What is a QR code?
A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode consisting of a black and white pixel pattern which allows us to encode up to a few hundred characters. Today’s smartphones and tablets are able to recognize and decode them exceptionally fast – hence QR stands for Quick Response.
What makes QR Codes particularly advantageous is that up to 30 percent of their surface may be damaged, dirty or altered in other ways without effecting their legibility and functionality at all.
How are QR codes used?
Due to the widespread use of smartphones, QR Codes are mostly used for mobile marketing purposes these days.
Marketers benefit from QR Codes by being able to add digital content like websites, videos, PDFs, image galleries or contact details to printed media such as flyers, posters, catalogues and business cards.
How can QR codes be scanned?
Decoding QR Codes needs nothing more than a mobile phone or tablet and a QR Code reader that is installed on that device. These QR Code readers are freely available to download from all App Stores. To scan the Code, simply launch the App and wait until the camera automatically detects it. Within seconds the encoded content is displayed on the screen. As a benchmark for the quality of the app, you may refer to the average review rating in the App Stores.
How can I use QR codes successfully?
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and ask yourself whether you would scan the Code you’re looking at. Are you excited about what the Code might reveal? Do you expect value or helpful information from it? Users put effort into interacting with your advertisement and expect something in return for that. Ideally present your content using a mobile website that is adapted to the respective display size and makes it more comfortable for users to navigate through it. Provide value added content and make your Code attract people by making use of the various customization options.
A simple call to action like “Scan this Code to find out more” has also proven successful and will surely encourage more people to see what’s behind the Code.
Application possibilities of QR Codes
The conceivable applications are almost infinite. Especially when encoding URLs many different contents are possible. These include homepages, product sites, videos, picture galleries, coupon codes, competitions, contact forms or any other types of online forms, social media sites and so on. Many other contents do not even require an active internet connection of the used phone. Those are e.g. calendar events, WiFi connections or vCards that contain personal contact information which then can easily be added to the address book. QR Codes may be placed on web pages, print ads, products or any other flat surfaces.
Get the best from your QR codes
Encourage your customers
Invite users to interact with your Code by placing a short call to action like “Scan me” next to it.
Communicate the added value
Explain how your customers benefit from scanning your Code, for example by adding a hint like “Get 10% discount now”.
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