4 Tips to Get Your QR Codes Scanned

QR Code

Did you think QR Codes were everywhere in 2011? If so, you should expect to see more of the same in 2012.

Sure, there are absolutely going to be other mobile technologies (such as NFC, perhaps) that will push their way a bit further into the mainstream. But with QR Codes, the momentum has reached a tipping point. Here are a few tips to incorporate QR Codes into your marketing materials so your audience will scan.

1. Provide Instructions Near the QR Code
Yes, awareness of QR Codes has increased dramatically over the past few months. But there are still plenty of people out there who don’t know what they are or how to use them. To assist those folks, provide instructions near the QR Code on your printed materials.

This could be done by simply including text (i.e., “Scan the QR Code with your smartphone”) or by incorporating an image that displays a smartphone pointing to the QR Code, or an image that depicts how the QR Code could point to a smartphone that is displaying a website.

2) Give People an Incentive
When marketers first become familiar with QR Codes, they often rush too quickly to incorporate them. They’ll skip over fundamentals, such as, “Why would my audience want to scan this?” Rather than just slapping a QR Code on your printed materials, develop a reason why you should have one. Will it make it easier for your audience to access a map or directions? Will it make easier for people to contact your company or make a purchase?

Include that reason somewhere on your printed materials to let people know what they’ll gain from scanning the code.

3) Educate Your Audience Ahead of Time
Yes, QR Codes exist primarily to make print interactive. But you can use other media to increase awareness about them.

John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.

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  • StlAdMan

    If you have to tell people how to use them, is it worth risking your message? SMS is so much simpler!

  • Mike

    #5- Please Never send a QR code to your home page. Have a plan. Send them to a specific landing page with a call to action. Send them to a video with a call to action. Provide value not static information!
    Mike Bann
    Bann Business Solutions

  • Jana

    Very helpful information! Because QR codes are popping up everywhere, it is very important to educate the public as to how they are to be used, as not everyone knows how to use them. Maybe some of the QR code creation companies have attached verbiage or images of smartphones pointing to the QR code, for example, that can be used whenever QR codes are seen. Great educational blog post. Thank you. Jana L. Sheeder, President, SailAway Yacht Charter Consultants http://www.1800sailaway.com (Can’t insert QR code here…sorry!) :-)

  • Alexandra

    QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons http://www.Snappii.com app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

  • Jim

    In my area, they are hardly used. One TV station started using them ON SCREEN. When I pointed out they cannot be scanned from normal viewing distance (it was small, in the corner), and that the link went to a page that was not mobile optimized, they discontinued using them. Now they use SMS, based on my recommendation, which has been much more effective.

    As badly as marketers want QR codes to be the next big thing, it will never happen in the US. Per comScore, in Desc, 20 million Americans scanned a QR code. Not exactly "momentum"…

  • Fred Murray

    Your tips are exactly what is needed at this time in QR code implementation. A lot of people don’t know about the codes and what is needed to scan them. Also a promo or a freeby gives incentive to learn the process. I am blogging to inform the public about QR codes and to promote my company’s codes. I am stressing flexibility and mobile landing platforms as a format for small and medium business. Check my Facebook page for some out of the box applications from around the world. http://on.fb.me/xBubE1