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How to Reach Your Mobile Customer Using QR Codes

JumpScan QR Code GeneratorIf you’ve seen a multitude of those quirky black and white boxes that look like a cross between a bar code and a Rorschach test, you are not alone. They’ve popped up on everything from plant containers to pet food. Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot have all embraced QR codes as a way to connect real world goods and services with virtual information (e.g. additional product info, discounts, contests, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, etc.)

How is that possible? By scanning the QR code with a web enabled smart phone, the user can be directed to a mobile web page -- one that displays more content about the product or service.

How are QR codes being used?

Business professionals are using them as digital business cards, printing them on the back of existing cards for easy scanning. The advantage? The information can always be updated and you only need one card in your pocket to scan. Employers can link a QR code to an online job application. Real estate companies can place them on for sale signs, which then link to video, pricing and contact information.  A mobile consumer can scan a code and take a virtual tour of a home, see the price, and call the agent. Business owners can place a QR code in the corner of an ad, and extend their marketing message to any customer carrying a smart phone. Restaurant owners can display their hours, menu and/or a daily special.

How do they work?

QR codes (short for Quick Response) first gained popularity in Japan where Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave created them for tracking purposes in vehicle manufacturing. The two dimensional codes proved extremely useful, since they can hold between 4K – 7K worth of characters.  The codes can be read by any number of QR scanning apps, available on your smart phone’s app store, usually at no charge.  Popular QR generators, like, provide an easy, web based platform for creating pre-optimized , custom web pages.

Once you’ve created your code, you can print it out on a way variety on media, from posters and table tents, to print ads and yellow page listings. In addition, some QR generators provide analytics to see how many times the codes were scanned. 

What’s the best strategy?

The key to an effective QR code campaign is to reward your mobile customer for scanning the code. Don’t just link it blindly to your home page (which will probably only display a portion of your site.) Instead, be sure to create a mobile optimized landing page with a call to action, a discount code, a contest, a reason to take further action. The principles of mobile marketing are the same as traditional marketing, the consumer wants to know “What’s in it for me?” So be sure to reward him or her for taking time to want to know more about your company, product or service.

With the right strategy, QR codes can provide a valuable tool in reaching the increasing difficult to reach mobile consumer. It provides a means to connect to your audience in real time with relevant information. With smart phone usage predicted to reach 50% this year, this trend towards mobile marketing will only strengthen with time. Establish your game plan now and create a bridge that spans your online and offline efforts.

Join The Conversation

  • incognitosj's picture
    Jul 18 Posted 2 years ago incognitosj

    A very nicely written article Phillip. What you mentioned could be termed as a quick 5-min guide for people getting started with qr codes. Our QR Code Generator and designer has numerous option of designing a qr code and running a successfull campaign. With features like designing visually appealing codes and analytics, our platform enables users to easily use qr codes for their benefit.

  • Oct 5 Posted 5 years ago Baldydog (not verified)

    I've been thinking about doing a QR code case study contest were people that walk by my main street window can enter a contest by scanning the QR code and get a chance to win a tablet PC. Also wondering what the legal issues of it would be. Only people with smartphones that scan QR codes could enter. I suppose I could make other metods for entering. This may take some thought..

  • Sep 22 Posted 5 years ago @kjmcivor (not verified)

    @amberSte: First, thanks for not just promoting your own product. Sheesh, that gets tiring.  QR can be effective but still needs to be supplemented with an SMS option. Recent research shows less than 15% of smartphone owners (in the U.S., that is) have ever scanned a QR code. Almost 100% of smartphone owners have texted. QR is still competing with MS Tag, Matrix codes, AT&T codes, Jag Tags, and Snap Tags. In my opinion MS Tag or QR will win.

    For lessons on what NOT to do with QR codes check out and for some basic how-to's see





  • Sep 22 Posted 5 years ago QR generator (not verified)

    Excellent tips Phillip! With our <a href="" title="qr code generator">QR code generator</a> we are trying to put every option on our users' hands, all available in one place. You can create personal recyclable QRs and change their content any time you want. You can link them to URL's or embed video but we also have a mobile sites editor. You can get FB likes or tweets, upload files and even get payment through your QR via PayPal. You can beautify your code with colors and graphics. We call that "demoqracy": putting people on the driver seat of the Internet of Things. Oh, and it's free!

  • Sep 21 Posted 5 years ago Social QR Code (not verified)

    When doen correctly, QR Codes are a fantastic way to connect with new and old customers. But again it must be done properly. For instance, you do not want to send QR Code scanners to a website that is not mobile ready.

    Fot those interested in learning how to use QR Codes the right way in marketing check out

  • Sep 21 Posted 5 years ago @AmberSte (not verified)

    Your comment about not just dropping a person who scans a QR code on to a page on your website is a great one. I find that many companies - in a rush to be a part of the QR craze - did the exact opposite of what you've suggested and did not consider the purpose, goal and experience for the end-user. I've worked with brands who are using QR codes in magazines, printed on drink coasters in restaurants, in-store posters, etc each which drive to a unique mobile optimized online experience where they engage with fun interactive content and then are served a relevant offer or entered to win a relevant prize. Response rates for one mid-sized retailer were 113K entries & 1,500 new Facebook fans in one month - really impressive engagement! As a B2B marketer, we recently used a QR code at a tradeshow to get folks to stop by our booth. Once scanned, the code lead them to a mobile optimized survey where we asked 2-3 questions relevant to our business and then - if they opted-in - were entered to win 2 tickets to a coveted local football game. We tied the entries to our CRM & email system and responded to them in near real-time with more info. That email had a 53% open-rate!

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