Think Tank

5 ideas for QR codes

August 15th, 2012 by hutdogs

Businesses are printing QR codes on packaging, signs, t-shirts, brochures, ads and other print collateral to drive traffic to designated landing areas on the web. A QR (Quick Response) code is a type of bar code that can be scanned or read on a smart phone with an app like “ATTScanner.” The code is linked to some type of digital content on the web.

Setting up a QR code is easy and usually takes just a few minutes. (Search for QR code generators on Google and you will find lots of free options). You can also go to to see how to use to quickly create a QR code.

The tricky part is coming up with a good idea and campaign for your QR codes. If you are just getting started with QR codes, here are 5 ideas you might consider:

1.    Set up a QR code to build your email list. For example, Jamba Juice has a QR code sign at their counter. While you are waiting for your smoothie, you can scan the QR code and sign up to become a Jamba Juice “Insider” to get coupons and offers emailed to you.  If you use Constant Contact for email marketing, they have a QR code generator for email sign ups; it’s very easy to create and takes about 2 minutes to set up. (Look under the section called “Grow my Contacts” in the Constant Contact tools.)

2.    Be creative with QR code signs at trade shows:  D-Lux 57 (designer aprons) hangs a wall of framed QR codes in their trade show booths. Each framed QR code links to something different; join the mailing list, product information, their main web site, other product categories like their mother and daughter line and QR codes that make it easy to connect with them on a variety of social media sites (see photo).

3.    Use QR codes for customer service videos. If you sell a physical product, put a QR code on your packaging that links to a video about how to use the product, how to set it up, how it works etc.  You want to make sure to put your videos in a tool that plays video on a smart phone; YouTube is usually the best bet.

4.    Think like a museum.  If you have a physical location that has interesting eye candy, say a statue or painting, you might put a QR code sign next to it that links to a fun facts or history page. You might even create a QR code treasure hunt if you have multiple pieces in your facility.

5.    Give incentives for using your QR code.  Set up a call to action (join your email list or other type of registration), give instructions to show that they have signed up at point of purchase to receive some type of instant gratification (coupon, free drink, discount etc.)

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