Square, black-and-white QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Code)
are appearing on signs, posters, business cards and even soup cans. Why? Because QR codes connect customers to businesses.There is more to QR codes than meets the eye.
More than half of the mobile phones in the US are “smartphones” capable of reading QR codes through their built-in camera. To interpret QR codes, the smartphone owner needs to install a free QR code reader app (available for phones that run the Android, iPhone/iOS and Blackberry operating systems). Smartphone owners are actually starting to expect to find QR codes posted at brick-and-mortar businesses. QR codes are an invitation to connect and interact with an organization.
Tablet devices such as the iPad can also read QR codes. Remember that tablets often don’t have a built-in mobile phone, but they can do many of the things a smartphone can do.
A QR code causes the smartphone or tablet to visit a web page, or show a short message or phone number. Users with more advanced QR devices and good code readers may also be able to run an app, start downloading an app, or initiate an SMS texting session. Other possibilities include adding events to calendars, setting up system alerts, collecting contact information, sending an email, calling other phones, and more!
If you want to play it safe, your company could create QR codes that link to your website’s home page, or to a specific website landing page. All QR-capable devices should be able to handle this.
You will want to first make sure that a mobile-friendly version of your website appears on smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have that, talk to your webmaster.
At your next marketing meeting, discuss where QR codes could enhance your existing marketing and outreach.
For example, maybe you have been trying to get people who walk into your place of business to sign up for your email list. Many of the email marketing systems such as Constant Contact and MailChimp can automatically generate a QR code that leads to your email signup page. Make a poster explaining the program with the QR code on it. You can even offer an on-the-spot discount or free item if a smartphone user signs up and shows their final signup page to an employee!
Perhaps getting more Facebook likers is a priority. Ask your webmaster or an Internet marketing expert to create a QR code that links directly to your company’s Facebook page. If they know what they are doing, they will make sure the QR code links to the mobile Facebook app.
When it’s time to get business cards re-printed, have a small QR code added to the card. It can link to your company’s website home page, or to a bio of the cardholder.
Do you have events or a class calendar Make a QR code that links to your online calendar or adds selected events to the visitor’s calendar.
If your company has a mobile app, post a QR code that lets visitors to your establishment quickly download it.
If your company produces products, try adding QR codes to packaging and see what happens. QR codes can be trackable, and you can start engagement even before the product is purchased.
If you start using QR codes, expect to see excitement and quick responses from your customers!