QR codes are two dimensional images that look like blobs of black on a white background. They are similar to standard bar codes but have much more functionality. QR codes are encoded with information ranging from text, photos, and videos, to website addresses and are scanned by smart phones. They are used to send those who scan the codes to places online and are very effective marketing tools. “QR” stands for “quick response” which is in total alignment with the world today. Everyone wants everything NOW!
QR codes can be used in marketing to direct potential or current customers to any URL and add the ability to track and measure direct mail and email campaigns when used in conjunction with cross media marketing solutions.
Some Facts About QR Codes
Having originated in Japan and currently being used by only some companies in the US, QR codes are still in the infancy stages, so if you use them you’ll be seen as being ahead of the curve. They are easily read by most mobile phones. QR codes are easy to generate. There are many places online where you can generate your own QR code based on your criteria for free. Try it out for yourself at Social QR Code or at Zxing Project.
Practical Applications of a QR Code for Businesses
Get More Customers – When someone scans in the code, take them to a web page where they can get a special deal or a discount for your services. This could work especially well if you’ve placed the QR code on your retail location to attract new visitors. If you’re wanting to get people from online to your location, Tweet the QR code to your followers and send them to a page that has a coupon they’ll need to show you in order to redeem.
Grow Your Email List – If you offer something of value like a white paper or a special deal, you can direct anyone who scans the code to a sign up form. In order to receive their deal from you they’ll need to give you an email address so you can send them an email that contains the information they’re signing up for.
Grow Your Mobile List – Just like growing your email list, if you want to collect mobile numbers then you’ll need them to fill out their phone number so you can send them a text with the information contained in it.
Customer Service Videos – If you’ve got an informational video about your company, your products or services, you can direct them to a mobile-friendly page where you host the video. The advertisement to the right shows a great example of what people will get if they scan the code and how to get a reader if they don’t have one.
Where You Can Put QR Codes to Work!
• Printed advertisements
• Sandwich boards or billboards
• Your store or restaurant window
• Datasheets and collateral
• Direct mail postcards
• Product labels
• Business cards
• Take out menus
• Magazine publications
• Inbox shipments
• Endless possibilities