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QR (Quick Response) codes are used to take information usually from a print medium and put it on a cell phone. First off they look like this:

QR codes usually link to a URL. This can be your home page, a specific page within your site, an image, a document. They can also link to a phone number, a text, and email address, a YouTube video, etc.

QR codes are usually found on print material - posters, brochures, business cards. There are also unique places where QR codes are found.QR codes are teasers. The curiosity factor is what gets most people. “What goodies will I find at the end of the QR rainbow if I scan?”Since the QR code is scanned with a smart phone the page you send the person to should be optimized for a smaller screen. While a full web site can be seen on a small screen you usually need to use your fingers to zoom in and then you have to scroll to see the content. Not the most user-friendly way to look at a web page. And people with big fingers can have a tough time.A few things to keep in mind:

  1. The size of the QR code - Larger codes are more reliable. I have tried many QR codes with my phone and they don’t scan. Make sure it is at least 2cm x 2cm (that’s 1” x 1” for my American cousins).

  2. Surfaces and Colour- You may have problems if the QR code is on glossy paper or a reflective surface or behind glass. Outdoors it may fade. Scanning from a distance like off a billboard may cause difficulties. An irregular surface like a soft drink can isn’t great. Low light causes problems as will a QR code that is in colour. Stick to black and white.

  3. Use a URL shortener so the QR code is cleaner. A shorter URL means less little squares in your QR code. It is easier to read by the scanner app on a phone.

  4. Have ‘quiet space’ around your QR code. This is the border around your code. It should be white or a light colour. Rule of thumb is to have it four times the size of the black squares in your QR code.


  1. Have a Plan - The biggest part of having a QR code is to have a campaign. What is it that you want people to see when they scan? Will I get a coupon? Will I see or experience something that ‘non-scanners don’t? What will entice me to scan your QR code? In what mediums will I find your QR code?

  2. Design, build and launch – Decide where and/or what message you will send to your scanners. Develop the web page the QR code is sending people to. You may want to make the page and orphan or hidden page.

  3. Generate your QR code –Design, print and distribute your marketing collateral that has the QR code on it.

  4. Set up metrics – Make sure you have your analytics program set up so you can measure the success of your program.

How are QR codes used?

A few ideas:

  • Send a discount coupon

  • Information about an awareness campaign

  • Directions to your location

  • Product information

  • Contact details

  • Event details

  • Send people to your Twitter account or your Facebook page

It’s the curiosity that gets people to scan. Give them a reason to scan and when they do give them a reward.
Hopefully this gets you pointed in the right direction.

Give us a call and we can help you get started on your QR campaign today. 888-374-0906
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