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Using QR Codes Effectively

Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to QR codes.

You may remember our introduction to QR Codes earlier.  QR codes are a 2D barcode that can hold large amounts of data, usually a link, and are becoming more and more popular.  QR codes are a great tool in merging online and physical marketing but, like any tool, the key is to use them properly.

Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to QR codes.

DO use QR codes on print media, and make sure it links to a mobile friendly site.  Newspaper ads, fliers, store hours signs, business cards – anything that it tangible, can be distributed or posted.  This allows you to present your online content to people on the go.  Don’t overlook the mobile friendly portion of that – most often people will be accessing them through their smart phones.   Make sure your site is mobile friendly or link to mobile friendly sites such as YouTube, Facebook etc.

DON’T use QR codes that will end up in places that make scanning them difficult.  Billboards, bumper stickers, even airplane banners we’ve seen QR codes in places that are inconvenient, impossible or downright dangerous to scan.  Keep in mind that moving targets are difficult for many phones to capture.  And size and distance matter as well, long range scanning is often unsuccessful.

DO give your audience something other than just a bunch of text – promotions, surveys, special offers and subscriptions are all just a click away.  Three years ago it was novel, and people would scan the code and visit your site for the newness of it.  Today you need to make it interesting for them; give them a reason to scan it.  This is no different than any other marketing tool.

DON’T put QR codes on your regular web-site or include it in an email.  The vast majority of QR codes are links, so why not use a link in an email or from your website?  There is a time when including a QR on these media makes sense – providing your audience easy access to your mobile site.

One side note about QR codes – sites such as uqr.me allow you to create free and recyclable QR codes.  This means that you can use the same QR code and simply point it to a different URL as your business needs change which is a handy feature.  It also provides some basic reporting capabilities for free, and for a small subscription fee you can get more information.

Using QR codes wisely can bridge the gap between your on and off line marketing, making the most of your marketing strategy.

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More Stories By Nick Kugelman

Nick Hession-Kugelman is a marketing and mobile technology professional focused on helping organizations to find the right solutions to help fill the gaps in their business. Follow Nick on twitter at @NickKugelman or on his Blog Do It Yourself Marketing