qrWhat the heck are QR codes?

Those tiny little squares of inkblots inside of them on the bottom of some ads – yes, those are QR codes. They are sometimes seen on the bottom of a poster for a musical group or even on a store’s weekly ad.

Unfortunately, the truth is that many people who see those QR codes recognize that they can scan them with their cell phones but have no idea where to begin or what it does. Understanding QR codes before utilizing them for marketing purposes can give you a better idea of whether or not they will be successful for your business.

What are they?

QR codes are basically blocks of information. QR, which stands for quick response, is intended for your cell phones – since the objective is to scan and immediately release information to a customer.

Of course, the QR code can only work correctly if the customer has downloaded a QR code reader on their cell phone. Although the code reader can be downloaded and installed for free in a matter of minutes, if a customer does not know they need to download the program then the QR code will be useless.

If you’re planning on using QR codes for your business, it’s easy to generate codes using websites such as kaywa.com. You can have the code generated and link to things such as Facebook, your contact information or even coupon codes.

Why use them?

Once a QR code is generated, they are a great way to hold information. If your ad is more visual and you don’t want to clutter it with text, using a small QR code at the bottom of the page or paper can reduce the clutter and let the customer focus on what’s important.

Because you can control what information the code holds, this can give you an opportunity to place anything you want to be linked to it. The information ranges from coupons to surveys, email and text information or even discount codes for a purchase.

One of the best ways to benefit from using QR codes is to see which ads attract new customers. The more attracted a customer is to an ad, the more likely they will be to scan the QR code at the bottom of the page. If the ad is not visually enticing, chances that the customer will read it all the way through are slim to none.

Extra Tips

If you’re planning on using QR codes for your ads, there are a few things to remember when generating the codes.

It’s important to know that there are many people who aren’t familiar with this form of technology. Those who are or already have a QR code reader downloaded will probably utilize the option but those who don’t may need some extra assistance. If the ability to place a small set of directions underneath the QR code is present, doing so can help customers get involved more.

Don’t forget to include a call of action with your QR code. Let the customer know what they’ll be receiving once they scan the code – remember, an incentive is almost always a guarantee to pique the interest of a potential customer.

Be sure to only use black and white unless you can use a vibrant color that will distinguish the QR code from just an image on the ad. Make the code big enough to scan but not so big that it takes away from the rest of the advertisement. When your ad does what it needs to, a QR code is just an added benefit to retrieve more information from the customer.