Quick Response (QR) Codes are 2D scannable barcodes. They are a viable technology for enhancing your proximity to marketing workflows. When in contact with a scanner, it directs users to a webpage or helps users execute a specific action.
QR codes have become increasingly popular in recent years. Businesses have used QR codes to make it easier for consumers/users to consume their products and services. In 2022, the global increase in QR scans has quadrupled by 443%, and predictions indicate that the use of QR codes will continue to rise.
Using QR codes for proximity marketing is a simple process. A QR code can be printed on business cards, websites, magazines, postcards, products, and social media ads. Consider how many business and marketing platforms can benefit from using QR codes. Your customers can use their smartphones to scan the codes, use your service, or purchase your products.
If you want to use QR codes for your business or if you already do then keep reading to get all of the information you need so you can benefit the most when using QR Codes for your business.
Benefits of QR Codes
Any and all businesses can benefit from using QR Codes. Sure, restaurant owners and food vendors have benefited the most in recent years. To limit contact and slow the virus from spreading, the pandemic promoted a safe, contactless dining experience.
But make no mistake about it. Any business can use QR codes effectively to achieve a lot of different things for their business.
Several health organizations have advocated for restaurants to use disposable menus. However, due to rising printing costs and the environmental impact, QR Code menus have emerged as a secure and efficient alternative. QR Codes for digital menus can be added to tables and menu lists.
Customers can easily place an order by scanning and viewing the menu on their smartphones. This encourages contactless dining and relieves the bother of flagging down a waitperson. We've seen popular eating establishments such as KFC, McDonald's, and Curry Up switch to digital menu QR Codes. We've also seen many other restaurants embrace this tech for a more secure and sophisticated dining experience.
Also, QR Codes, like other print ads, help analyze engagement and conversion rates when placed on direct mail. Customers who scanned the QR Code can also be followed up online through Google and Facebook. Inkit, an automated promotional mail company, has developed some guidelines for maximizing your Profitability with QR Codes in email marketing.
Embracing QR codes in your business has a lot of benefits. They include:
Anyone with a smartphone can quickly scan a QR Code because most smartphones can scan them without needing a third-party app. A QR Code can be scanned from 3 feet away when made in an appropriate size (minimum 2 cm x 2 cm).
QR Code generation is nothing complex or requires advanced technical knowledge. Also, this does not require the installation of additional hardware and software. All required is a web platform to generate the QR codes, a QR Code type, and a QR Code to get started.
A QR Code can be personalized to any need or usage. Conventional black-and-white QR Codes are becoming obsolete. Instead, a QR Code can be customized by changing the background color, eyes, and template and adding a logo to capture the customer's attention and align it with your brand. You can also make circular QR Codes to match your company's design guidelines.
QR codes are less costly than many people believe. On the contrary, QR Codes are incredibly cheap, and the fact that they can be used for any purpose saves you a lot of money.
You can measure the success of your campaigns using dynamic QR Codes; gain access to the number of scans, scanning location, and the scanning device. QR code and Google Analytics integration can also comprehensively analyze your campaign's performance. Monitor user behavior and demographics to better understand your audience.
Large Data Storage
QR code is a valuable tool in various industries due to its large storage capacity, storing about 4,296 characters. It can be utilized to print advertisements, inventory management, product packaging, mobile marketing, and contact tracing. In addition, a Quick Response Code can be linked to an image, video, landing page, or website for various purposes.
Types Of QR Codes
URL QR Code
This QR code can turn a website or any homepage into a QR code. The URL QR code can be static or dynamic.
Virtual Contact Files (VCF) QR Code
Unlike traditional business cards, a vCard QR code can be used on your business cards, resume, web pages, or email signatures to provide additional details about you to your customers. In addition, you can store information with a vCard QR code, including your email address, address, and accounts on social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and many more.
Social Media QR Codes
All of your social networks are linked by a social media QR code. This QR code allows you to create your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter URL, and other profile accounts. When the QR code of your social networks is scanned, it displays these social account profiles, making it easy to follow you right away.
File QR Codes
Using the File QR code, you can create a unique code for your audio and video file, PDF file, and PNG or Jpeg file. In addition, because file QR codes are dynamic, you can generate one for your file and redirect it to another webpage.
App Stores QR Codes
If there is one tool that will help you market your app, it is the app store QR code! This category of QR code encourages faster app downloads. But how precisely? The QR code for app stores will prompt your scanners to download your app with a single QR code from the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or Apple App Store. Users will be redirected depending on the operating systems of their devices.
Email QR Codes
Individualized or customized emails can drive many visitors to your homepage or website, upping your Return - on - investment and conversion rate. Using an email QR code is one way to make the most of your email marketing address. This makes your email seem more modern and draws readers' attention.
Every QR Code Should Have a CTA
Make no unnecessary additions to the landing page for your QR code. For example, if your QR code has a call-to-action that says "Download PDF" or "scan to watch a video," then direct people to just a video or a PDF file and nothing else. Again, avoid distracting your scanners and gathering too much data.
Make the user experience as brief and concise as possible, and save their time. Automate everything you can. Create a distinct code for each medium in which you intend to advertise. For example, for one code for a magazine advertisement, 1 code for a newspaper ad, 1 code for a flyer, and a storefront sign, you should also use a distinct code.
Using Frames and Call-To-Actions
A QR code serves no purpose if it is not recognized. Therefore, give your scanners a clear call to action by including it in your QR code. For example, if your QR code leads to a video page, include a call to action that says, "Scan to watch the video!" Add a call to action to effectively communicates with your target audience.
When creating a QR code, frames are an essential component. By including a call to action in your QR, you can customize it. This will inform your target audience about the type of content they will find in the code. A growth of 80% in scans was observed for a QR code generated using a frame-equipped QR code generator.
How to Use QR Code Frames
A frame on your QR code could attract the attention of more scanners to your CTA once they read it — mainly if it's catchy.
Here are a few of its examples:
Business Card (vCard) QR Code
Business cards are essential networking tools for business owners and marketers, but they are frequently disregarded. According to studies, approximately 10 billion cards are made yearly, with 8 billion being cast aside within a week.
You should digitize your cards to avoid having them thrown away. It's necessary to digitalize your traditional business cards by adding a QR code and a call to action. A simple scan will give enough necessary info about you to potential customers or clients.
When prospective customers, clients, or business partners scan a vCard QR code, they will be redirected to your social media page or website and granted access to other important information about you.
According to the survey, 50% of businesses use QR codes to improve the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. In addition, studies show that for every 2,000 business cards dispersed, a company's sales rise by 2.5%, despite the 8 billion business cards thrown in the trash every week. Consider how much greater your chances of boosting prospective connections and sales are when you use a QR code.
The three main types of packaging are primary, secondary, and tertiary. In any packaging option, you can utilize your QR code frames to attract customer's attention to more details about your products.
Your target market is more likely to scan your QR code if you personalize it with a call-to-action such as "verify product" or "apply coupon". QR codes not only improve the client experience but also generate sales.
The global market for QR code labels was estimated to be worth US$ 996.8 million in 2018 by Future Market Insights, and from 2019 to 2027, it is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.7%.
Increased Followers on Social Networks
Your social media networks can be combined into a single QR code with a frame, enabling scanners to instantly follow your accounts with just one scan. One of the QR code options is a social media QR code, which enables you to link your social networks with only one QR code.
Scanners are redirected to a landing page showing all your social media profiles when scanning this QR code. As a result, your followers will find it easier to follow, subscribe, and like you across all your social media platforms.
Using this software, you can add these QR codes to your online and offline channels to increase your followers organically.
Customize Your QR Code
A customized QR code attracts more attention and scans than a generic one. Personalize your QR code to make it stand out. Monochromatic QR code colours are less noticeable. Style your QR code, create unique edges, and customize the frame and logo to make it stand out.
Make sure your QR code is personalized, making it easier to scan. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes designed to be scanned with smartphone devices. They appear to be easy to make, but if you're not careful, it's possible to mess one up completely.
By adhering to our concise recommendations, you can avoid common blunders when creating your QR code. Below are the mistakes to avoid:
Do Not Invert QR Code Colors
When creating your QR code, remember that the pattern color should always be darker than the background color. This is because QR Code scanners are configured to read QR Codes that contrast with the background. However, this will be challenging for QR Code scanners to read, and it might take you forever to do a successful scan.
Create Enough Color Contrast
Selecting color selections that will set the foreground and background apart from one another is vital. This will make it easy for QR Code scanners to read the code.
Make your QR Codes' colours as contrasting as possible, and avoid blending the same light colours. Because the colours are so similar, scanning QR Codes will be difficult. However, you can be creative with your QR Code; designs are not always required in black and white.
Do Not Create Blurry Codes
You should avoid making this error with QR codes. Always check that your QR Code is high resolution and clear on-screen and in hard copy format, regardless of size.
If a QR Code is blurry, QR Code scanning apps will have trouble reading it because a blurry QR code can make it challenging for QR code scanning apps to detect the code's borders. This is one QR code blunder to avoid.
Do Not Overcrowd QR Codes with Content
Have you observed that certain QR Codes appear more pixelated than others? Because those with more pixels have more content. And the more pixels it has, the more difficult it is to scan because it reduces the dimensions of the code in the edge where scanners recognize the actual code.
Use the dynamic QR code generator to avoid stuffing your codes with unnecessary information if you need to add significant volume content. Consider linking your code to your content by uploading it to a specific webpage or website. It is significantly more efficient and effective. The codes must be readable, and size is essential for including more viewpoints.
A QR code may not be readable if the colours are inverted. QR codes can also redirect to an incorrect URL address if there is an error in the code. As a result, you should avoid mistakes resulting in a bad QR code and adhere to best practices in QR code design.
Brand QR Code with Logo
QR codes are no longer available in black and white; you can now create custom designs for your QR codes. A QR code with a logo and a creative design makes it more attractive, encouraging more people to scan it. In addition, this innovation enables QR code users to customize or personalize their QR codes, aiding brand recognition and trust.
Here are some benefits of adding a logo to your QR code:
QR codes are handy tools, but remember that they will only work if people scan them. Logos may also help your QR codes look more appealing and legitimate, increasing the likelihood that people will notice them and scan them with their smartphones. Using visually appealing QR codes is an engaging way to connect with your targeted customers.
Brand Awareness and Recognition
Imagine you are a start-up, still learning to promote and sell your products and services. Securing your brand identity is a way to aid the growth of your business. Printing your company logo on QR code campaigns will help people notice and recognize your brand, resulting in more sales and customer retention.
It also aids in aligning your advertisement with your brand because you can match the colours of your QR code to the color palette of your logo.
Guaranteed Internet Security
When you read a QR code, the embedded link will flash on your screen, allowing you to tap it. This means you can still verify whether or not the link takes you to a malicious site. The problem is that most people need to be made aware of this.
You must persuade your target market that scanning your QR code is safe. This is where your QR code's brand logo comes in. Because they can rely on your brand, your logo will demonstrate that your QR code is secure.
Compared to monochromatic QR code colours, branded QR codes generate 80% more scans and make an impression. Therefore, include QR codes in the overall strategy for your business.
Choose the Appropriate QR Code Size
When deciding on the size of your QR code, consider where it will be placed first. Its surroundings will assist you in determining its size. To save space, keep your QR codes small if you intend to print them on your flyers. Make them large enough on banners and tarps such that people can read them from a distance.
Your QR code's dimensions will vary depending on whether printed or attached to billboards, magazines, flyers, and brochures. Always perform a scan test before displaying your QR code to ensure that it scans and takes you to the correct address.
The appropriate QR code dimension will vary based on the campaign environment where customers will scan your QR code. One of the errors people make when they create their QR codes is that most of them need to use the appropriate size.
Three things must be determined to ensure that the QR code can be scanned:
- The scanning distances
- The location
- The color
QR codes add a digital scope to your brand and products. As a result, it is vital that people notice it immediately and can scan it. Otherwise, you'll only be missing out on potential scans. Hence an important consideration here is the size of your QR code.
The scanning distance is proportional to the size of your QR Code. All elements of your QR code advertising environment must be considered because it will differ depending on the printed marketing campaign material.
What to Consider When Printing QR Code
Here, we will briefly highlight what to consider– best practice – when printing QR codes:
The Size of the Dots in the Codes
The dots in a QR code get smaller as more information is encoded. This occurs when you generate a Static QR code. The smaller the dots, the more difficult it is for the smartphone device to decode. If you need to enter more information, use Dynamic QR codes. Dynamic QR codes do not become pixelated, making them easier to scan.
Be Careful of The Colors on Your QR Codes
If your QR codes have the wrong color shade on the inside; they won't scan. This is because smartphone devices can not recognize a dark background or light foreground color. That said, always make your QR code's foreground color darker than its background color. Furthermore, light colors such as pastel and yellow should be avoided.
Dynamic QR Codes Defined
Have you ever observed that some QR codes are pretty pixelated than others? This explains the difference between dynamic and static QR codes. The data is usually encoded in the graphics of static QR codes. The dots become pixelated as more data is stored, making scanning difficult.
Dynamic QR codes are always preferable if you need to store more details or information because they prevent overcrowding and enable a better scan. Use a dynamic QR code generator to create your code, then upload your content online to link to it. This method is quite effective and efficient.
A far cry from static QR codes, dynamic ones are much more advanced. One significant difference is that it can be modified at any time. So when you want to direct your customers to a different platform, website, or piece of content, you can always alter the data you have embedded. This makes this particular QR code economical for businesses and companies.
Whether you run an online shopping store, a retail store, or any other type of business, dynamic QR codes can effectively link the online and offline worlds. In a nutshell, dynamic QR codes are now a significant component of digital marketing.
Benefits of Dynamic QR codes
Due to their new possibilities and advantages in ensuring the success of marketing strategies, dynamic QR codes are widely known everywhere. Here are a few advantages of implementing dynamic QR codes as your marketing approach.
Edit Landing Pages
In contrast to static QR codes, dynamic QR code generators allow you to change the URLs, content, or landing pages whenever you want. In other words, you will only have to edit some of your QR codes every time you need to modify the URL or landing page if you have them on your business cards, company brochures, or other legal documents.
A dynamic QR code allows you to track user data to determine campaign results. For instance, certain QR code generators will allow you to track the following:
- The number of scans performed per day
- The scans' location
- The scan's date and time
- The scanners' device type, such as Android, iOS, or any other operating system
These specific data or demographics will help you evaluate how your business is doing in terms of its online and offline presence.
About number 2, you can easily change the data embedded in your QR codes by examining the current demographics, which will help your marketing campaign. For example, consider how the online menu may be altered in response to scan activity or potential customers' preferences.
These QR codes are relatively affordable because they can be modified internally without having to go back and find the QR codes you initially put out everywhere. Printing and distributing new QR codes would be costly because different brands' deals and promotions change frequently. You can save hundreds of dollars by using dynamic QR codes.
Typographic errors occur in almost every piece of writing. Using this type of QR code, your company or brand can be nearly perfect in terms of content.
Simple and Flexible
Due to their flexibility and use of short URLs, dynamic QR codes also have fewer modules and patterns than static QR codes. As a result, they can also be used in crowded places, such as business cards or pamphlets.
Beware of Fake QR Codes
QR codes, or quick response codes, are black-and-white squares that appear everywhere in print. According to cybercrime experts, they've become more common during the pandemic as coronavirus fears fueled the demand for contactless transactions.
Your smartphone's camera can scan a QR code and learn what's on a restaurant menu or when the next ride is due, or you can use it to board an airplane or enter a soccer game. The codes can also be found in direct mail advertisements and retail locations.
As you walk through the aisles of a pharmacy, you'll notice QR codes on the packaging of various end-user products, from oral solutions to over-the-counter pain meds. Scan the code to go to a company's website, learn more about a product, or even get a coupon or discount.
While many machine-readable optical brands are reliable, others can be dangerous. And if you get into the hand of internet fraudsters hiding behind a bogus QR code, you might need that pain medication. A scam can be disguised in a QR code, and you must be very careful.
The FBI has issued a notice that cybercriminals have fiddled with QR codes to steal users' login details, banking information, and money. Criminals are modifying electronic and physical QR codes, replacing them with malicious ones.
The changes may allow access to your mobile device, disclose your location, and grant access to personal and financial data.
When you try to make transactions with QR codes, be cautious because bad actors may have tampered with a code in an attempt to redirect funds.
Use your phone's app store rather than a QR code to install an app. Never use a QR code scanning app. Most phones' cameras include a built-in scanner. If you recently purchased something and received an email stating that the payment failed and that you needed to finalize the payment using a QR code, contact the company to confirm this.
Instead of using the phone number provided in the email, look up the company's phone number on a reputable website. Contact your local FBI field office if you suspect your funds have been nicked from an altered QR code.
Before scanning a QR code, there are several things to keep in mind:
- When inspecting a QR code, you should not click on suspicious hyperlinks or download suspicious attachments, especially those sent by strangers. Likewise, it would be best to ignore questionable QR codes, which can take you to strange websites or sites designed to appear safe but are, in fact, trouble. At worst, an internet fraudster can download malware or redirect you to a fake website to steal your money, financial and personal information, or login credentials and cause havoc. Your peer-to-peer payment apps, contacts, social media accounts, and photos are just a few of the things that may be compromised.
- These cyber fraudsters are known to spread malicious QR codes via fliers or to place stickers with fake codes over legitimate ones in public places such as bus stops. Consider the criminal who slapped dubious parking tickets on people's windshields and offered them the option of paying their fines by scanning QR codes. When you scan such codes, malware [malicious software] is installed on your device, allowing it to access your personal information and other data.
- When you receive a QR Code from an email you suspect has been hacked, a text, or an online post. Instead, use a web browser, and visit a website using a URL or domain you know is legit.
Use These QR Code Best Practices To Get The Most From Your Marketing Efforts
QR codes act as a portal to the digital world, connecting you to an infinite amount of information online.
Yes, it seems like little, and creating it seems simple, but if you ignore doing it right and stay aware of the errors, your QR Code could become unusable.
A professional QR code generator that has a bunch of extra features and excellent data tracking is what you need to hit the ground running. Also essential is a fair price for customizing your QR code.