What can I use QR Codes for?
QR Codes have got a lot of bad press over the years because of the inexperience of marketers plastering QR Codes everywhere, leading to non mobilized pages, dead links resulting in a bad consumer experience. When handled effectively QR Codes can be a very cost effective medium for linking up online and offline media.
Mobile Content is still in its infancy and some of the biggest brands in the world still do not have a mobile presence, which coupled with a QR Code spells instant disaster. Once people scan a QR Code which leads to a bad user experience, it leaves a bitter taste in their mouth, and the chances of them scanning another QR Code are slim unless there is a real valid reason. People need a reason to scan a QR Code for example leading to a competition with a giveaway, or a coupon/voucher or check ins.
1) One of the most common usage of QR Codes is to link them to a mobilized page/campaign. Always make sure your content is mobilized. Normal web pages are heavier than mobile designed pages and not only do you need to pinch around the screen to view the content, it also loads slower. ALWAYS Mobilize!
2) Link a QR Code to a product - with a quick scan of the QR Code you can lead your potential client directly to a particular product and if you have M-Commerce capability, the consumer can purchase the product direct from the handset.
3) Event Landing Page - You can send out an invite to an event with a QR Code attached, and people can RSVP to the event and the information is stored in a DB and can be exported. Great for weddings and events in general and cuts out paper.
4) Donations - Your favorite charity posts a QR Code on their website, social media mediums or simply emails out a QR Code and people can scan the QR Code and donate using Premium Rate SMS or Paypal button.
5) Pre-Formatted Customer Inquiries - This can be sent by both SMS and email. It saves the potential customer typing out a request for more information, simply scan the code and the SMS/Email is already typed up and ready to go. One click and your lead has just sent you an email inquiring about your services.
6) Wifi Configuration - (Android only) How many times at a busy cafe do clients ask for the wifi password, the answer is lots per day for new customers. Scan the QR Code and this pre configures Wifi cutting down on staff time and also on paper, as a lot of cafes/restaurants give the client a piece of paper with the password.
7) Download Smart Phone App - You can have one QR Code which directs the end user to the correct app store depending on the handset. It saves time opening the app stores and typing in the app name and searching for it. One QR Code serves all your needs across all app stores.
8) Link to Location/Map - It is always a great idea for your visitors to be able to find you easily. Maps work!
9) Scan to Check In - If you give clients the option to scan a QR Code to Check In, they can popularize your venue for you, as all their friends can see where they have checked in on their social networks.
10) Tourist Information - This is a great usage because tourists are specifically looking for particular information at locations they visit. If used correctly QR codes can provide some great information about the location, throw in a series of videos and you cut out the need for a tour guide.
11) VCard Information - Add a QR Code to your business card and with one scan your potential client has all your details in the phone without having to add contact name, number etc.
12) Create a V Calender Event - Easily create a calender meeting, scan the QR Code and it adds the meeting to your calender immediately.
13) Plain Text - You can also add plain text, one usage can be adding your name and address with telephone number, add it to your dogs collar and if your pet ever gets misplaced, the person who finds it can easily get all your details and return your pet.
Your imagination is the limit really, there has been some amazing QR Code campaigns and some really awful ones but lets highlight the great ones as we generally see enough of the awful ones!
Remember TEST, TEST and TEST the QR Code.