Have you seen QR codes? Those black modules arranged in square patterns on white backgrounds that can be found everywhere these days? We are sure you have. Known as Quick Response Codes, these matrix two dimensional barcodes are machine readable and contain encoded information which may be text, a URL, or other data.
Unlike linear one-dimensional codes that can hold only up to 20 numerical digits, QR codes contain thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. And they are user friendly too! Whether you have a smartphone or a dumb phone, it can easily decode QR codes as long as it is camera equipped and can scan those codes via software that is already installed on your phone. You can also use downloadable applications like Lynkee Reader or i-nigma Reader that are compatible with iPhone, Blackberry, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. Plus, this is an open technology which means QR codes can be created and scanned using a variety of mobile apps, giving you greater flexibility.
No wonder they are becoming so popular in Australia!
Did we tell you?
These codes were created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 and have been around for years in Japan.
So, how do you use this hugely popular yet extremely simple technology to promote your business?
- Increase website sales: Since QR codes can lead to specific URLs, create codes that lead to certain products on your site – especially ones that are new or slow moving.
- Build your E-mail subscriber list: Create a link to your e-mail signup form and make sure to make people subscribe to your newsletter; give them a reason to sign up.
- Business cards: Keep your business card simple with a QR code that leads people to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn pages, etc.
- Contests, discounts, sweepstakes, giveaways: Offer theses in conjunction with QR codes and get ready to go viral. You can place these codes in your advertisements or post them on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Direct Mail: According to an article titled “Why There’s a Direct Mail QR Code Explosion Happening Now”, the U.S. Postal Service is basically paying advertisers to use QR codes!
- E-courses: If you are an expert at something, offer e-courses accessible through QR codes. Create a QR code that generates an e-mail that instructs your autoresponder to automatically start sending daily, weekly or monthly e-mails that contain course lessons and other pertinent information.
- Flyers: Put your QR codes on flyers too. They are still very much effective and will become even more effective if you offer discounts.
- Scratch and Win Cards Promotion: Take the excitement of scratch and win cards a notch higher by making people scan those cards.
- Free Downloads: Distribute e-books or software using QR codes. Make that free and your customers are sure to get scanning. How about offering specials if they sign up for your newsletter?
- Customer Service Help: QR codes can also be used to give customers more information about your product or service. Just create a QR code that leads to a FAQ page where customers can get answers to their questions via email or live chat. You can even tell them about upcoming products.