A QR code (quick response code) is a type of 2D bar code that is used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone.
Example of a QR code
In this process, known as mobile tagging, the smartphone’s owner points the phone at a QR code and opens a barcode reader app which works in conjunction with the phone’s camera. The reader interprets the code, which typically contains a call to action such as an invitation to download a mobile application, a link to view a video or web page or an SMS message inviting the viewer to respond to a poll. The phone’s owner can choose to act upon the call to action or click cancel and ignore the invitation.
As such, the use of QR codes provides immediate access to relevant information to customers. In a sense, it provides a link between the physical and on line which can be a valuable tool in keeping front of mind with your customers.
How do you create your own QR Code?
You firstly need a URL or web address for the relevant web page, video or on line offer. Obviously, this means that you will need some form of online and/or social media presence to pursue this strategy - a great incentive to take that first step, if you haven't already!
You firstly need to download your QR generator. A Google search for "free QR generator" will reveal many free QR generator applications. Examples of free QR generators include:
- bitly.com (the QR Generator that I use)
- Print it on signage
- Put it in your advertisements
- Put it on your labels
- Put it in your leaflets etc etc
Your customer will need to have downloaded a QR reader to be able to scan and read your QR codes. There are many free QR readers for smart phone or tablets available for download via the various app or android stores.
Once the customer has their QR reader downloaded on the their smart phone, they can simply scan the code which will link them directly to the specified web address. In important feature of most QR readers is that the app will store the web address for future reference by the customer - in a sense, keeping a permanent record of your contact.
What are some practical uses of QR Codes?
You really need to open your creative mind - it's unfortunate that most of us our creative mind has stopped developing by the time we reach year 5! It's time to kick start it again. Here are some tips:
- Back or front of your business card
- Brochures or other marketing materials
- Sides of emails or trailers
- Product tags or packaging including labels
- Convention and event name tags
- Restaurant menus
- Event ticket stubs
- Point of sale receipts
QR codes could link to:
- Installation instructions
- Sources for replacement products, parts and/or service
- Directions to your business
- Valuable coupons and offers
- Recommendations for complimentary products and services
- Free downloads
- Product demonstrations
- Customer feedback forms
I set up a QR code to provide more information about a seminar I was running. This was placed on all promotional material including emails so that a reader could watch and hear me talking about the seminar. Simply scan the QR code below to watch the video!
I trust that you have found this subject interesting. If you have any questions relating to the use of QR codes, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org