QR Codes – what is a QR code and how to use a QR Code

QR Codes – what is a QR code and how to use a QR Code

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of talk these days about QR codes.

But what is a QR Code? How does it work?  Why should you use it and where do you get one?

Free_QR_Code_Generator_QRCodeA QR Code may appear to be just a big black ink spot made by some second-rate, discount printer but it is actually an intelligent graphic image that contains vital information about your business. And, QR codes are being used by more and more organizations every day, to market and promote their products and services.

If you already know what a QR Code is, then you are currently in the top minority of what we in the marketing world like to call ‘Trendsetters”, those on the cutting edge of technology.  If you don’t know what a QR code is then don’t worry because the majority of business owners still do not know what these scan codes are, where to get one or how to use it. The important thing is that once we’re done, you will join the legion of trendsetters, having all the information you need to know about QR Codes PLUS the tools to create and use your very own QR Codes.

What is a QR Code?Smart Phone with QR Code

QR stands for “quick response”. A QR Code is a graphic image, similar to a bar code that contains vital information about your business. What kind of vital information you ask? Well that all depends on the information you want it to contain. For example, you may want a QR Code to direct people to your Facebook page or to instantly download your contact information. There are several different types of QR Codes, each with a specific purpose, which we will be covering here.

The key to success is to keep the information in your QR code short and sweet. You don’t want your QR code to contain too much information or the image will become too large and dense, making it vulnerable to printing and reading errors.  Remember when creating your QR code to be concise with the information it contains.

How does a QR Code work?

Customers with smart phones can download a QR Code reader, which allows them to scan QR codes and instantly receive the information that is embedded within it – similar to the checkout gal who scans your products at the grocery store, which instantly notifying the POS system about the product name, price and stocking number of the item. For example, using a map QR code on your business card is a great way for your customers to easily find your place of business.

Where to Use a QR Code?

QR Codes can be used in a myriad of places, such as:

  • Web pages
  • Social media channels like Facebook pages and Twitter profiles
  • Outdoor and indoor signage
  • Business cards
  • Posters and flyers
  • Print and online Advertising

While QR codes are still catching on, you may not notice an immediate spike in your marketing but the number of smart phone users AND the impact QR codes are having on the world are increasing daily!  If you are an innovative business person, then you will want to leverage the full benefits of using QR codes now by integrating them into your global marketing plan.

What Type of QR Code should I use?

Before creating a QR Code, you will need to decide on the purpose of your QR Code.  Do you want a QR code to…

 … Advertise a special promotion?

… Provide easy contact information?

… Direct people to your website or social media channel like your Twitter or Facebook?

 If you are a real estate agent, you may want a QR code printed on your listing sign that takes readers to the web page containing detailed information on that listing.

Or, if you run a restaurant business, you may want a QR code that directs people to a page on your website where you post the daily specials.

As a Master Consultant, you can use a QR code to allow your prospects to instantly download your vcard with your contact information.

 QR codes can be used for a multitude of purposes and they work particularly well when used in conjunction with your text marketing campaigns.

Once you have decided on the purpose of your QR code, you can proceed to create one.

Here is a list of the different types of QR Codes to choose from, what they are and some ideas on where to use them, with an example for each:

    • Text:  The code will display text to the reader. Great for special promotions, detailed specs and more.
    • Email: readers can instantly email you through their smart phone. A great call to action when used with a sales promotion or copy.
    • Tel: provides just your phone number with a ‘call now” button that instantly dials your number when clicked for easy calling.
    • Url: directs readers to a web link. Be sure to use Http:// to make it hyperlink (clickable). Use it on posters, flyers and all your print ads.
    • vCard: provides your vCard, a file format standard for electronic business cards containing all your business contact information. Simply fill in the blanks.
    • MeCard: Similar to a vcard, a MeCard provides your personal contact information.
    • SMS: allows them to send you a text message. An excellent compliment to your text marketing strategy. Include a short code and keyword for a shortcut to your text marketing opt-ins. For example, “text the word YES to 5555 to receive our 20% off coupon or SCAN HERE”
    • Location: provides a map of your location. Use it on your business cards and stationary, and at the bottom of your emails.
    • Bookmark: allows readers to bookmark a web page, website, special offer, course, etc. Be sure to include HTTP:// to make it a hyperlink (linkable).
    • WIFI: includes your WIFI information, such as the user name and password, so users can connect to your wireless internet. Ideal for any place that offers WIFI but wants to keep secure –restaurants, businesses, hotels. Provides all the log in details to connect to your wifi – wireless network type, password, etc. Can be used as a bonus for using your services “Scan now for free WIFI access”.

How Do I Create a QR Code?

Once you have decided on the purpose for your QR Code and selected the type of QR Code you want, you need to find a QR Code generator that will allow you to create a custom one, or pay someone to create one for you. Using QR codes gives your customers, prospects and leads multiple ways to interact with you.

Our free QR Code generator allows you to easily create your own QR codes in 5 easy steps.

Before making your own QR Codes, you wll want to review 10 simple guidelines to insure success when using QR Codes.

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