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QR Code 101 and Best Practices


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An overview of what QR Codes are, how they work, some uses, some examples and some recommendations.

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QR Code 101 and Best Practices

  1. 1. QR Code 101and Best Practices Understand and maximize the business impact of QR codes
  2. 2. Content What are Quick Response (QR) Codes? What are some applications? What are some practical examples? What are some best practices for use? Using QR codes at Events, Conferences, Tradeshows Some resources
  3. 3. What are Quick Response (QR) Codes? QR codes are 2D images that function like barcodes on packaged products, but can contain MUCH more data QR codes are essentially pointers to digital content and capture or trigger actions such as  A link to a website  Activate phone functions including email, IM and SMS  Connect the mobile device to a web browser on the phone QR codes are read by “QR Code Reader” software or phone apps  iPhone Reader > i-nigma  Android Reader > Barcode Scanner » Microsoft has their own flavor of QR codes called MS Tags » The MS Tags are read by MS Tag Reader » Microsoft has just added QR codes to their readers
  4. 4. Applications for QR Codes Sharing  Read a QR code and get access to exclusive content  Videos, landing pages for a white paper, multiple pieces of content that share a link, materials from a conference Community  Create a QR code that links your mobile device to a like button  Create a QR code that shoots out a Tweet Calls to Action  Add links to landing pages with email sign-up or core actions SEO and SMO (social media optimization)  Boost the visibility of videos, music clips, infographics, etc via QR links Social Proof  Link to popular blog posts that show your authority and/or popularity Analytics  Use link shorteners like and to create URLs that get tracked through their tracking system
  5. 5. Practical Uses of QR Codes Business Cards – Front back or both  Like you on facebook, link to site, directions to business  Download Vcard Brochures and Marketing Material  Additional information, functionality or how to hire you Sides of Cars, Trucks and Trailers  Smartphones are EVERYWHERE and have some reading range Product Tags and Packaging  Additional info and background on product Convention & Event Name Tags  Facebook/LinkedIN page, company website Restaurant Menus  Calorie count, recipes, background on meal, customer feedback form Event Ticket Stubs  Free MP3 downloads, buy an album, get a t-shirt, enter a contest Point of Sale Receipts  Instruction guides (PDF’s?), additional deals, source of replacement parts
  6. 6. Maximize EffectivenessThe key is to be creative and relevant with QR codes Provide explanations about their use and benefits Encourage actions that support your marketing plan Assuage the fears of the technically challenged Give reasons to come back Experiment with the size, location, and color of your QR codes Study your analytics Make the process fun, such as a QR code scavenger hunt  Up to 500 characters of a “secret message” Experiment
  7. 7. General Best Practices for QR Codes Use short URLs  The longer the URL, the more complex the QR Code. The more complex the URL Code, the more difficult it is to scan. Use a URL shortner like Cross Platform Compatibility  Make sure the Code can be used on multiple devices: iPhone, Android & BlackBerry  Test QR codes with multiple apps and phone Give instructions to your consumer  Still a new technology > so give clear instructions and benefits  “Scan this with a Smart Phone app that reads QR Codes and enter Sweepstakes” A “micro site” for customers that is designed for mobile  Landing sites for QR Codes need to be dimensionally smaller; in other words, designed for a small Smart Phone screen.  Hello Vino example: Notice how easy everything is to read and how nicely it fits on a small screen.
  8. 8. Hello VinoMobile Webpage Example Different from website Limited images > fast loading Clear + large text Nice design
  9. 9. QR Codes and ConferencesObjectives of QR Use Improve acquisition of leads and interest identification Reduce printed materials on floor and associated costsPre-Conference Add QR code to direct mail > resolves to personalized URL/landing page Add QR codes to business cards > special cards for show? Downloads Vcard Create landing page for materials that has mobile screen ready call to action  Clear title & image, clear email field, clear download buttonDuring Show Have a Like QR code and a Tweet QR code ready & posted > contest when you Like/Tweet from the floor? Give away an iPad2? Use single sheet for series of materials desired w/QR codes > sign-up to get emailed the report or materials
  10. 10. Resources > create codes > also creates codes  Custom QR codes that are “designed” > facebook like QR codes Zeeks ( > Twitter update link creator > Shortener for QR code URLs Optify tracking codes on destination URLs  Source: ?opt_r=conference&opt_rd=<event name> Use of QR codes at a conference 