QR code, or Quick Response code, is a type of readable code originally used to track automotive parts. It is mostly limited in Japan and South Korea for several years but now, it is gaining attention worldwide. Currently, QR code is mainly utilized to advertise site/product offline.
(Image Source: LaunchSquad)
With smartphones and other mobile gadgets which governed the modern world, QR code can be scanned by them easily, which makes it a real convenient storage of information. Data that can be encoded in a QR code ranges from a simple e-mail address, a simple text, to long winding web addresses, phone numbers, and even PayPal information.
So, why not take a ride on this technology, utilize its goodness and try it for your website or business? People love smooth data transition, QR code is perfect for that, and we’ll show you why and how, full discussion at the jump!
QR code: To Use Or Not To Use?
For this kind of question, there’s always a standard answer for it: it depends. The growth of smartphone users is rising steadily, so there’s clearly more potential for QR code as a marketing tool to reach the offline audience, and you know the key of getting advantages in any competition is a preemptive strike, so be the starter to attract the offline customer using the QR code!
(Image Source: LynkSnap)
Besides, remember that when you advertise online your audience is limited to people who spend enough time in front of their computers. But if you want to break that barrier and go beyond, offline advertisement through QR code will do the trick – convert the audience in offline world to become the online customer!
On the other side, QR code is convenient, but not that convenient if your targeted audience cannot afford a smartphone or phone that does not embraces camera feature. That said, you have to be really careful about where your audience lives, study their economic background really well then just consider to use the QR code.
Also don’t use QR code as main strategy for advertising, this is especially true if you’re just planning on advertising your website online without a concrete plan. This also applies for offline advertising. Learn to build really good content and marketing your site with best practices, then just go for QR code.
And, yes, make sure your targeted audience know how to use QR code, as even in modern country, there are even people who don’t know anything about QR code! Study the technological background of your audience will be the critical step to your QR code marketing success.
How It Works And Benefits
QR code is most commonly seen and utilized in business world. There are online businesses or services that can benefit greatly from QR code. Imagine having a curious advertisement poster with QR code in a bustling city avenue where people go to relax and shop. They can simply capture the QR code then either view, interact or share with your website/products. Cool and convenient, isn’t it?
(Image Source: Fotolia)
This form of offline advertisement is probably cheaper than using AdWords or other online advertising. Although conversion rates might be little, slow and even risky if you put too much time on this, you won’t lose too much fund from it, right?
Suppose you are a freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, social media guru, or you are looking for students to teach online. You can benefit from this by redirecting them to your website where your service detail is there and your business is made. There is unlimited ways of uses with QR code, be creative with it!
(Image Source: Design Boom)
To bring more insight about the practical uses of QR code, here is a success story from South Korea. Tesco began a campaign to increase their sales and it became the top market in their industry without even increasing the number of their stores. What they did was to print numerous items in their supermarket and post them on subways. Included are a photo, price, and a QR code for each item.
Since smartphones are widely used there, the customers scanned the QR code of the items they wanted to buy, then the items are delivered right at their doorsteps. As Korea is a fast-paced country just like other modern countries, the service is greatly welcomed and it even became the critical factor to Tesco’s success. The proven success of QR code integration is here, and now it’s your turn to achieve with it!
It’s Really All About Convenience
Even if you are not doing some serious e-commerce business, you can also use QR code to advertise your website, and the key of winning here is about convenience, which is also the core of QR code marketing. To be exact, you need to place the QR code in your website’s main page, so everyone can scan it instantly.
The benefit? Imagine you are browsing the Internet using your desktop or laptop and you stumbled upon a really nice site, but you need to go and catch the train and simply don’t have the time (and long-term memory) to read the long URL, but you see a QR code. Bam! Scan and go, instant site information transfer to mobile, talking about user-friendliness!
(Image Source: MailChimp)
Another reason is, remember when providing a printer-friendly website, including the printer icon, is a standard? Yes, because there are people, non-techy people, who still print website pages. So, what’s the catch? When printing, the QR code can be included so that wherever the prints go, in just a scan they will be lead directly back to the source: your site. It’s even a free advertisement for you!
Where to place QR code?
For every marketing tool there’s certain places, or positions where you can achieve the optimum effect with the tool. For QR code, it can be everywhere, as long as it attracts most people’s attention!
(Image Source: Sleeptest)
To be precise, there are places like coffee shops or the bookstore people frequently visit, where you can ask the manager/owner if you can post a poster with or without charge. Simple offline marketing tips! Also, you can be creative and if you want, make the code as a sticker, or business card, or you can even make a T-shirt with huge QR code pasted tightly on it! Just experiment and have fun!
(Image Source: Casey Templeton Photography Inc.)
The good thing here is QR code itself looks very odd, and even a fresh concept in most countries. Chances are, if you place it on the places suggested above, there will be curious people out there to scan and play around with your QR code, marketing done!
For online website, the most prominent place is like we’ve discussed above, place it on the web pages so when people are printing the web pages, they print the QR code directly, which the codes will later serves as a redirect for them to reach your site.
QR Code Generators
So you understood every bit of essential information about the QR code and its marketing tactics, what’s next? Get QR code for your website! Do not worry about the cost, as there are lots of services which can do it for you, for free! And below is the glorious list of these services:
Paperlinks is the premier platform for generating QR code for business. It can be mainly used to generate QR code and track campaign analysis.
QR Stuff has a lot of data type options for you to encode into a QR code. This includes website’s URL, social media profile, e-mail address, Google Maps location, and even PayPal Buy Now link!
Delivr is a QR code generator that encodes regular URLs, YouTube links, Google Maps, Flickr, and even some extra features like personalized Delivr address when you sign up to it!
A QR code generator with simplicity in mind for URLs, vCards, Calls, and SMS.
Another friendly QR code generator for URLs with a simple analytics to track the total and unique hits of the code, with extra information about the browser and platform used to view the code’s information.
Kaywa is a simple QR code generator, which you can generate QR code from website’s URL, text, phone number and SMS, with an option to choose the size (S, M, L, XL) of the code.
How to Read QR code
It is important to know that you need to have a smartphone, or a mobile phone with a built-in camera to scan the QR code. However, if you don’t own one, you can always use your desktop with the webcam, and there are also desktop applications that let you scan image files of QR code. Here are some applications you can use to scan QR code:
QuickMark – A Multi-purpose application which works well computing and mobile devices, including iPhone, Android, Mac OS X and Windows.
Qrafter – Two-dimensional barcode scanner for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Its main purpose is to scan and parse the contents of QR Codes.
QR Droid – Dedicated QR code scanner for Android. It also lets you scan the QR code in a magazine and watch a video immediately.
BcWebCam’s freeware scanner – A barcode scanner software with QR code reading integrated.
OnBarcode’s QR scanner – If you do not own a webcam or anything that can scan, but you have the image file of the QR code, OnBarcode’s scanner is probably your best choice.