Do you want to add a digital call to action to your latest print brochure? Does your class need to type out a long list of resources to complete homework? Do you want to track the redemption rate of your latest coupon or special offer?
All of these actions, and many more, are possible with QR codes. These square two-dimensional barcodes can be seen in print advertising and catalogs, and they’re an incredibly useful tool for marketers interested in maximizing their conversions.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to make a QR code for your latest poster, brochure, voucher or catalog. You’ll also discover the many benefits of QR codes and they’re advantages for marketers, educators and manufacturers.
Ready to start? Learn more about the technology behind QR codes, their origins in the Japanese automotive industry, and the best ways to use QR codes to promote a product or grow your business in our QR Codes course.
Why use a QR code?
QR codes are unusual looking square barcodes that, to the untrained eye, look more like a computer chip schematic than a digital code. Like barcodes store data about a certain product, QR codes store alphanumerical data like URLs and phone numbers.
Although they’re mostly used for marketing today, QR codes were invented over 20 years ago by a Japanese automotive manufacturing firm. They were originally made to help organize automotive parts and cars as they moved down the production line.
QR codes offer numerous benefits for businesses. Since they’re small, they’re easy to add to a brochure or business card. Because they’re so easy to scan, they’re ideal for encouraging people to take immediate action after viewing an advertisement.
Of course, QR codes can be used for a lot more than just marketing. You can use a QR code to distribute your contact information with attendees at a conference or event in your industry. You can even add a special QR code to your business card.
Alternatively, you can use QR codes to educate people. If you’re a teacher, you could use a QR code to link to resources within a printed document and make it easier for your students to access important websites and PDF files.
If you have a mobile application to promote, you can use a QR code to quickly send users to its page within the App Store or Play Store. These are just a few of the many ways that you can use QR codes to communicate with and influence people.
Do you want to learn more about marketing using QR codes? Enroll in our Profiting From QR Codes – With a Twist course to learn how to create your own QR codes and use them in combination with mobile landing pages to promote your products.
How to make a QR code
Making a QR code is surprisingly simple. All you need is an online QR code generator that can encode the QR code type you want. QR codes come in a variety of types that include plain text, URLs, vCard, SMS, geo-location data and email.
For added security, it’s best to choose a QR code generator that encrypts your data before converting it into a QR code. This prevents the application from reading any of your personal data – instead, it’s encrypted before it’s encoded.
One of the most popular QR code applications GOQR.me. It’s free for regular users and includes support for a wide variety of QR code formats including email, plain text and URLs.
GOQR.me supports QR codes that contain thousands of alphanumerical characters, allowing you to encode a long message if required. However, it’s best to stick with messages of 300 characters of less to improve compatibility with old QR apps.
While GOQR.me is more than enough for creating basic QR codes, a range of other applications are available that produce ‘pretty’ QR codes. Pretty QR codes can use unique colors and patterns, and even incorporate a corporate logo or graphic.
Do you want to create a custom QR code with your company’s logo or colors? Learn to Create Custom QR Codes to learn how to design a unique and eye-catching QR code that gives your business more exposure.
Creative ways to use QR codes
Think QR codes are only useful for giving out contact information? Think again. As part of the right campaign, QR codes can be used to direct users to app downloads, generate leads for your business and build your email marketing list.
Even in the business-to-business world, where most marketing is done face to face, QR codes can be incredibly useful. Read on to discover some intriguing and creative ways to use QR codes to grow your business and attract more customers.
At trade shows and events
For many people, trade shows are sensory overload. With hundreds of brochures to carry and endless booths to visit, having a QR code that your prospects can quickly scan makes your business stand out from the crowd.
Add QR codes to your brochures, trade show exhibit and presentations to make it as easy as possible for people to scan and connect with you. You can even use QR codes to give out information about your products without printing endless brochures.
In print catalogs
Who says print media advertising is dead? By adding QR codes to your catalog, you can make it easier than ever for customers to buy the products they’re interested in at the right time.
Add a QR code beside every item in your print catalog that automatically links users to your website. You can even automatically add a special coupon code to users that scan codes from your brochure and make a purchase from your website.
On your business card
Combine print and digital by adding a QR code to your business card. Since jotting down someone’s phone number and adding it to your hone is such a pain, adding a QR code to your business card will help people save time and help you stand out.
Do you want more creative QR code ideas? Learn how to spice up your lessons and help students learn more efficient using QR codes with our course, Using QR Codes in the Classroom.
Make a QR code today
Are you ready to start using QR codes to promote your business, educate students and make it easier for people to access information? Learn more about how to use QR codes to achieve your goals in our blog post on creating your own QR codes.