QR Codes: How To Use Them Successfully

by | Nov 15, 2022

You may have heard that QR codes are one of the easiest ways to add convenience and trackability to your business promotions. With QR code usage growing by 96% between 2018 and 2020, this reality has become even more apparent. But how do you start reaping the benefits of well-placed promotional QR codes? In this blog, we will explore the importance of QR codes, how to use them successfully, and ideas for integrating them into your marketing. 

QR Codes: How To Use Them Successfully

What Is A QR Code?

A QR code (otherwise known as a “quick response code”) is defined by the Oxford Languages Dictionary as “a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.” 

These scannable codes can take users to a variety of online resources like websites, digital forms, and surveys. All the user must do is open the camera app on their smartphone, point the camera at the QR code, and voila — they’ll be transported to whatever link you designate. QR codes are very easy to set up, track, and use in your newsletter. And with 85% of adults in the U.S. using smartphones, they are a simple way to make your business offers more accessible and convenient. 

How To Use A QR Code Successfully 

Before using a QR code, you should first determine which URL you want it directed to. Do you want it linked to a digital flyer, a menu, or a landing page? It’s really up to you, depending on your needs and the industry. Then, you can simply plug that URL into a QR code generator like this one and download the code. (Make sure you test it out with several smartphones before distributing it.) 

Next comes the ad itself. QR codes are typically used in physical mediums like print flyers and signs as part of larger marketing material. Like with most “calls to action,” the success of a QR code will be highly dependent on the surrounding content. The copy, design, and offer (if there is one) will play a significant role in whether or not readers want to take the time to scan it. So make sure that those elements are optimized before you publish your materials. 

Once the QR code has been distributed in the means of your choosing, you can track its success. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the URL you use is unique to the QR code. For example, you can have a link to your desired landing page that has a tracking code attached and can only be accessed by people who scan the code. This will help you distinguish between people who have visited your page through the QR code and those who found it through other means. 

This can also help determine the success of your QR codes, how to use this tool in the future, and where you should make tweaks. Later, you can even utilize that data to optimize future campaigns and improve your marketing methods. 

Tracking QR Codes

Depending on what QR code service you use, your tracking abilities will vary. That’s why it’s essential to be selective when deciding which QR code client to use. Some relevant metrics that can be obtained relating to your QR codes are: 

  • Where the scan came from (or the location of the scanner). 
  • With what operating system and browser was the QR code accessed with? 
  • The number of times a code is scanned in a day. 
  • How many unique users are scanning a code? 

Many QR code clients will allow you to download advanced statistical reports that can be organized in the best format for your business. Some can even integrate the data into your Google Analytics account like this one

When you have access to the relevant data, you will be able to learn important information about your QR codes, how to use them, and what improvements can be made to your campaign. 

Ideas For Integrating QR Codes

When you’re first learning about QR codes, how to use them, and where to use them, you can feel overwhelmed with information. After all, QR codes are used for a variety of purposes and in a variety of forms. 

Here are some of the most common examples of digital resources that you can link to using QR codes. 

  • Restaurant menus 
  • Promotional materials 
  • Landing pages for special deals 
  • Videos 
  • Blogs 
  • Social media profiles
  • Petitions 
  • Surveys
  • Online forms

One of the ways that we suggest our clients use QR codes is by placing them in their newsletters and FSIs so they can track engagement. 

For example, if you put an offer in your FSI or link to an article on your website using a QR code, you can track how many of your clients have scanned it. This will give you a better idea of how many people are interested in your offers and which FSIs resonate with your audience — giving you the data to make better, more engaging promotional content. 

Remember, people use QR codes for a variety of reasons. So when it comes to learning more about QR codes, how to use them, and how to proceed with QR code campaigns, your goals and industry are central. After all, everyone is different, and the metrics they use for success will not be the same. We recommend investing some time in researching how professionals from your field use QR codes, how to use data to gauge campaign progress, and what the best practices for your specific niche are. 

This will give you the highest chance of success with your QR code campaign. Beyond that, like any marketing effort, perfecting a QR code campaign takes time, practice, and optimization. At some point, you will have to just dive in and start your journey — so don’t wait! Start using QR codes to boost your marketing efforts today.

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