $5" but it's much better to say "Buy
Product X now for only $5!" QR codes are no different, more than
clarifying what people should do with them, a good QR code campaign
should use a good call to action.
Create your own QR code (for FREE) to point at your website
QR codes are ridiculously easy to make. QR Code Generator, QR Stuff and QuikQR allow you to create the codes for free. They also provide the free phone apps to read them. Other free apps that
read QR codes include OptiScan and QR App.
5 tips for successful QR Code usage
- Create a special web page hidden from the public just for your QR code. The important thing is to reward users who go to the
trouble of downloading the app with great content that is exclusive.
- Be prepared to track the codes. A simple way to track your QR code is to embed it with an
otherwise hidden web page. Track traffic to this page using common
analysis tools such as Google analytics.
- Explain usage in copy and/or design. While QR codes are showing up everywhere, the common
assumption is that they are just “boring bar codes.” If possible, add
copy or design that explains the “bonus” material hidden in them for
- Make sure that you use a short link (i.e., bit.ly) when creating your
QR code. The longer the link the more complicated the QR code, and the
harder it is for smartphones to read.
- Good enough to share is the litmus test for your offer. Anyone who takes the time to use a QR code, and is pleased, will
share it on Facebook or Twitter. Most of your views will come from the shares, not the QR code
Testing your QR Code
- Switch on your iPhone and go into the App Store. Download a QR code reader app such as "2DCodeMe".
- Open your new app and point your camera at your bar code.
- Make sure the barcode is well lit and in focus, then take a photo.
- Crop the photo so that only the barcode is in view.
- Wait for it to process.
- You should now see your web page appear on the screen! Tapping this will load your site in the iPhone's web browser.
you see, it's not the fastest way to visit a website so what they get must be worth the time spent.
More tips for you to checkout...