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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3 Rules for using QR Codes!

The use of QR codes in all sorts of interesting ways is rapidly on the rise. QR Codes are those square barcodes that when scanned with a smartphone usually take you to a website. They look like this..

It's no wonder they are showing up everywhere when you consider the meteoric rise of smartphone adoption especially in the United States. According to some sources the rate of smartphone growth from the second quarter of 2010 through the same time in 2011 is almost 900%.

Even though these codes are showing up everywhere there are some basic rules that often get forgotten when using them.  Here are my 3 Rules for using QR Codes.

1. Make Sure Your Codes Scan!
There are few things more frustrating as a consumer than finding a QR code and attempting to scan it only to discover that it won't scan.  Although it's becoming less common, I still see this happening.  

From the advertisers perspective this is a waste of time and money and perhaps the loss of a customer.  The QR code holds some information that will not be seen because the code won't scan.  QR codes ought to drive connections with your customers, not create frustration.

Test your codes before they go to press, test them before the pieces get into the hands of the customers.

2. Mobilize the Landing Page!
QR Codes are an on-ramp to the mobile internet.  Don't use them to send customers to your  full website.  Wherever your QR Codes point, it should be optimized for mobile devices and at the very least it should be mobile friendly.  Zooming and scrolling through a website on your smartphone gets old very quickly.  If your customers have taken the first step to scan your bar code, make sure that they can use your site when they get there.

3. Provide Some Value!
While it doesn't have to be monetary value, there should be some value in a customer scanning your bar code.  Perhaps they'll receive a discount, or have access to inside information about upcoming sales or promotions.  Other valuable options might be to invite  your customers into conversation about your products and services and their experiences.  Use QR Codes to receive feedback about your product or service, then respond to the feedback.

QR Codes and mobile optimized websites are amazing and powerful tools to drive interaction with your clients.  Don't let a simple error take away your opportunity to connect with your clients in new and powerful ways.

If you need help creating a QR code strategy for your business, give us a call or drop us an email.  We look forward to helping you take advantage of these amazing tools.