By now, you’ve probably seen QR codes in many places. You may even have used them. They’re still fairly new.
What’s a QR code?
A QR code is a square image — usually black and white — that works something like a barcode that you see on products in a store. The code contains a link, usually to a URL. Then a potential customer uses a QR reader app on a smart phone, which scans the QR code and displays the URL as a link, so he or she can visit the page. A QR code can also lead to text, a phone number or SMS (texting).
Why would you want a QR code?
Where do you put your website’s URL now? Email address? Twitter name? Perhaps on a printed brochure or in your store window. Certainly on your business card.
A QR code is just another way of letting people connect with you. A QR code is a connection between offline (your brochure, for example) and online but it has a technological connection that text on your brochure doesn’t have — people with a QR reader on their smart phone can capture your URL without having to write it down.
They might lose the brochure, but they’ll still have the URL on their phone.
How to create a QR code
There are several free services that create QR codes for you. Some have paid versions that offer more features, such as analytics to help you keep track of how many people are using your QR code. Here are a couple of free services:
The procedure is pretty simple. You may have a few options but basically you enter the URL and download the QR image. You can use that image anywhere. At the top of this post is a QR code that I created with GoQR.me that links to my PowerPoint e-store.
Don’t use the same QR code everywhere! You can create several. Be sure to name each image file you download appropriately, so you know where it links to. For example, one QR code might link to your home page, another to your sign up page, and a third to information about a specific product.
Where else could you insert a QR code?
Almost anywhere! Here are some ideas. Do you have others?
- On a tee-shirt
- On a sign on your car (hopefully people won’t scan it while they’re driving!)
- On a PowerPoint slide
- On your physical products
Here’s an example of a QR code on a PowerPoint slide. This one links to my Training webpage.
How your potential customers can use your QR code
People need a QR scanning app. I used QR Droid, but there are many available. On a smart phone, people go to the App store, search for “QR reader” or “QR scanner,” then download the app of their choice.
Once a person opens the app, it contains a thin line. Scanning the QR code involves holding up the phone to the QR code and moving the line across the image. (The app uses the phone’s camera.) Then, the URL that was set up appears on the screen. Here’s how it looks on my Droid 4.
People can simply click the link to go to the webpage on their phone, but they can also share the link. For example, they might want to send the URL to themselves by e-mail so they can go to your webpage later.
Either way, you succeeded in getting people to your website where they can find more information.
Be sure to test your QR code before you use it!
Have you used a QR code? Do you think it would be useful?