QR Codes as sexy as you may or may not think they are (CNN calls them “those two-dimensional barcodes that resemble a checkerboard on LSD”), they are just not catching on. There are plenty of people that undersand them and see the oportunity, btu there seem to be still too many people unsure what to do with them or even how to get a QR Code scanner.
Here are 12 Excellent QR Code Uses to Inspire Marketing Opportunities:
- Simple Text – This is not really the most useful – but you might think of some good uses for someone needing a plain text message – scanning this one will give you a sample wireless network password (Imagine not having to ask or tell someone a long password – just let them scan it.)
- Hyperlink – Again – not the strongest use of a QR Code – but if you want to scan and automatically link to a URL – her ya go
- Bookmark – This is a little “cooler” than a hyperlink in that it BOOKMARKS the URL
- Business Card – Vcard – MECard – This is warming up 0- no more passing out cards just let a user scan the QR COde and you are in their phone. I have my iPHoen wallpaper set with this code and if someone wants my info – they scan my iPhone – it was way easier than a tattoo
- Event – This is also getting MUCH warmer – letting a user scan a QR Code and get details for an event is a GREAT QR Code use
- Email Address – Boring. A Landing page would be a MUCH better use of a scan but if you want need to have an email address populate when scanned – this example shows how.
- Phone # – OK – this isn’t super earth shattering as sometimes warm up the QR Code reader and scanning takes longer than typing a phone # – but it’s here if you want to scan it – give me a call.
- SMS – Scanning a QR Code to send a text is nice if you had a “Text HAPPY to 55555 to get happy hour specials” type of promotion
- Google Map – This is great to “Scan to get directions to…” no typing or guessing – scan and go. Love this one
- Social – These are fantastic
- Facebook Like (Scan to like),
- Twitter follow (scan to follow),
- Twitter message (scan to send a tweet),
- Last Tweet (Not sure why but this will show you the last tweet),
- Foursquare venue (Scan to check in or get venue details)
- PayPal – BUY NOW – This is finally getting useful – scan this to get collect secure PayPal payments
- Youtube – This is the easiest and best way to let a user scan to see your video, ad or whatever you want on Youtube – people can’t help scanning for videos!
We ran a 6 month QR Code Campaign in Texas Monthly for TCU – the QR Code we used is below – we did NOT create the landing page – but “you can’t win them all”. – Click to enlarge and Scan.
If you DO use or plan on using QR Codes a few things you MUST do are
- Provide a link for the user to get a QR Code reader – one example is to make either a mobile optimized landing page with links to the best reviewed scanners for iPhone, Android, Palm, etc etc
- Make sure you have a good reason for a user to pull out the phone, turn on the scanner and scan
- TEST the heck out of them – some people get a little too creative with a QR Code and find out that only certain scanners can even read the QR Code. As with anything – Keep It Simple
- See the list below and see if you get any ideas how you could use QR Codes and if you have questions – hit me with an email.