What Are QR Codes Used For?

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The QR code has been around for a while, but only a few early adopters have actually put these little guys into practice.  And the guys that are putting QR codes into practice seem to be doing it just to be an early adopter.  It wasn’t until today that I saw a use for a QR code and said “WOW, that is the prefect use for a QR code!”

New York City will be putting QR codes on building permits, which is genius!  I dont know if you have ever walked by a building and wondered what in the world is going on there.  Well, in NYC, you can scan the building permits QR code with your phone and within seconds know the whole scoop.

The QR code is great for this type of shotgun marketing.  Have a public event, a banner somewhere, a sticker, t-shirt or a tailgate….put a QR code on it so people can quickly point and shoot.  Here are a few things to know about QR codes, what to do and what not to do.

So what should my QR code do?

Your QR code should present the user with some type of contact information and a call to action.  A great way to do this is to automatically direct them to a specific, mobile optimized page.  If you are sponsoring an event, take them to a mobile site about the event and a call to action such as “Join our Facebook page to be entered into a contest.”

When we are talking call to action, think in pairs.  A call to action with the QR code and a call to action once you have converted them to a scan.  “Scan this code to enter” with the QR code, and “Like us on Facebook to be entered” on the mobile enabled site.

You have to take advantage of the opportunity, make it easy to capture basic information and remember they are doing this on a mobile phone.

Important “Do Nots” with a QR code!

Most importantly, don’t forget to test the code before you print it and put it into the eyes of people.

If you have ever heard the acronym KISS, go with it.  Use a url forwarding service like bit.ly, and they will generate a QR code for you.  You can track the click throughs, and it is as open source as you are going to find.  The user will not need a proprietary QR code scanner.

Don’t link to the homepage of your website if its not optimized for a mobile device.  Remember also, content relevance is important here.  If  your at a sporting event, make the page sports related.  Do not ever link to a FLASH site, mobile phones do not read FLASH.

Now What?

If you used a service like bit.ly, log in and see if anyone is clicking.  Check your Facebook page and see how many new likes you have.  If people have entered the contest, work the crowd and see where it takes you.  Look at your insights and demographic information.  If its your crowd, you know your QR code placement worked.  If its the wrong demographic, or you did not see any results, maybe you need to rethink your message or sponsorship placement.

If you have been trying QR codes, please leave a message as to how they have worked for you.  I would love to hear the most creative place you have see one as well.

Joel Black

Joel loves the internet and how it's such a large part of everyday life! Give him a whiteboard and dry erase marker and he will keep himself busy for a while.

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  • Allison Nollinger

    Nice
    http://qrblaster.com is a free way tomake codes too incuding short url
    and designer codes there too

  • Hwells97504

    I am the owner of a yarn shop and would like to use QR codes on our shop samples. That way when a customer scans the code on a sample sweater, the pattern information, how much yarn, what size and type of yarn, needle sizes and guage pops up on their phone.  

    • http://www.blackbeardesign.com Joel Black

      That is a great idea. QR codes are very useful for the right applications.