It seems like QR codes are everywhere these days. Yes, literally everywhere, from restaurant tables to Train station to bananas. (Can you believe it? On Bananas!)
While their usage is not quite mainstream (yet), it is growing steadily and I expect the adoption to really take off when iOS joins the other popular mobile platforms (Android and to some Windows Phone) and supports QR Code natively. There are helpful posts on how to create your qrcode in 4 easy steps and how they can be used to generate leads . In this post, I’ll give you some power-user tips to generate Robust QR Codes and increase your chances of conversion.
In many ways a QR Code is like someone casually browsing your website. They start out as a casual onlooker of QR Code and ends up as a lead. If you think of it as a funnel (Like all marketers, I love funnels), here are five tips to make each step of the funnel effective :
1. Make your QR code attractive: Yes, you read that right. You can make QR Codes attractive. For example, you can customize it with your logo, use the same colors as your brand or identity so that it attracts attention. A word of caution though, especially when you are trying fancy things like putting your logo on the QRCode). Anytime you manually do anything with the QRCode, make sure you test it thoroughly, ensure that it can be scanned and ensure that you haven’t accidentally corrupted the code itself). Sticking your logo at the center of the code, with a white border (like in the example below, should usually be good). Here are a couple of examples of customized QRCodes.
Customized QR Code
QR Code Customized with Logo
2. Make your QR Code easy to scan: Use a URL shortener so that you are encoding lesser information, and consider picking level H (for high level of error correction). A higher level of error correction increases the likelihood that your code will be scanned, even when it is exposed to adverse conditions (like bad weather, or the code is in a banana). Here is an example showing a QRCode with a long URL: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30678/9-Unique-Ways-to-Generate-Leads-With-QR-Codes.aspx and the same code but now representing a shortened URL: http://hub.am/NKxvQr Any guesses on which will be picked up faster by the phone?
QR Code with regular, un-shortened URL
QR Code with shortened URL has bigger “handles”
3. Make sure your QR Code takes to a mobile optimized page: All your efforts in making your QRCode attractive will be of no use, if your leads land on a page that is not optimized for mobile. You should also consider content that is mobile friendly (such as a video)
4. Think beyond URLs : Think beyond URLs, make it contextual and make it relevant. For example, A QR code in a business card should be that of a VCF file. Remember that QR Codes are not restricted to just URLs. You can have QR codes for a lot of different categories including YouTube Videos, Google Maps Location, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Telephone Number, SMS Message, Email Address, Email Message, Contact Details (VCARD), Event (VCALENDAR)
5. Try, Measure, Fix, Repeat: QR Codes are a great way to bridge the gap between online and offline marketing. Use utm_campaign codes using a tracking URL builder when encoding your URLs (which gives you one more reason to use a URL shortener). If you use these codes, you can exactly tell how many visits you are getting from the QR Code and how many of those are converting to leads
Have you used QR Codes successfully in your marketing campaigns? How did you make the most out of it?