So surely by now you’ve most likely seen those square usually black and white checkered boxes which look like crossword puzzles. They are known as QR Codes (Quick Response). You should be able to easily spot them since they’re popping up everywhere. You can find them on newspaper ads, magazine ads, they’re displayed on T-shirts, coffee mugs, sidewalk billboards, brochures and posters, mall kiosks, business cards, menus, email signatures, Web pages, absolutely everywhere.
But some are wondering what they exactly are and what purpose they serve. For businesses or website owners who are choosing to use them, these 2d codes are easy and affordable marketing tools. They are specific for mobile devices such as smartphones and Tablet PCs, provided they have an on-board camera as well as the appropriate app to decipher the code.
What QR Codes are able to do is steer anyone who clicks on the code using their portable mobile device, and directs them anywhere the owner of the code chooses. This can be a blog post, a product website page, online video, coupon or rebate discount page, product giveaways, maps or contact information. The redirect can be anywhere on the Web whether it’s marketing related material or not.
Breaking Down QR Codes
QR Codes are excellent marketing tools for the merchant since creating these codes are easy and inexpensive. They will work with any type of mobile device on the market with a camera and a QR Code app. They’re an excellent way of instantly engaging previous as well as potentially new customers who they’re wanting to connect with. QR Codes are proving to be the easiest bridge between the offline and the online world.
Using these QR Codes also eliminates the end user on a small mobile device having to manually type in a mobile Web address, or having to remember “shortcodes” or specific keyword combinations. Compared to the familiar one-dimensional horizontally scanned barcodes, these QR Codes are 2D and can be scanned horizontally as well as vertically, which means that you’re able to embed a lot more data into the code, containing 1000’s of alphanumeric characters.
One example of using QR Codes are major metro airports who use these codes on their checkpoint signs, which provides passengers with precise information regarding screening procedures etc.
Tools For Generating QR Codes
When you do a simple search on the Internet for “QR Code generators,” the results will be a variety of usually free as well as some paid options for you being able to create your own QR Codes. These are the same codes which a smartphone or a tablet PC equipped with a camera are able to read.
There are free downloadable apps which are available for all of the major mobile device platforms, while some of the newer smartphones are able to read the QR codes directly out of the box.
Once a QR Code is scanned, the app then immediately executes whatever action that the code contains. This can be anything from opening up a mobile Web page, which displays company information or a discount coupon. Merchants should also be using a Web site analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, to gauge the exact usage and traffic which is created by the QR codes.
Uses For QR Codes
Perhaps the most effective method of using QR codes may be in the context of mobile marketing, allowing the user to experience what you have to offer, and then placing the same information in the QR codes to fit their smaller screens.
You’re able to place these QR codes anywhere you’re wanting the mobile users to interact with your company, brand or product. As their popularity increases, these codes are being displayed everywhere from traditional store front windows, to magazine ads, newspapers, direct ad pages on the Internet and even on TV advertisements.
Some Tips On Coding Your QR Codes
Some general tips when you’re creating QR codes:
• The more data that you embed onto the QR code, the more difficult it is for the mobile device to scan the code
• Avoid using an extremely long URL web address, use those web address shortening services instead
• QR codes which are larger in size will generally tend to scan a lot easier
• Make sure that the information which is contained is the QR code is useful and worth the users time
Businesses who are planning to use QR Codes should be thinking out of the box by offering real tangible or unique information which provides immediate value for the QR code scanner.
Make sure that you reward them by offering relevant useful information that they can use immediately once they’re directed. Even if you happen to place the QR Code where just a handful of mobile users will scan it out of curiosity, your business or product will usually generate interest just from the publicity it generates.
The best instances of QR Code usage are businesses which are currently taking advantage of the still sheer novelty which these codes are still able to provide, so they use them in a unique and novel way.