Compiled and Edited by Lanelle Lanton, NuZoo Media
Why do we love QR codes? Because they are free and easy to create, they are eco-friendly, and they offer a new and exciting channel for communicating with consumers. Yes, these little black and white boxes filled with haywire lines pack a big punch in a small package. In case you aren’t familiar with them, QR codes, formerly known as a quick response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that allow users to access information using the camera on their smartphones. The user simply takes a picture of the code which directs them to a page containing either a text, a number, SMS message, or a web page. QR codes can be scanned on virtually any type of surface including computer screens, t-shirts, brochures, billboards, coffee mugs…the possibilities are endless. Another attractive feature of the QR code is that the information within the code can be changed at anytime without having to change the actual code itself. This means no more expensive reprints for marketing materials.
Take a gander at some ways QR codes have been used by small business owners:
Increase Website Traffic and Sales
Because QR codes allows its users to access information, small business owners are now embedding URLs into the codes to guide consumers to view specific products. This can come in handy if you are launching a new product or if you have a product that has not been doing well in sales.
Email Subscriber Lists
Small business owners are now printing QR codes onto the hard copies of registration forms, brochures, and other marketing materials where consumers can use the code to subscribe to an email list.
Having a QR code on a business card screams innovativeness. Allow the code to direct consumers to your website, Twitter feed, Facebook Page, or blog.
Contests, Discounts, Sweepstakes and Giveaways
Offer an exclusive discount or begin giveaway contest with the URL code. One business began a monthly drawing where the winner was announced via a QR code.
Do you have an e-book or software to promote? You can easily use the QR code to distribute them.
Customer Service Help
Create a code that directly links to your customer service information page.
As with everything in life, QR codes have a couple of downsides. The first being the most obvious: everyone does not have a smartphone. Yes, this may be true, however, Neilson reported on September 1, that 40% of the mobile user population own a smartphone. While the benefits of using quick response codes may not benefit your entire target market, it still possess the possibility to connecting with a significant portion of it. The other downside of utilizing a QR code is that some smartphones are not equipped with the software to read it; however, the applications to scan QR codes are readily available for free in the user app store.
Thinking of using a QR code? The following sites will be able to help you create your code and use it to fit your business needs.
QR Code City: Offers free code creation and ability of changing information at anytime. Most compelling factor is the easy-to-use interface.
Google URL: The more information in store in your QR code, the larger the box will be. If you need a small QR code box and are placing a URL in it, then use this site to shorten your URL address.
GoQR.me: Offers free service to create a QR code and save to your hard drive where it can then be transferred to business cards, t-shirts, mugs, etc.
QR Mobilze: Allows you to create a code where one can connect with many social media sites.
Likify: Use the code to direct a consumer to a personal Like Me button for your Facebook page.