QR codes have been getting lots of buzz lately. If you’re wondering what they are, and how your business can put QR codes to work, read on.
What is a QR code?
A QR code, or Quick Response code, is a 2D barcode that can store more than 4,000 alphanumeric characters in a limited space. When you compare that to a traditional linear (1D) barcode, it’s easy to see the advantage – more information, in less space. These barcodes were originally developed by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota. They were intended for use in the auto manufacturing industry, but QR codes have been gaining traction in advertising, marketing and networking. QR codes can be used to link directly to a URL, including social media properties or custom landing pages, and can also store text information like mailing addresses. QR codes are a great way to bridge the gap between the traditional world of offline marketing, and the online world, where you can captivate your viewers with dynamic, engaging content.
QR codes can be read by anyone with a smart phone and a barcode scanner app, or a barcode scanner with 2D capabilities.
How you can use QR codes
Here are 5 ways you can use QR codes for your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.
- Add QR codes to your business cards. You can include your business name and address, website, blog, or even links to your social media properties. The QR code will let your prospects and peers scan your business card and easily add you to their contacts.
- Include QR codes in your print advertising. You can link prospects to product videos, spec sheets, or “Buy Now” pages. Assigning a URL specific to the QR code in the ad with a re-direct is a great way to track how much traffic came to that page through your print advertisement.
- Create a campaign to increase your social following. Include a QR code to instantly link to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page on print advertisements, direct mail pieces, or even your email signature.
- Add QR codes to your product packaging, and link customers to a page with useful resources – like customer service phone numbers, user manuals, and related items.
- Use QR codes for company or customer-facing events. Add a QR code to an event ticket and link to a Google map, and RSVP page, or materials that attendees need to bring along.
Examples of QR codes in use
Marketing, branding, and advertising campaigns that involve QR codes have become more and more common. Examples include:
- An ad campaign from Sephora used a customized URL (http://sephoraqr.com/Spring11Looks) to instantly link viewers to a video showcasing spring 2011 makeup trends. Here’s the image:
- Target put QR codes to work in their holiday 2010 campaign. The holiday toy catalog included QR codes that linked to additional product information, including videos, and enabled readers to buy directly from the landing pages.
- Check out People magazine to see how American Idol is using QR codes – their print ads include a QR code that links you straight to the American Idol home page – making it easy to learn more about contestants, cast your vote, and get engaged in the viewer community.
- We recently received a great example of a business card that uses a QR code to link straight to the company website.
To create your own custom QR code, visit Wasp’s free QR Code Maker.
Looking for a barcode scanner to read QR codes and other 2D barcodes? Try the Wasp WDI4500.