5 Ways to Use QR Codes


Looking for a barcode scanner to read QR codes and other 2D barcodes? Try the Wasp WDI4600 2D barcode scanner.

What is a QR code?

iStock_000019063822A 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 2D barcode scanner.

How you can use QR codes

Here are 5 ways you can use QR codes for your organization’s sales and marketing efforts.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Related Article: Barcode: The Ultimate Guide to Barcodes

Marketing, branding, and advertising campaigns that involve QR codes have become more and more common. Examples include:

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter
  • http://www.benchmarkemail.com/ExtFeatures email marketing software

    I’ve been trying to think of different ways to incorporate this into my business so thanks for the helpful tips. I had not thought of the business card idea and have not witnessed any as of yet. I think you are onto something! Great post!

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    • http://www.bwscan.com Jenny

      You can use http://www.bwscan.com to create QR codes for business cards. They also ship starter stickers for free.

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      • http://www.illinimed.com kaye

        Want to create a QR Code for my business card that will provide our web information. Would like to copy and paste the information into the Code. Not sure how to do that. Can you help?

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  • http://www.Napkins-Only.com Napkins-Only

    Great post, and you’re right!
    The QR code will bridge the gap between the offline physical world and the online digital world where all of our rich web content resides. What more cost effective way to do so than with a low cost, mass saturation ScanNap web enabled cocktail napkin: http://www.napkins-only.com/printed-napkins/scannap/

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  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Use QR Codes | Big Promotions Blog()

  • http://www.whocanihire.com Rick Wall

    QR tags are wonderful but you still need to expose than to everyone. A great platform for that is the new website http://www.whocanihire.com which is a platform for small business to market themselves (QR tags) through social media potentially reaching thousands of customers.

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  • http://KayzKreationz.etsy.com Kay

    This is really cool. I like the different ideas/ways to use this. I just made my own QR code and am planning on putting it on my business cards and perhaps on my blog. Thanks


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  • http://www.usanfranonline.com Dean

    There’s a lot of uses for QR codes and we will continue to see the growth in some of the strangest places. The caveat is needing a smart phone to interpret the code. It will be a matter of time before the majority own a smart phone. There is a lot of opportunity for mobile marketing and business would be wise to have a strategy.

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  • Pingback: Top QR Code Campaigns You May Have Missed | barcodegeneratorfree.com()

  • http://www.hubbellonline.com Jason Bedford

    I understand that text can be encoded into a QR code, but can instructions also be included to have the scanner (most likely a mobile phone), to open and create a contact with the information embedded in the QR code?


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    • admin

      Yes you can put contact information or any text into a QR code. You can’t make the scanner or mobile device do something automatically from a QR Code alone. For further questions please contact our tech support at 866.547.9277

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  • James

    QR codes have really taken off recently as marketers find creative ways to integrate them into campaigns. It continues to be rapidly adopted as a bonafide marketing technology. We at mobile marketing solutions have been having a lot of fun creating QR tags for our practices ourselves lately. We have been putting them on appointment cards, letterhead, and many other pieces of promotional literature. Its a great way to help promote your practice, and the best thing is that many of the code generators are free.

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  • Nealroy

    How to have a website url and calendar event on one barcode.

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