What is a QR Code – And When Should I Use One?

What is a QR Code - And When Should I Use One?A QR Code (short for “Quick Response”) is a barcode that contains data that can be read by a phone’s camera. Most smartphones come equipped with software that allows them to download a QR Code reader. Once you download a reader, the phone’s camera acts like a scanner, allowing it to “read” the barcode.

These codes, once scanned by your phone, can provide you with a URL, contact information, SMS, or similar links to information right on your phone. Think of it as a black and white link, or a heavily pixelated one.

Now that the definition is there, here is what it is used for in business… If you create something in print where you want people to easily go (especially if there is a long link) you can create a QR code for people to scan in using their smartphones.

The most popular types of content accessed in mobile engagement campaigns (campaigns with QR codes) were application downloads, discounts, and sweepstakes. These are examples of marketing campaigns that can benefit from QR codes. Other top uses for QR codes include:

  • Display coupons
  • Connect to social media
  • Download contact information
  • Display your Yelp reviews
  • Reward loyalty program members
  • Display contest entry form
  • Make mobile payments
  • Offer product details
  • Display directions to your business
  • Scan a paperless ticket
  • Email newsletters

Effective Places to Publish QR Codes

  • Business cards
  • Brochures and pamphlets
  • Product packaging and inserts
  • Restaurant menus
  • Point-of-sale receipts

Bad Places to Publish QR Codes

  • Clothing
  • Billboards
  • Vehicle
  • Anything that constantly moves (really hard to scan using your phone)