What are QR Codes?
Although not yet fully adopted by the mainstream world yet, QR (or quick response) codes have seen a dramatic rise in usage and very well may be the new way that companies decide to give customers information on products. For those uninitiated, QR codes are those big squares you may have seen in the bottom corners of movie posters, under your drink on a coaster at your favorite restaurant or possibly next to various products at your local supermarket. With any smartphone armed with a QR code scanner (which are a free download on any app store). In the future, an advertisement may not be just a message and a picture, but an interactive environment with unlimited possibilities. What you can do with these handy bar codes may surprise you.
What can I do with QR codes?
Now that I’ve (hopefully) piqued your interest into QR codes, what kind of information can a QR code hold? In the end, it all depends on how powerful your end-users reader is. Below is a list of things any QR reader can do and some notions on how your business may be able to utilize QR codes:
You can open URLs in a browser
Probably the most common way to use a QR code, using it as a link to your company’s website or blog is one method, but think harder; what about a specially tailored site or campaign customized to the demographic of people that is likely to scan your code? Be creative with your site (and maybe poach a few other ideas from this blog) to make something truly unique that will give your target market a memorable experience.
Use QR codes to display hidden/secret text
The simplest of tasks you could ask of a QR code may seem like the type of command you may want to skip over, but it could have a few uses if you think creatively. Perhaps hiding your code with a special password on it that when given provides a special deal at your establishment.
Help people in setting up system alerts
Do you have a weekly special or special event coming up? Why not create a QR code that will automatically set up a reminder in your clients calender on their phone?
Collecting contact information (including vCards)
Having a networking event or party? A QR code would be a simple way to have guests register or sign in to an event. Do you want to grab everybodies contact info to send thank-you cards or a newsletter?Reconsider the whole “business-card-in-a-fish-bowl” raffle contest with a digital QR code version that can easily be imported right into your company’s mailing list.
Create a QR code for sending email or text messages (SMS)
Give customers a great way to let their friends know where they are, possibly with daily specials or a password for special deals or promotions.Create a fun E-card that guests and clients can share with their friends.
Use QR codes as a means of making geolocation easier
Is your customer lost? Help them out by pinning your address into their phone’s GPS with a QR code. From there, give them directions to your other locations, affiliates, or just the quickest route home.Use a QR code as a simple way for customers to check-in to your establishment or to show proof that they went to a secondary location.
Easily Connect to WiFi using a QR code
Use an easy-to-find QR code to grant WiFi access to mobile users in a quick, interactive way that can makes remembering clunky passwords a thing of the past.
Where can I get a QR code?
By googling “QR codes” you can find a litany of sites that can generate you a QR code free of charge. If you plan on using your QR code for a larger, more focused campaign, you can pay to have a QR code generated that will record statistics and demographic information. However, if you are too lazy to Google the aforementioned keywords, here are two sites of merit:
Info for programming codes to do the previous functions should be able to be found on the above sites, if not a great resource I used for this article can also help you with some of the programming as well: http://sixrevisions.com/web-development/qr-codes-uri-schemes/
What are some creative ways you can (or have) thought of to use QR codes in the ways mentioned above? We would love to see some examples.
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