Using QR Codes – The Right & Wrong Ways to Use Them

QR Codes are all the rage today in many industries – in particular the real estate business. More and more companies are using QR codes to engage consumers and help promote their products. If you don’t know QR Code are two dimensional barcodes that are gaining a lot of traction for marketing as they can be scanned by an appropriate app on a smart phone which gives access to hidden information or a link to a webpage.

However, due to their popularity and as QR codes are being printed everywhere, perhaps now is the time to take a step back and look at the right and wrong ways to use QR Codes.

The Right Way

1. Use them in your print marketing campaigns – Do you advertise in magazines? Use flyers, posters or physical banners? Include a QR Code on these to add another level of marketing to drive traffic to your online presence.

2. Have your QR Code link to a mobile optimized page – QR Codes are being read by smart phones so, shouldn’t the web page that users are directed to be a mobile optimized page?

3. Use QR Codes to give users “something extra” – this is clever marketing indeed! By giving someone something “extra” by finding and scanning the QR Code it makes them feel special and can make them feel more inclined to use your services or buy your product.

4. Think of unique ways of using it where people have their phones – if you are in the real estate business, perhaps think about putting a QR Code on a lawn sign in front of a property if the property is in a walkable neighborhood – have the code link to the property listing page! Or how about having one on your stationery? Some people have even had them put on their cars!

5. Educate people – QR Codes are still new technology and not everyone knows what they are – perhaps include a line under it saying “Scan this QR Code with your smart phone” just to show people it will scan for them.

The Wrong Way

1. Using a QR Code on your website – People want to click on a link and are unlikely to scan a QR code which is on your website. QR codes are being scanned by smartphones which have mobile browsers and small screens, so keep this in mind.

2. Generating bar-codes with too much information in them – The more information you have in a bar-code the higher the density of black squares meaning that it is more likely that someone will not be able to scan the QR Code at all making it definitely a wasted effort.

3. Linking to your main website homepage – while not terrible, this really does defeat the object of using this kind of marketing. Users who have bothered to download an app and scan a QR Code want the relevant information immediately and not to then go through your entire site to find what they are looking for.

4. Printing QR Codes too small – people sometimes try to shrink them on their print marketing to save space, but be careful, if the code is too small it might not be scanned. Spend time testing and experimenting before sending your code to print.

One bad example of use is using it on a television commercial which has been reported, the code will not be on screen long enough for someone to get their phone out and scan! Poor use of QR Codes aside, they can be used very successfully in your marketing strategy if thought goes into their implementation.

An exciting possibility these days is where people are using QR Codes on their business cards but these days perhaps business cards are becoming a thing of the past? Check out launching soon for more!